There are many tell tale signs that fall has arrived in Telluride—the crispness in the air, the aspens leaves starting their transformation into fiery orange and yellow hues and of course, the Blues and Brews Festival. Now in its 23rd year, the Blues and Brews has grown from a one day event into a 3 day-festival. Like most festivals there is a Main Stage, but at Blues & Brews, there’s so much more! With multiple stages, yoga sessions, kids area, late night shows, TONS of beer, and a multitude of incredible musicians, it is an action-packed weekend.
Here are some valuable tips to fully enjoy the 23rd Annual Blues and Brews Festival:
After all, the festival is called Blues & Brews so there are 56 microbreweries and 170 styles of craft beer at the Grand Tasting on Saturday, Sept. 17. In addition to the Grand Tasting, festival goers can enjoy eight different styles of beer from Sierra Nevada including the coveted Back Porch Lager! Back Porch Lager was created by the Blues & Brews staff at a ‘one-of-a-kind’ Beer Camp weekend in Chico, CA. This lager brewed specially for Blues & Brews and is not available anywhere outside the Festival. In addition, festival goers can choose between six premium craft beers and one hard cider from the ‘House of Brews’. The House of Brews featured five additional breweries which will be poured throughtout the weekend – Big B’s Hard Cider,Bonfire Brewing, Durango Brewing Co, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co, Ska Brewing and Telluride Brewing Co.
The Late Night Scene
Some of the best shows you’ll see all weekend are after dark at Telluride’s intimate concert venues: The Blues Stage (Town Park Pavilion), The Moon at O’Bannon’s, Sheridan Opera House, the Elks Lodge and Arroyo Wine Bar & Gallery. At the Juke Joints, bands play late and get rowdy. Friday and Saturday Juke Joint passes allow access to all venues for the night purchase but get there early, all venues are first-come, first served. Doors open at 9:45 p.m. each night.
Blues for Breakfast
Start your mornings off proper with blues music, a hearty breakfast and drinks at Blues for Breakfast! Kicking off at 9:00 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday of the Festival weekend, Blues for Breakfast offers a pleasant warm-up to a dynamic day and late night full of music. Join us at the Telluride’s intimate Elks Lodge (located at 472 West Pacific Avenue), for a bite to eat as the first official chords of the day are struck. Saturday’s breakfast hosts The Telluride Blues Challenge Finals and Sunday’s hosts The Telluride Blues Challenge Finals Runner-Up.
Find your Namaste
Stretch out those muscles from all the dancing and bliss out during Yoga Sessions presented by Telluride Yoga Festival. This new addition offers festival goers the opportunity to unplug from the ordinary and discover the extraordinary from within. All skill/ability levels welcome. These free yoga sessions will be held in Elks Park on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 17 & 18, 10-11 a.m.
Kids of all ages can enjoy various activities in the Rainbow Kids Area during the festival weekend with the help from Living Folklore. Living Folklore features children’s entertainment, workshops, and two parades specifically geared for the kids (or the kid at heart) – one on Saturday and one on Sunday. So, bring your kids to the Rainbow Kids Area located in the back of the festival grounds to join the wild and wacky Living Folklore Clowns, Giggly Sprout and Gumbo Wobbly, along with activities like a bungee trampoline, climbing wall, inflatable bounce games, face painting, a talent show, and much more!
If you need a break from the music and all the delicious beer, there’s a handful of beautiful hikes starting directly from downtown Telluride to explore: Bear Creek Trail is less than one block from Town Park (S. Pine Street) and is a perfect beginner trail up to a waterfall. If you need a more challenging hike, check out the Jud Wiebe Trail (N. Aspen Street) that takes you to a gorgeous overlook of the entire town.
Ride the Gondola
The only FREE transportation of its kind in the country, Telluride’s Gondola is a must-do while visiting. Get out up top (San Sophia) to hike around or ride the Gondola down into Mountain Village to check out the local bars, shops and restaurants. The Gondola will be open until midnight on Thursday, until 2:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday and until 1:00 a.m. on Sunday during the festival.
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