Snow in May isn't unusual for Colorado, and sadly, neither is a scorching, dry summer. That's the way it's looking in the drought-ridden forecast, but that doesn't mean we have to suffer the new season with sweat instead of sweaters.
Summer, after all, is packed with stuff to do: festivals devoted to music, beer, art, even chilies, plus car races, bike rides and the Colorado State Fair. You name it, summer's got it, and here, we list a few of the events slated for the coming months.
It's by no means comprehensive, so watch our listings and Seven Days to Live pages for more fests as they approach. And remember, if nothing else, it's a dry heat.
MeadowGrass Music Festival
La Foret Conference & Retreat Center, 6145 Shoup Road, meadowgrassmusicfestival.org
A three-day event (drop in or camp out) showcasing roots, bluegrass, Americana, cowboy, folk and acoustic music, all in a gorgeous pastoral setting.
Old Colorado City, shopoldcoloradocity.com
More than 180 craft, commercial and food booths packing the streets of Old Colorado City over Memorial Day weekend.
Manitou Springs Colorado
Memorial Park, 500 block of Manitou Avenue, Manitou Springs, manitousprings.org
Twenty-five wineries from Colorado, as well as vendor booths such as Gypsy Pizzeria, La Baguette, Rocky Mountain Outback Hats, and more.
Colorado College Summer Festival of the Arts
June 6 to mid-August
Various locations at CC, 14 E. Cache la Poudre St., coloradocollege.edu
Opera, classical music (for adults and children), visual art, dance, world music, film, and much more.
Taste of the Springs
Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado, 2605 Preamble Point, careandshare.org
For the 25th year, roughly 40 food and beverage vendors will serve up their best, all in support of Care and Share.
Heuberger Subaru Starlight Spectacular
Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center, 1805 N. 30th St., trailsandopenspaces.org
Fun nighttime bike ride suitable for all ages and abilities, with music, food and drink, and prizes for best illuminated bike and best costume.
Memorial Park, 1605 E. Pikes Peak Ave., springsspree.org
A family-friendly event with three entertainment stages, 20 carnival rides, the Father's Day 8K run, a car show, human hamster ball rides, and a whole lot more.
Colorado Renaissance Festival
June 15 to Aug. 4, weekends only
650 W. Perry Park Ave., Larkspur, coloradorenaissance.com
Entertainment in the form of jousting, juggling, comedy, acrobatics and turkey-leg-eating, and shopping for handmade leather, Raku pottery, sculpture and other fine art.
Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Fan Fest
Tejon Street, between Colorado Avenue and Bijou Street, ppihc.com
An annual celebration with live entertainment, beer and more, showcasing the top race qualifiers and their vehicles.
Mountain of the Sun Music Festival
Aspen Valley Ranch, 1150 S. West Road, Woodland Park, ppcf.org
A family-friendly event with live music from groups like the Tony Furtado Band and the Flying W Wranglers, workshops, the Mobile Music Project, food to purchase and space to picnic.
Ride for the Brand Rodeo
Norris-Penrose Event Center, 1045 Lower Gold Camp Road, championshipranchrodeo.com
One day after the annual noontime cattle drive down Tejon Street, we get the rodeo proper: bronc riding, wild cow milking and general Western-style fun. Don't forget your 10-gallon hat and spurs for the post-rodeo hoedown.
Pikes Peak International Hill Climb
Pikes Peak, ppihc.com
It's 12.4 miles, 156 corners! They say they're racing to the clouds, but who knows how many will make it.
Pikes Peak Art Fest
America the Beautiful Park, 126 Cimino Drive, pikespeakartfest.com
This free downtown arts festival offers more than 100 national, regional and local artists, three days of music, food, drink, and everything art.
Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo
Norris-Penrose Event Center, 1045 Lower Gold Camp Road, coloradospringsrodeo.com
"Traditional rodeo at its Colorado best": gold panning and mechanical bull rides for the public, bareback riding and steer wrestling for the brave.
Rocky Mountain State Games
Multiple venues, coloradospringssports.org
Arm wrestling, bowling, dog agility, karate, rugby and table tennis are among the 30-plus sports included in this year's games for Colorado residents.
Blues Under the Bridge
218 W. Colorado Ave. (under the Colorado Avenue bridge), bluesunderthebridge.com
A continuation of the annual music festival, showcasing blues, soul and more. Check the website for this year's lineup.
America the Beautiful Park, 126 Cimino Drive, cospride.org
Saturday is Family Day, Sunday's for the LGBT parade. Along with dancing, music, food, info and vendors, it's Colorado Springs Pride's largest event of the year.
El Paso County Fair
County Fairgrounds, Calhan, tinyurl.com/EPC-Fair
A summer tradition since 1905, with 4H animal shows and exhibits, a petting zoo, funnel cakes, a demolition derby, rodeo, truck and tractor pull, and more.
Pikes Peak Cycling Hill Climb
Crystal Reservoir on Pikes Peak, Manitou Springs, ridepikespeak.com
Formerly "Assault on the peak," this challenge is a 20-kilometer race with more than 154 turns that starts at 9,390 feet in elevation and ends at 14,110.
New Belgium Clips Beer & Film Tour
Location TBA, newbelgiumclips.com
Craft beer, indie films and nonprofit fundraising, that's the idea behind New Belgium's summer tour of love that hits 20-plus cities and hopes to distribute $200,000 to nonprofits nationwide.
75th Annual Bronc Day Festival
Downtown Green Mountain Falls, broncdayco.org
Bronc Day started in 1939 as a celebration of the official start of the tourist season in GMF, and just as before, that means a parade, arts and crafts booths, a rubber ducky race and tons of other family activities.
Craft Lager & Small Batch Festival
Memorial Park, 502 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, craftlagerfestival.com
An outdoor love letter to craft beer and spirits, with numerous vendors, live music, giveaways and food.
Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon
17 (ascent), 18 (marathon)
Barr Trail, Manitou Springs, pikespeakmarathon.org
The annual races up (or in the case of the marathon, up and down) Colorado Springs' own fourteener; feel free to watch the massacre and cheer.
Colorado State Fair
Aug. 23 to Sept. 2
State Fairgrounds, Pueblo, coloradostatefair.com
Older than Colorado itself (the first stock and ag show happened in 1872), the fair is all kinds of concerts, horse and livestock shows, rodeos, carnival rides and parades.
Mountain Music Festival
Soda Springs Park, 1016 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, manitousprings.org
Family fun with live bluegrass and "mountain music," music workshops, arts and crafts, and food from local vendors.
Commonwheel Artists Labor Day Arts & Crafts Festival
Aug. 31 to Sept. 2
Memorial Park, 500 block of Manitou Avenue, Manitou Springs, commonwheel.com/festival
About 110 artist booths showcasing handmade things, live music all day along, and face-painting and balloon creatures for the young.
Colorado Balloon Classic
Aug. 31 to Sept. 2
Memorial Park, 1605 E. Pikes Peak Ave., balloonclassic.com
Hot-air "Balloon Glo" in the evening, and mornings of waking before the sun to watch dozens of balloons launch.
Indy Music Awards & Festival
A chance to catch more than a dozen of the best individual musicians and bands in our area, as voted by readers of the Independent.
What-IF ... A Festival of Innovation and Imagination
Various locations downtown, whatif-festival.org
A takeover of downtown by "thinkers and tinkerers" of all sorts, and their contraptions.
Loaf 'N Jug Chile & Frijoles Festival
Various locations in downtown Pueblo, pueblochilefestivalinfo.com
Pueblo's annual chili harvest festival, with street vendors, music, cooking competitions and "chilies, chilies, chilies."