There are always a smattering of events and activities going on in Boulder. However, certain yearly events draw particularly large crowds. The Conference on World Affairs at CU brings together speakers to audiences of hundreds. Open Studios allows visitors entrance into local artists' studios. The Bolder Boulder 10K race is a huge one-day phenomenon. If you happen to be visiting when any of these events are taking place, you might enjoy joining the crowds!
Bands on the Bricks is an outdoor summer concert series right on the Pearl Street Mall. Most bands are local to the Boulder area. Typically featuring 8 concerts on Wednesday evenings, the event takes place at 13th and Pearl. A beer garden opens at 5:30 pm, with an opening band at 6:00 and the headline artist at 7:00. Free. Website.
Classical music lovers will enjoy the Boulder Bach Festival, which has been featuring the work of Johann Sebastian Bach and other Baroque composers for over forty years. The festival has performed all of Bach's major works, including the elaborate B Minor Mass, Brandenburg Concertos, and Passions of St. John and St. Matthew. The BBF also offers Master Classes in the community. The central performances take place in the spring, although other concerts are held throughout the year. Website or (720) 507-5052.
Open Studios is an event that takes place over the first few weekends in October. Over 150 local artists open their studios to the public, and invite viewings and interaction. The event makes for a great walking tour of Boulder. The Open Studios map indicates the media of the artists: painting, glasswork, woodworking, and so on. Free. Website or (303) 444-1862.
The Pearl Street Arts Fest takes place in July, and sees the Pearl Street Mall lined with arts-filled tents. You'll find everything from oil paintings to sculptures, many with a Colorado flair. Website. This is often followed by the Fine Arts Street Fest at the 29th Street mall, a few weeks later. Both free.
The Conference on World Affairs is a fascinating event. Now celebrating its 60th anniversary, the CWA brings together speakers from a variety of disciplines to discuss a panoply of topics. You might find an avant-garde film director, a career diplomat, and a Pulitzer prize-winning journalist debating the future of technology — or discussing politics in the Middle East. All speakers volunteer their time, and all events are open to the public. The CWA is typically held in April at various sites on the CU campus. Free. Website or (303) 492-2525.
The Boulder Creek Festival brings out the town like few other events. Spanning three days in late May, the Creek Festival draws thousands of people to the banks of the Boulder Creek. Live performers, dozens of food and art vendors, and carnival rides keep the energy levels high. The festival concludes with a Rubber Duck race, which benefits the Boulder Parks and Recreation Department's EXPAND program for residents with disabilities. A visit to the festival is a fun way to enjoy a weekend in May. Free. Website or (303) 777-6887.
In August, you can catch the Boulder Creek Hometown Festival, at the same general area. Free. Website.
The Bolder Boulder is one of the largest annual 10K races held in the United States. With over 50,000 participants, the race attracts a great deal of attention. The Bolder Boulder is held on Memorial Day weekend, and is usually attended by some of the fastest 10K runners in the world. Awards are given for both individual and team performances. The race concludes at CU's Folsom Field, and is a favorite for spectators who line the course. Free to observe. Race fee for participants. Website or (303) 444-RACE.
For longer arts and music events like the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, please visit our Music and Arts page.