Boulder Brook Blog

Scandinavian Midsummer Festival

Scandinavian Midsummer Festival

Ceremony, Culture & Celebration
June 21-23, 2019 – Fri 4-7pm, Sat 7am-5pm, Sun 7am-4pm

Come celebrate the Scandinavian Midsummer Festival! The Midsummer Festival is a Scandinavian tradition that celebrates the summer solstice. The festival is held in downtown Estes Park at Bond Park, located at the intersection of Elkhorn Avenue (US 34/36) and MacGregor Avenue.

During your stay at Boulder Brook, head downtown to be entertained and educated about the Scandinavian traditions and culture with fun and lively dancing, exhibits, kids’ activities, and more! Whatever your heritage may be, join in the many families across the country from Scandinavian descent who gather at the festival to share their heritage.

The festivities begin Friday in the beer garden at 4:00 pm until 9:00pm. On Saturday at 9:30 am the festivities continue with the raising of the Maypole, followed by a Grand March entrance. Costumed representatives from each of the five Scandinavian countries enter the park carrying the flag of their country, followed by the national anthems. Dancing and live music continue all day with opportunities for the audience to participate in some dances.

Spend time browsing the large art & craft fair. Exhibitors will be selling traditional Scandinavian food, baked goods, decorations and hand-made crafts. The folk-art of decorative painting on wood called rosemaling in Norway, and dalamaling in Sweden, will be well-represented. Other exhibitors will have hand-crafted items such as pottery, fabric, woodworking, jewelry, painting, metal work, photography, glass and more. All the exhibitors will have some Scandinavian inspired or traditional work.  

The craft demonstration tent will have a combination of workshops and demonstrations, including hardangar and Swedish huck embroidery, spinning, lace knitting, and children’s knitting lessons. At the Lefse Tent one can see demonstrations on how to prepare these famous thin Norwegian potato pancakes.

Admire the Scandinavian automotive industry at the classic Saab and Volvo auto show, where many different models will be on display throughout the weekend.

Norway will be well represented by a Viking encampment re-enactment by the Fjellborg Vikings of Colorado. There will be swordsmanship, a Viking ship replica, traditional crafts and daily life demonstrations at the historically correct encampment. 

Come for the festival and stay for the many other wonders in and around Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. Don’t forget to make your lodging reservations!

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Trail Ridge Road Plowing

Plowing Trail Ridge Road begins in mid-April and takes approximately 6 weeks to complete, and is VERY weather-dependent. During plowing operations, the equipment is brought down below treeline overnight and road clearing begins anew each day. This is done because overnight storms can snow equipment in above treeline….an inch or two of snow can drift into several feet overnight. There are approximately 1500 snow poles on the park’s east side and at least 1500 on the west side, which are used to mark curbs, rock walls, signs, and any other obstacle that can cause damage to the rotary plow head, plus help direct the plow drivers across the vast drifted alpine tundra.
(Photo: snowplows headed up Trail Ridge Road to start spring plowing last week /NPS) ks

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Rocky Mountain Craft Spirit Festival 2018

Saturday, October 27, 2018 2pm – 5pm

The Rocky Mountain region is home to a booming craft spirits industry.  Distillers and consumers of fine spirits are invited to celebrate this craft at a tasting festival in Estes Park, Colorado.  Admission includes a souvenir tasting glass, complimentary pours from a variety of distillers, bar games, and live music.  So raise a glass to raised standards, and make your plans for the last Saturday in October.

Why not make a weekend out of it?  Check out the other activities and amenities being offered around town:

PAIRING DINNER:  Latitude 105 will be offering a pairing dinner the weekend of the event.  Join Executive Chef Jacob Tew on Friday, October 26 as he presents an outstanding culinary experience featuring pairings with regional craft spirits by Breckenridge Distillery and Elkins Distillery.  For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit the pairing dinner website.  Please note that the dinner and the tasting festival each require a separate ticket.

DISTILLERY TOUR:  Elkins Whisky is the tasting festival’s presenting sponsor, and these folks are pleased to offer a behind the scenes tour of their distillery the day of the tasting festival.  Arrive at 1pm and take a peek at the processes used to bring you the first and only spirits made (legally) in Estes Park.  Talk to the distillers, try out a sample in the tasting room, and then catch a free trolley over to the festival.  The trolley will bring you back to Elkins at the conclusion of the event for a chance to say hi once again to some of your new friends in the craft spirits industry.  Tickets to the tour are offered here, and are only offered with the purchase of a festival ticket.

TRANSPORTATION:  The Town of Estes Park will be providing a FREE shuttle the day of the event.  This service will make stops at a variety of locations around town, including Boulder Brook on Fall River.  Book yourself a room, don’t worry about driving, and head for the festival.  

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Longs Peak Scottish Irish Highland Festival

SEPTEMBER 6-9, 2018

For more than three decades, Estes Park has been the backdrop for one of the nation’s largest celebrations of the heritage, the sounds, the tastes, and the arts of the Scottish and Irish cultures.

Held annually the weekend after Labor Day, Estes Park’s Longs Peak Scottish-Irish Highland Festival is the largest gathering of its kind between the Mississippi River and California, and traditionally hosts bands – from the marching kind to the rocking kind and everything in-between – hailing from Great Britain, Scotland, Ireland, Canada and, of course, the United States.

With jousting knights, dancing girls, hoisting athletes and calling bagpipes, groups and families of all ages will catch the Celtic spirit at this festival – surrounded by the scenic peaks of Estes Park!

One of the weekend highlights is the free hour-long parade on Elkhorn Avenue, Estes Park’s main street. Bagpipes, drummers, dancers, clans in tartan, Dogs of the British Isles, brass military bands and precision drill teams give a preview of what can be seen on the festival grounds.

