KUSA - It's Labor Day Weekend, so pretty much two things are a given: the kids are finally back in school, and there are festivals everywhere.
Some of those festivals made this week's list of 9 Events, as well as a statewide duel for pride and supremacy, a massive bike rally featuring a Bret Michaels concert, the chance to check out dozens of hot air balloons and of course, the Taste of Colorado.
On another note, be sure to wear white this weekend, because when it's over, etiquette and style buffs say you're not supposed to.
Rocky Mountain Showdown – Aug. 29 – Sports Authority Field at Mile High http://bit.ly/1piQjM1
If you live in Colorado, you probably have some sort of allegiance to either CU or CSU…but definitely not to both. Watch as the Buffalos and Rams battle for supremacy among thousands of college students eager to kick the football season off the right way. This tradition – which temporarily divides our beautiful state – has existed since 1893. Tickets range from $25 to $125. Green and gold (or gold and black) clothing is highly recommended.
Tour de Fat – Aug. 30 – Fort Collins Civic Center Park http://bit.ly/1ob27d0
Like Halloween, the Tour de Fat is the type of event where if you look normal, you're really, really out of place. And thousands of strangely-dressed bicyclists will converge on Fort Collins this weekend for the annual celebration of all things involving a certain two-wheeled mode of transportation and beer. Lots and lots of beer. After the parade, stick around for music from the Reals Band, Nataniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats among many others, as well as a 1,000 person dance contest with a sweet New Belgium cruiser bike at stake. It goes without saying, but be safe, and practice moderation.
Taste of Colorado- Aug. 29-Sept. 1- Civic Center Park http://bit.ly/1lfNF8s
This is an event that needs no introduction, but we're going to write one anyway. Gather in Civic Center Park and sample culinary creations from 50 of Colorado's favorite restaurants (which might be the reason why this event is called "Taste of Colorado"). While you're enjoying the Centennial state's best food, you can also listen to artists like the Wallflowers, American Idol winner David Cook, the Commodores and Creedance Clearwater Revisited. Bring the youngsters, since there will be ample carnival rides and games…as well as arts and crafts. Most importantly, admission is free, though you will have to pay for food.
Thunder in the Rockies Bike Rally – Aug. 29 – Sept. 1 – Loveland http://bit.ly/XTwzDo
More than 45,000 motorcycle enthusiasts and hardcore bikers will convene in one of the Front Range's most picturesque cities for the 10th edition of hands down the best biker rally around. Events include a Bikini Bike Wash, Rhett Rotten Wall of Death, a MS. HOOTERS Bikini Contest, scenic mountain ride, awesome motorcycle stunts and performance by the legendary Bret Michaels (who you either know from VH1's seminal reality show "Rock of Love" or his tenure as an 80s hair metal front man). The best part? Many of the events are free!
Colorado State Fair – Aug. 29 – Sept. 1 – Pueblohttp://on9news.tv/1tLr8Rx
Fair food is always great anywhere, but there's no better place to eat deep-fried things than their intended location. Another draw of the State Fair? The awesome carnival rides and booths, opportunities to learn about Colorado's awesome agricultural heritage, a demolition derby, monster trucks and performances by Gabriel Iglesias, Brantley Gilbert and 90s legends Korn. Tickets to the fair this weekend are $7 for kids and $10 Friday through Sunday for adults.
JAS Aspen Snowmass Experience – Aug. 29 – 31 – Snowmass Town Park http://bit.ly/1tXfBxA
There are a lot of music festivals that say they have something for everybody, but this music festival probably does have something for everybody, from country to reggae to classic R&B to even a little bit of flat-out pop. The headliners are Ziggy Marley, Earth Wind&Fire and OneRepublic, as well as American Idol winner Carrie Underwood and Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, who were added to the lineup after Fun. dropped out unexpectedly. Tickets are $75 for Friday and $85 for Saturday and Sunday.
Mile High Art and Jazz – Aug. 30 – 31 – Skyline Park, Denver http://bit.ly/1lwTuPj
There's no better soundtrack to an art show, really, than the classy sounds of live jazz music. Mile High Art and Jazz features 75 artists and craftsmen selling all sorts of awesome stuff from oil paintings to jewelry to metalwork. In addition to the jazz, there will also be opportunities to sample "festive cocktails" and sample snacks from local food trucks. The location isn't so bad either. The show goes from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Wild West Weekend – Aug. 30 – Sept. 1 – Estes Park http://bit.ly/1vo01in
If you haven't made the trek up to one of Colorado's most beautiful mountain towns this summer, this is a great weekend to do it. Downtown Estes Park will come alive with the Wild West, with everything from a performance by Colorado's Senior Pro Charity Rodeo, a Rocky Mountain Chuck Wagon Cook-Off (where chefs will be judged on their ability to make meat, biscuits, corn and dessert) and, in true Colorado fashion, the 11th annual John Denver Tribute Concert. Along the way, be sure to check out the Labor Day Arts and Crafts Show, which features more than 100 booths with a variety of hand-crafted goods.
Colorado Balloon Classic – Aug. 30 – Sept. 1- Colorado Springs http://bit.ly/VRArmh
If you look into the sky this weekend and see lots of hot air balloons, this is probably why. Mass ascensions of dozens of balloons are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday as part of the largest and longest continuously running hot air balloon festival in the Rocky Mountain region. This family-friendly event is totally free, which is awesome, and is held in Memorial Park near the shores of Prospect Lake. As usual, concessions and entertainment will accompany the very cool floating balloons.
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If you aren't keen on driving to the events, here are some alternative-transportation suggestions:
Taxi - Call 303-333-3333, 303-444-4444 or 303-777-7777. For Uber, text an address and city to 827-222.
Light Rail - Visithttp://www.rtd-denver.com/lightrail.shtmlto plot your route
Bus - Visit http://www.rtd-denver.com/ to plot your route
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