The land west of Denver, Colorado consists of snow capped mountains and the valleys, lakes and rivers that run between the peaks. One of the most beautiful places in the world, the county has five world class ski resorts, which serve as mountain getaways in the mild summer months. Only a small number of people live in Summit County, but most of them think they have found a corner of Paradise to live in on earth.
When they put on an event in Summit County, they pull out all the stops. And some of those events have become world famous. There are festivals and events throughout the year. But unless you are lucky enough to live in one of the small towns, tucked away in the mountains, and can pick and choose from all of them, here are the four Summit County events that you don’t want to miss.
The International Snow Sculpture Championships in Breckenridge
At 8 AM on Monday morning in January, a cannon is fired and sixteen teams from all over the globe start running. They race from a starting line to their assigned 20 ton block of snow. The start of the Snow Sculpture Championships is on. For the next 96 hours, men and women from countries in Asia, Europe, North and South America work the snow with hands and hand tools to create magnificent shapes and carvings in the snow. Many work right through the nights, especially on Thursday night. Then on Friday morning at 8 AM, they lay down their trowels and wait. The winners are announced three hours later and the festival continues through Sunday.
The Breckenridge Film Festival
This world class film festival in September draws movie stars, screen writers, producers, directors and others in the film industry. Over 70 films are presented, including premieres, with celebratory parties following. Mix with the Hollywood jet set and bring your camera. The leaves will be turning in the high country. If you get bored of movies, the highlands will be calling.
Attack of the Big Beers
Held in June at Copper Mountain Ski Resort, this event brings in brewers from all over the country and beyond. ‘Big’ beers are beers that are brewed with high original gravity. Original gravity refers to the specific gravity of the original brewing mixture, or wort. The higher the specific gravity, the more sugars and fermentable substances there are, in the wort. High gravity beers are noted for their intense flavor and elevated alcohol content.
More than 75 different beers will be available for tasting. The beer fest has joined with local filmmakers to offer viewings of locally produced movies. While the judges are deciding who gets the Brewzilla Cup, you can dance to live music and sip some of the best beer in the country.
The Dew Tour
In February, the Copper Mountain Ski Resort will host the Winter Dew Tour. Snowboarders and skiers from all over the world will be competing in team and individual events. Participants will be challenged by slopestyle courses and halfpipe events. The Dew Tour is noted for being an extreme sports circuit, but it has also served as the venues for Olympic team qualifications. The best will be sliding down the slopes of Copper Mountain.
Summit County is also the site for at least another two dozen events and festivals. The Colorado Burger Summit brings in some of the top restaurants around the state, competing to be the ‘Best Burger in Colorado’. You can celebrate Oktoberfest and the Fourth of July in a big way. The fireworks displays are incredible. Gold Panning Championships and the World’s Largest Easter Egg Hunt are perfect for families. Music lovers will find the Wine and Jazz Festival in July or the Bluegrass and Beer Festival in August at Keystone the perfect retreat.
Summit County is a place of natural beauty and friendly people. They’ll welcome you.