Event Round-Up: A Taste of Colorado, Mount Evans & More!
This Friday through Monday. Bring an appetite—for everything—to the 27th annual A Taste of Colorado. The summer-ending smorgasbord features dozens of styles of cuisine from nearly 60 restaurants, all peddling their wares in Civic Center Park. There’s something for every taste, from high-end treats by the Ritz-Carlton to good, old-fashioned barbecue. Choose your own culinary adventure: Do a “tasting menu” of sorts and try sample-size bites, or fill your belly with full-sized portions. Budding gourmands can pick up tips from top local chefs, too, in the Culinary Showcase tent. Food isn’t the only attraction at the Taste, of course. Four stages of live music will keep the park rockin’ all day long—just like the food, there’s a little something for everyone. Mainstage acts include Asia featuring John Payne, The Neville Brothers, Herman’s Hermits, David Nail, Boyz II Men and Blood Sweat and Tears. Side stages add even more variety with country, jazz, blues, rock, taiko drumming, Latino musicians and dancers, too. With bellies full and music accompanying, shoppers can stroll a vendor marketplace and kids can get their kicks in the carnival area. A special “KidzStage” will present lots of family entertainment, as well: magicians, clowns, puppets and even a pizza-tossing demonstration. 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. today, 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday. Civic Center Park, Broadway and Colfax Avenue. Admission is free. Food and activities are on a ticket system; strips of 15 tickets are $10. atasteofcolorado.com
Saturday-Monday. The sky above Colorado Springs will be especially colorful during the Colorado Balloon Classic. The 35th annual festival attracts hot-air balloon fanatics from all over the Rocky Mountain region for three days of fun. Each morning begins with a mass ascension of balloons, complete with live music and concessions. In the evening, the balloonists gather again for more food, music and a “BalloonGlo”: The balloons are inflated on the ground, with their colors illuminated in the darkness. 6-9:30 a.m. and 5-9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; 6-9:30 a.m. Monday. Memorial Community Park, 1605 E. Pikes Peak Ave., Colorado Springs. Admission is free. balloonclassic.com
Until Tuesday. Labor Day weekend marks the last chance to reach the peak of Mount Evans—the top portion of the road is scheduled to close in the early morning hours on Tuesday. The highest paved road in North America winds its way up to 14,230 feet above sea level, with lots of spectacular scenery along the way. After Tuesday morning the uppermost portion of the drive, from Summit Lake to the actual summit, will be closed for the winter. The rest of the road from Summit Lake down will remain open until the first snowfall, or Oct. 1, whichever comes first. Admission is $10 per vehicle, with higher rates for vehicles with 13 or more passengers. Motorcycles, bicycles and hikers are $3. Call the Clear Creek Forest Service station at 303-567-3000 for more details.
Sunday. Say a fond farewell to summer with a blast of fireworks at Elitch’s season-end fireworks display. The park promises “the biggest and brightest display in the park’s arsenal” for its final “IGNIGHT” show. This weekend also marks the end of Elitch’s summer season—from now through the park’s closing on Oct. 31, it’s only open on weekends (with a few exceptions). The water park is closed for the year after Monday, too. Next up for fall: The Halloween-themed Fright Fest, beginning Oct. 1. 9 p.m. Sunday. Elitch Gardens, 2000 Elitch Circle; 303-595-4FUN. Fireworks show included with park admission: $42.95 for adults 48 inches and taller; $29.99 for seniors and kids under 48 inches. Save money by buying online at elitchgardens.com.
Kathleen St. John