Festival Activities:

Music & Entertainment

Scottish Irish Shopping Markets: Browse a variety of Scottish and Irish vendors in the shopping tents to find highland inspired jewelry, clothing, kilts, accessories, home décor, and more.

Scottish Athletics: Strong Man Competition. On the Festival field, there will be hammer throws, putting the stone, and caber throwing contests. Come join us and see a mere man toss a 19’7″,  140 lb. caber end over end!

US/International Jousting Championships: Games, Light Armor & Heavy Armor

Dogs Of the British Isles: Dog Agility & Herding, Terrier Races & Dog Exhibit Booths

During the festival, many Estes Park business feature live Celtic music and whiskey tastings throughout the village! 

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Estes Park Jazz Fest Weekend

June 2-3, 2018
For two days the mountains are alive with the sounds of great jazz. The Estes Park Jazz Fest has become one of Colorado’s premier Jazz Festivals, noted for its commitment to excellence in Jazz. Presenting the finest national and regional Jazz artists, the festival features stellar line-ups of performers, representing the music from New Orleans roots to its thriving and diverse present, and venturing into the music’s vibrant future. Taking place at Performance Park, you’ll enjoy sounds of jazz with views of the Fall River and enchanting rock walls surrounding the amphitheater.  At the 28th annual Estes Park Jazz Fest, enjoy music from seven Jazz bands & musicians over two days. Sip on the fine wine of local Colorado wine selections in the wine garden. Enjoy tastings from Estes Park’s Snowy Peaks Winery along with Turquoise Mesa Winery.

Tickets: $10 per day or $15 for a weekend pass, 12 & Under are free. Tickets will be sold at the door, no pre-sale.

Saturday, June 2
      12-12:50pm – Estes Park Big Band Swing
               Classic big band swing
       1:10-2:10pm – Max Wagner Quartet
               Modern mainstream Jazz sax & vocals
       2:30-3:30pm – Gabriel Mervine Quartet
               Top flight innovative jazz trumpet
       3:50-5:00pm – Chipman – Hancock Collective
               Straight ahead Jazz, fusion and Neo Soul
Sunday, June 3
      12-1:10pm – Quirktett
              Four dynamic jazz vocalists with a great rhythm section
       1:40-3:10pm – Jeremy Pelt Quintet
             World class, Cutting edge New York jazz trumpeter and his New York quintet
      3:40-5:00pm – Lionel Young Band
             Award-winning deep blues, eclectic violin

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Snowshoe Ecology Walk

  • Location Varies.
  • February 21, 2018 – March 18, 2018
  • Recurring weekly on Sunday, Wednesday, Friday
  • Location: Location Varies. , CO
  • Phone: (970) 586-1206
  • Time: 12:30 PM to 2:30 PM
  • Price: Free

Come snowshoe with a ranger.  Learn techniques to traverse terrain as you explore the natural world of a subalpine forest.  No previous experience needed. Participants will need to bring their own snowshoes which can be rented at local sporting goods stores. Ages 8 and up only. Reservations are required no more than 7 days in advance.  No more than 6 people per reservation; call (970) 586-1223.  Participants must be 8 years old and above.

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Whiskey Warmup

  • George Hix Riverside Plaza, Downtown Estes Park
  • March 3, 2018
  • Location: 184 W Elkhorn Ave, George Hix Riverside Plaza, Downtown Estes Park, CO
  • Time: 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
  • Price: $50 each, $90 per pair

Included in ticket prices:

  • Unlimited samples from 23 distilleries
  • Souvenir tasting glass
  • Live seminars
  • Live Music

Join Estes Park for Whiskey Warm Up, a whiskey tasting event and celebration with special whiskey-themed events, packages and specials will be happening throughout the weekend.

The Whiskey Warm Up celebrates the winter tradition of warming up from the inside out. Layer up to sip on selections of Colorado whiskeys from a variety of distilleries while cozying up near of one of the fire pits outside in the beautiful George Hix Riverside Plaza. Sway to the toe-tapping sounds of live music, learn more about the styles, tastes and smells of whiskey from a local distillery’s knowledgeable educators, who will be presenting live snapshot seminars throughout the event including Elkins presenting on the challenges of high altitude distilling and how all their materials are sourced from Colorado. Enjoy a local cigar shop selling products and demonstrating cigar rolling, to enjoy alongside your favorite whiskey.

After a day of sampling and evening out on the town, retreat back to your cabin or lodge room for a weekend getaway. Spend the next day, exploring Rocky Mountain National Park or shopping the unique housewares and gifts in the one-of-a-kind boutiques downtown Estes Park. Make your lodging reservations for this special weekend today.

Participating Distilleries:

  • Elkins Distillery, Presenting Sponsor
  • Dancing Pines Distillery
  • Breckenridge Distillery
  • 3 Hundred Days of Shine
  • Feisty Spirits Distillery
  • Copper Muse Distillery
  • 10th Mountain Whiskey & Spirit Co.
  • Bear Creek Distillery
  • Black Canyon Distillery
  • Woody Creek Distillers
  • Spirit Hound Distillers
  • Weaver’s Spirits
  • Art of the Spirits Colorado Whiskey
  • Mystic Mountain Distillery
  • State 38 Distilling
  • 291 Colorado Whiskey
  • Rocker Spirits
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Come Visit Boulder Brook

Nestled next to the rambling waters of Fall River, Boulder Brook is ideally located to take advantage of the unique shopping of downtown Estes Park or the rugged splendor of the Rocky Mountain National more