the flatirons in Boulder

Yearly Events in Boulder

There are always a smattering of events and activities going on in Boulder. However, certain yearly events draw particularly large crowds. Some of these events, like the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, take place throughout the summer. Others — such as the Bolder Boulder 10K race — are huge one-day phenomena. If you happen to be visiting when any of these events are taking place, you might enjoy joining the crowds!

Arts Festivals

Colorado Shakespeare FestivalThe summer Colorado Shakespeare Festival recently celebrated its 50th season, placing it among the oldest Shakespeare festivals in the country. The CSF stages delightful productions of the Bard's work; however, the fun stretches beyond the play. Bonus features include a wandering "Bill Shakespeare" who mingles with patrons before the shows, post-theater talk-back sessions with the actors, and musical performances on the green. Bring a picnic and enjoy the warm Colorado summer evenings. The 2013 line-up includes A Midsummer Night's Dream, Macbeth, and Richard II as well as the comedic homage The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) and the creative exploration of women in Shakespeare, Women of Will: The Overview. For information, call the box office at (303) 492-0554.

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 twenty-five 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. Call (303) 776-9666 for details.

Lecture Series

credit: CU Photo by Larry HarwoodThe 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. Call (303) 492-2525 for info.

Athletic Events

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 (and manages to shut down many Boulder roads for the day!) 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. Info: (303) 444-7223.

Kinetics is an entirely different style of race. Held at the Boulder Reservoir in May, Kinetics is more of a party than a competition. Teams build mobile "sculptures" that can travel on land and water, and then race their creations across the reservoir. To the delight of the spectators, some sculptures sink in a comical fashion once they hit the water. Live music and a 5K race accompany the race. Nationally-known bands often headline the festive event. Listen to local radio station (and Kinetics sponsor) KBCO at 97.3 FM for details.


Boulder Creek FestivalThe 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. For information on the Boulder Creek Festival, call (303) 652-4942.

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