Plein air painting in the Breckenridge Arts District 

Image: Liam Doran and Breckcreate


The Breckenridge Arts District celebrates summer with a buzz of creative energy, starting in late June with a Bike-In Movie Night on the Arts District lawn, screening Pee Wee’s Big Adventure preceded by thematic short films celebrating Bike to Work Day (June 26, 7–11 p.m.). For a full schedule of events— from beginner plein air painting workshops to romantic date nights in the District’s ceramics studio—check out the organization’s online calendar at

At Breckenridge Gallery, summertime exhibitions include the works of Breck painters Chris Veeneman (June 29, 4–7 p.m.), Hanni Bernhart and Amy Evans (July 13, 4–7 p.m.)Colorado Mountain College fine arts adjunct professor and high-country landscape painter Kate Kiesler (July 26, 4–7 p.m.); Madison, Wisc., artist Paula Schuette (Aug 10, 4–7 p.m.); Ohio-based art director and landscape painter Perry Brown (Sept 14, 4–7 p.m.); and Breck watercolor artist Connie Johnson (Sept 27, 4–7 p.m.). 124 S Main St, Breckenridge.

Even on the hottest days of summer, glassblower John Hudnut fires up the 2,000-degree furnace at Frisco’s GatherHouse Glass and spends hours with fellow artisans producing wares for the studio gallery, inviting visitors to come watch and ask questions. Interested in doing, rather than seeing? Hudnut’s three-hour Glassblowing 101 class (by appointment only, $145) for all comers—including parents with kids 9 years old and up—teaches the basic techniques and vocabulary of the craft, and in the process yields a DIY, one-of-a-kind souvenir tumbler, ornament, or small glass vase. 110 Second Ave, Frisco.

When Hawaii-based lava surf photographer Nick Selway heard from a college friend that local landscape artist Jerry Georgeff had closed his Blue River Fine Art Gallery in La Cima Mall a couple Marches ago, he took over the lease, renovated the space, and relocated to Breck. Selway’s local mountain now may be a ski hill instead of an active volcano, but seen anew through the lens of a landscape photographer, it’s every bit as dramatic. Toast the artist’s first year in business at a wine-and-cheese reception on July 1, and ask about a leaf-peeping photo tour he’s planning for the first week of October near Telluride. 411 S Main St, Breckenridge.


A-Basin Summer Concert Series  After a scenic chairlift ride to a mountaintop barbecue picnic at Black Mountain Lodge, summer unwinds perfectly at A-Basin on Saturday afternoons with beer in hand, listening to live bluegrass, rock, and jazz on the main stage in Mountain Goat Plaza (Local Band Jam Day, June 29; Live Down the River, July 6; Wood & Wire, July 20; Dirty Revival, July 27; Emma Mayes & The Hips, Aug 3; Native Melodies, Aug 24; Tnertl, Aug 30; Those Austrian Guys, Sept 14). 1–4 p.m.

Breckenridge history tours On most days (through Sept 1), docents from the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance lead rambles around town exploring all aspects of Breck’s colorful past, including tours of an underground reconstructed gold mine ($15 adults, $10 kids; Tue–Sun, 10 a.m. & 1 p.m.), historic saloons ($20, ages 21+ only; Wed, Fri, Sat, 5 p.m.), a ghost town ($30 adults, $10 kids; Fri, 9 a.m.), haunted houses ($20 adults, $15 kids; Wed, Fri, Sat, 7:30 p.m.), gold panning ($10, Tue–Sat, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.), and other activities that bring local history to life. 

Concert in the Park Series  Admission to Frisco’s Thursday-night summer concert series at the Historic Park gazebo is free, but come hungry and thirsty, because sales of refreshments benefit a different local charity each week. Headliners include The Copper Children (benefiting Blue River Horse Center, June 20), Jackie and the Racket (Summit Musicians Relief Fund, June 27), Pandas & People (Rotary Club of Summit County, July 11), Amoramora (Mountain Mentors, July 18), Gasoline Lollipops (High Country Conservation Center, July 25), Pixie & The Partygrass Boys (Family & Intercultural Resource Center, Aug 1), Opal Agafia & The Sweet Nothings (Synagogue of the Summit, Aug 8), Jack Cloonan Band (Summit Community Care Clinic, Aug 15), and Cris Jacobs Band (Timberline Adult Day Services, Aug 22). 5:30–7:30 p.m. 

Copper Campfire  Through Sept 1, at dusk every Saturday, Copper Mountain hosts a s’mores roast and sing-along at Center Village’s Copper Fire Globe with guitarist Randall McKinnon.

