Fall Events In Crested Butte & Gunnison
Fall is a great time to visit Crested Butte, colors are changing, there’s a lot on, and we have availability! Check out these events for all tastes:
West Elk Bicycle Classic, Sept. 2, Gunnison/Montrose/Delta Counties
Western State Colorado University’s cycling team is sponsoring a new bicycle gran fondo, the West Elk Bicycle Classic, on Sept. 2 with two length options: The 130-mile ride climbs nearly 10,000 feet and starts in Gunnison at 7 a.m., then to the Blue Mesa Dam, Crawford, Paonia and Kebler Pass before finishing in downtown Crested Butte with cheering, music, finish line and a meal at Donita’s Cantina. The 100-mile version starts three miles past the dam at 7:30 a.m. Visit www.western.edu/westelkbicycleclassic for details and registration, which costs $75 if submitted by Aug. 23, and $100 after that.
Fall Festival of Beers/Chili Cook-Off & Gravity Slave Weekend, Sept. 8-9, Mt. Crested Butte
Give a toast to autumn at Mt. Crested Butte’s 13th Annual Fall Festival of Beers & Chili Cook-Off, held at the base area of Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) on Sept. 8. Not only will there be a wide range of brews to taste, great live music and amazing chili, all early registrants will be entered to win a case of beer a month for an entire year.
The $25 early-bird registration and $30 day-of admission includes a commemorative tasting glass, beer, chili, live bands and lots of fun from noon to 4 p.m. There is no cost to enter the chili cook-off; just cook up three gallons of your best stuff in advance and compete in one of several categories. Entry deadline is Sept. 8 to be included on the ballots and be eligible for prizes. Visit www.facebook.com/ChiliAndBeer or www.cbchamber.com/fall-festival-of-beers.html.
Make it a weekend, enjoy the Adventure Park, take a zip line tour and ride the Red Lady chairlift at CBMR and watch or participate in the Gravity Slave mountain bike race on Sept 9. This is a chainless downhill stage race featuring three runs on three different courses in Evolution Bike Park. The lowest cumulative time wins. Call 970-349-2217and visit www.skicb.com.
Vinotok, Sept. 16-22, Crested Butte
Meaning “fall wine festival” in Slovenian, Vinotok begins on Sept. 16 and culminates on Sept. 22 after several days of celebrating the bounty of the summer harvest and gathering the community before winter descends on this ski town.
The 27th annual Vinotok kicks off in tandem with the Crested Butte Farmers’ Market on Sept. 16 with a booth for wreath making, grump boxes, costume items and more. On Sept. 17 and 18, Vinotok founder Marcie Telander and the Vinotok Theatre Troupe will share the ancient traditions, stories and mythology of the festival.
The following evening, hear tales of Crested Butte typically told around the pot belly stove at Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum. On Thursday night, it’s all about tall tales, whoppers and adventure stories blown out of proportion at Liar’s Night, followed by a community feast on Friday evening featuring regionally harvested dishes, roast pig and entertainment.
The Saturday of Vinotok, Sept. 22, is the high point with a cast of medieval characters featuring maidens representing the 12 months of the year, accompanied by torchbearers and flag bearers singing and dancing in the streets and restaurants in the early evening. As night falls, a street theatre production is held on Elk Avenue and concludes with a procession to the large parking lot behind the visitor center for the burning of the Grump (a 20-foot-tall iron figure stuffed with townspeoples’ written-down grumps) and a bonfire.
Locations, times and costs for Vinotok happenings will be announced soon and posted at www.facebook.com/pages/Vinotok/112218345485150. For information, call 970-349 6509.
Crested Butte Film Festival, Sept. 27-30, Gunnison-Crested Butte Valley
This four-day celebration of international cinema takes place at the height of the aspen-viewing season with Director Alex Cox (Repo Man, Sid and Nancy) among the invited filmmakers. Cox will present his widely-acclaimed film “Walker” on the 25th anniversary of its release, and will speak throughout the festival.
Nearly 100 films from 13 countries and 30 visiting filmmakers will be part of the creative mix, with at least one world premiere, several North American premieres and many Colorado premieres planned. Directors from Europe, Australia, Iran and throughout the United States are scheduled to attend. A complete schedule of films, children’s programs, director talks, events and parties will be announced Sept. 1 at www.cbfilmfest.org, along with prices for passes and tickets.
Day one of the festival begins in Gunnison, with days two through four in Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte, where films will be shown simultaneously at multiple venues.
Big Saturday (Trail Running & Mountain Bike Races), Sept. 29, Gunnison
The second annual Pummeler’s Butt 10-mile and 5-mile trail running races at Hartman Rocks in Gunnison feature technically demanding terrain that also can be challenging fitness runs/hikes/walks with participants given the choice of not being timed for competition.
Shorter-distance fun runs also will be offered along with 2-mile and 1-mile distances for kids in middle school and younger (kids run for free). Running events begin at 9 a.m. and go through the morning.
The second annual Big Saturday also features the finals for the Growler Mountain Bike Series that can be done as a race or fun ride over two distances – 9 miles or 18 miles – that feature classic and challenging Hartman Rocks singletrack. Biking events start at 1 p.m.
Or go big and take part in the Dual-Sport Contest that includes the Pummeler’s Butt run and Growler Finals mountain bike rides in a combined time for athletes with diverse skill sets. A dinner party at the nearby Gunnison KOA wraps up the day from 4-8 p.m. For all the information and costs go to www.gunnisontrails.com.
Waunita Living History Days, Oct. 12-14, Gunnison Area
New to the area’s fall calendar of events is Waunita Living History Days hosted by Waunita Hot Springs Ranch, located east of Gunnison. The Civil War Living History Association will be set up on-site dressed in period clothing, giving demonstrations and talks, camping and a providing a visual idea of how things happened during this historical period.
Live music, arts and crafts booths and food vendors also will be part of the fun. Hours for the event are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday.
Finish off the days with a soak in the ranch’s hot springs-fed pool ($10 for adults and $5 for kids 12 and under) or spend the night at the ranch, with bed and breakfast options available in fall, winter and spring months. For more details, visit www.waunita.com or call 970-641-1266.
Fall Packages & Deals
We’re offering 10% off for 3 nights or more September 4 thru November 2!
Find the Gunnison-Crested Butte Tourism Association on Facebook at www.facebook.com/gcbta or follow www.twitter.com/gcbta. Air access to the Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport is provided by United Airlines year-round and American Airlines and Continental Airlines in the winter.