Dillon Farmers Market  Handcrafted and freshly grown goods (and live music) are the focus of one of high country’s biggest—attracting some eight dozen vendors—and most favorite farmers markets. Fridays through Sept 13, 9 a.m.–2 p.m., West Lodgepole Street, Dillon.

Dillon Historical boat Tours Learn all about how the Town of Dillon was relocated (and what buildings remained) before the dam inundated the original townsite, on a docent-led thrice-weekly morning cruise around Summit’s signature man-made lake. $40. Tue, Wed, Thu (through Aug 29), 9–10:30 a.m. 970-468-5100,

Friends of the Dillon Ranger District  From guided tours (Geological History of Summit County, 7/12, 7/22 & 8/16, 8:45 a.m.–noon; Mining History, 7/18, 8/14 & 9/10, 9 a.m.–noon) and wildflower hikes (Cataract Lake, 6/20; Pass Lake, 6/25, 9 a.m.–noon) to work days (Spruce Creek Trail Spruce Up, 6/20, 7/17 & 8/3, 9 a.m.–1 p.m.; Forest Restoration Project, 7/12, 8/2 & 9/13, 9 a.m.–noon; Grays & Torreys Trail Maintenance, 7/13, 6 a.m.–1 p.m.), Friends of the Dillon Ranger District offers locals and visitors a plethora of no-cost opportunities to get outside this summer, while paying it forward.

Frisco Mountain Goat Kids  The Town of Frisco’s junior summer trail-running series kicks off at 5:45 p.m. on three dates in July (July 2, 16 & 30) with races for Mini Goats (ages 4 and under, 0.5–1 mile), Junior Goats (ages 5–8, 1.5–2 miles), and Senior Goats (ages 9–13, 5K). Finishers are rewarded with a medal and a slice of pizza, followed by games of horseshoes, cornhole, and disc golf at the Frisco Adventure Park. $15. 616 Recreation Way, Frisco.

Silverthorne First Fridays  The Town of Silverthorne shows off its splendid new Performing Arts Center with a monthly party on a glorious lawn fronting the Blue River, featuring food vendors, live music, art shows, theater performances, and other family-friendly events. July 6, Aug 3, Sept 7.

Stretch, Bend & Wiggle  Every Monday morning (9–10:30 a.m. through Aug 26) at Keystone Spa, the resort’s in-house yogi (who is not a bear) leads a poolside yoga class that teaches children how to harness energy that normally has them bouncing off the walls and transform themselves into static little rubber bands. Meet at the Lakeside Village Adventure Center.

Breckenridge Fourth of July Celebration


  • July 5, 12 & 19 summer stargazing Without the red glare of rockets, Fourth of July may have been a dud, skyshow-wise, but Keystone makes up for it on these three (hopefully cloud-free) Friday nights (8:45–9:45 p.m.) with a summer stargazing session hosted by resort Science School resident astronomer Mark Laurin, who shares his knowledge of the stars (and his telescope) with the wide-eyed.
  • June 20–Aug 11 Breckenridge Music Festival In addition to performances by BMF’s flagship (an ensemble of professional musicians and guest conductors from some of the nation’s best symphony orchestras: Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony, July 27; Haydn’s Farewell Symphony, Aug 1; Copland’s Appalachian Spring, Aug 8; Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony, Aug 10), Breck’s signature summer music festival includes chamber performances (e.g., The Story of Lieutenant Kijé, July 20; Bach, Mozart, Sutherland & Friends, July 23) at the Riverwalk Center and Breckenridge Theater, plus champagne brunch chamber concerts held in the great rooms of notable local homes. If you prefer Ring-A-Ding-Ding to Rachmaninoff, don’t miss “Simply Swingin’ with Sinatra & Friends,” a pops orchestra performance with vocalist Steve Lippia channeling the best of Ol’ Blue Eyes (July 25).
  • Aug 9–18  Breckenridge International Festival of Arts  BreckCreate, the town-funded nonprofit that oversees the Breckenridge Arts District, reprises another 10-day celebration of art and music gone wild. Performances and exhibitions include—but definitely are not limited to—Golden Shelter, an installation on the Moonstone Trail by Rotterdam-based environmental artist Giuseppe Licari; BANDALOOP, an immersive performance at the Riverwalk Center by an aerial acrobatic troupe that melds ballet with rock climbing (Aug 16–17, 11 a.m. & 1:30 p.m.); and Tree-O, a performance art installation featuring cellist Russick Smith, violinist Karen Lauffer, and mandolinist Kevin Larkin playing free concerts while perched on platforms in trees along the Illinois Trail (Aug 9, 6 p.m.; Aug 10–11 & Aug 16–17, 1 p.m. & 6 p.m.; Aug 18, 1 p.m.).


20 warren station summer comedy series Funny guy Sam Tallent (a protégé of Louis C.K., Dana Carvey, and Dave Chappelle) takes a break from his Denver Comedy Works homestage to leave you laughing so hard, you’ll be gasping for breath, or is that the altitude? Keystone’s Warren Station. $15–$20, 7–9 p.m.

22–23 Keystone Bacon & Bourbon Festival Keystone Resort hosts its annual bacon celebration, and it’s sure to leave the town smelling great for weeks—and attendees running treadmills and trails for just as long to compensate for the caloric intake. In addition to grazing on a ton and a half of backfat at the Bacon Festival (save room for the bacon-eating contest, June 22, 4:15 p.m.), the Hungry Hog package includes 8 tasting tickets, a pair of beers, samples of Jim Beam bourbon, and a trucker cap souvenir. Don’t like trucker caps? Maybe you’ll be voted Bacon Prince or Princess and wear a crown of backfat on your head. Mmmm(urrp!), bacon. $20–$65; à la carte tasting tickets, $4. 1–6 p.m. River Run Village, Keystone.


1–4 Fourth of July Celebrations  Due to ongoing wildfire and other public safety concerns, the towns of Breckenridge, Dillon, and Frisco at press time all canceled their marquee fireworks shows, but there’s still plenty of non-TNT-related fun to be had around Summit celebrates the big day with America’s Birthday Spectacular, a National Repertory Orchestra/Dillon Theatre Company performance in Rainbow Park (10 a.m.–1:30 p.m.; Frisco’s Fabulous Fourth ( begins with a pancake breakfast (8–11 a.m. at the Old Community Center) and fishing derby (8–10 a.m. at Meadow Creek Park), followed by a summer concert (11 a.m.–noon at Frisco Historic Park Gazebo), and a 12:30 p.m. parade down Main Street. Breckenridge’s downtown parade begins at 9:30 a.m. with the start of the Firecracker 50 MTB race, followed by a fire department–sponsored water fight on Main Street (1–2:30 p.m.), plus an 8 p.m. National Repertory Orchestra patriotic concert at the Riverwalk Center ( Not to be outdone, the Town of Dillon sends off the Fourth by hosting the Air Force Academy Band (you can bet “Stars & Stripes Forever” will be played) at its lovely lakefront amphitheater (7–9 p.m., Pick a place as your Independence Day base camp, and be prepared to have a gunpowder-free blast.

5–6  Art on the Blue River  Summit County Arts Council debuts a new festival featuring the work of local artists, piggybacking on the Town of Silverthorne’s First Friday goings-on outside the Silverthorne Performing Arts Center, including live performances of Mamma Mia! by the Lake Dillon Theatre Company on both nights.

6  Founder’s Day Celebration  Looking for an entertaining summer activity for the whole family? Learn all about the fascinating history of the town of Frisco while the kids sate themselves with gold panning, burro rides, and free ice cream. Adults will appreciate live music at the gazebo, costumed reenactments, and interpretive tours that connect the past, present, and future. 11 a.m.–6 p.m., Frisco Historic Park and Museum. 

6–7, 13–14, Aug 3, 23–24  Copper LIVE  At press time, the lineup had yet to be announced, but the buzz was building around Copper Mountain’s new series of 10 curated alfresco acoustic concerts backdropped against the Tenmile Range, paired with pints of 10 Barrel’s finest in an outdoor brew lounge. 

11  Backstage Bash  The stars of Breck’s Backstage Theatre reprise highlights from the current season at the troupe’s themed gala, auction, and fundraiser. 5:30 p.m., 121 S Ridge St, Breckenridge.

13  Breckenridge Summer Beer Festival  Breck’s Beaver Run Resort hosts more than 40 breweries offering unlimited tastings paired with food and music. Beer me! $10–$75. 

13 Frisco Triathlon  Frisco puts a twist on the conventional triathlon, augmenting a 5K trail run and a 12K off-road cycling race with a 3K leg of stand-up paddleboarding instead of swimming. Frisco Bay Marina.

13  Triple Bypass  The main event of this bucket-list endurance race is the 120-mile trek from Evergreen to Avon, with nearly two miles of elevation gain; as usual it’s sold out but still a blast to spectate. Lesser gods still can choose to participate via the Double Bypass (75 miles over two passes from Georgetown to Avon, $200), while mere mortals challenge themselves with the Single Bypass (35 miles up and over Vail Pass from Copper to Avon, $175). No matter the mileage, a catered meal and cold beer is the magnet drawing iron (and carbon fiber) horses to the finish line.

13–14  Keystone Wine and Jazz Festival  Sip and swirl some 300 wines (some as smooth as Will Donato and festival favorite Dotsero) paired with gourmet bites at a Grand Tasting, 1–5 p.m. in River Run Village. $25–$100.

20–21  Courage Classic  The Triple Bypass was just a warm-up for this festival of pain: a 157-mile endurance race that begins and ends at Copper Mountain and traverses no fewer than three mountain passes. The goal isn’t as much to finish as it is to raise millions and sacrifice for the sake of the bedridden at Children’s Hospital Colorado.

26–28  Breckenridge Food & Wine Festival  Friday’s wine-pairing dinner (7:30 p.m., Sauce on the Maggie, $125) opens the palate for Saturday’s Grand Tasting (2–6 p.m., Main Street Station, $60), followed by a bubbly-fueled Sunday brunch (11 a.m.–1 p.m., Sauce on the Maggie, $50).

27–28  Mac & Cheese Fest  Feast on the creative concoctions of chefs competing at the top of their Kraft, with a side of live music, a magic show, and a sideshow: a mac and cheese–eating contest.

Bandaloop; Outdoors at BIFA, Aug 16-17

Image: Breckcreate


Canine 4K Run  The League for Animals and People of Summit County hosts a four-legged race with all proceeds benefiting the program, which helps low-income residents provide for their furry companions. Support a worthy cause and exercise your dog at the same time. 9:15 a.m., Frisco Historic Park.

3–4 Keystone Bluegrass and Beer Festival  Hop up your inner hillbilly with 40+ craft breweries and 13 different bluegrass bands on three stages, including The Pine Beetles, Oakhurst, and Woodbelly. One-day beer glass pass, $40.

17  Mountain Town Music Festival  Local food (e.g., grilled brown sugar peaches and maple-glazed pork belly), arts and crafts vendors, face painters, and fireworks over Keystone complement the mountain music (Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal, Jared & The Mill, The Brothers Comatose) onstage. River Run Village.

30–Sept 1 Copper Country Copper Mountain celebrates Labor Day weekend hosting a three-day hootenanny headlined by Grammy-winning artists (Rodney Crowell, The Mavericks, Lee Roy Parnell, and Ricky Skaggs), legends (Buffalo Springfield’s Richie Furay), and legends in the making (finalists from the Country Showdown, a national country music talent show with a $100,000 purse).

31  Keystone Oktoberfest  Keystone Resort transitions from summer to fall with a daylong festival of beer (three varieties of New Belgium, served in a $35 commemorative stein), polka dancing (Edelweiss Schuhplattlers), an oompa band (Those Austrian Guys), wurst, and gemütlichkeit. Kick off the event in your best lederhosen with a 5K (Das Bier Burner) at noon. 1–6 p.m. River Run Village.


6–8  Breckenridge Oktoberfest  Don your lederhosen and embrace your inner Fritz (oder Helga) as you forgo the requisite 5K fun run and opt instead to feast on German cuisine, beer, and music on Main Street Breck, gone München for a weekend. Don’t miss: The Brewmaster Dinner, a multicourse beer pairing at Sauce on the Maggie (Sept 6, 6:30–9 p.m. $90).

7–8 Frisco Fall Fest  Creativity melds with cuisine in this Main Street art and food festival, in which chefs from local restaurants sample their signature dishes, local artists showcase their handiwork, and aficionados of craft beer drink deeply knowing that the proceeds from every pint benefit the Friends of the Dillon Ranger District. 11 a.m.–4 p.m.

12–15 Breckenridge Wine Classic Come out to experience more than 100 different food vendors, wineries, breweries, distilleries, and locally made products at this extravagant wine experience. $45–$149.

14  A-Basin Oktoberfest  At its inaugural Oktoberfest bash, the Basin promises to close out its summer with free chairlift rides (11 a.m.–3 p.m.), Austrian folk music by Those Austrian Guys (noon–4 p.m.), and bottomless steins of Paulaner beer paired with wurst and fresh-baked pretzels “as big as your face,” and the grin on it.

19–22  Breckenridge Film Festival Locally produced adventure films star at one of the oldest film festivals in Colorado, which includes 70-plus screenings of dramas, comedies, documentaries, and animated shorts—without the Hollywood or Sundance glare.

31  Great Rubber Duck Race  Adopt one of the 11,000 cute little quackers that set sail on the Blue River at Main Street Station, and claim a prize if yours is among the first 50 to cross the finish line at Riverwalk Center. 10 a.m.


18–20  Still on the Hill: Breckenridge Craft Spirits Festival  More than 30 regional craft distilleries (starring the town’s namesake bourbon purveyor) will be represented in downtown Breck for three days of tastings, pub crawls, cooking demos, and all sorts of spirited mayhem.

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