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Estes Park Festivals & Events

Estes Park, Colorado

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Annual Rooftop Rodeo

Every July, Estes Park hosts "Rooftop Rodeo" (named for being the highest (altitude) rodeo). The small arena provides a very close-up feel to every event (almost as if you're right out there with the cowhands!). The rodeo includes a parade & traditional PRCA sanctioned events such as: Saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, tie down roping, bareback bronc riding, barrel racing & bull riding. Of course, the rodeo clowns provide great entertainment as well. Another favorite event is the "mutton bustin." For this event, kids from the audience don protective headwear then saddle a sheep, clinging for dear life. The goal is to be the one that holds on the longest, with prizes awarded. (This event caught me totally off guard! I don't think I've laughed that hard in all my adult years!)


Long's Peak Scottish Irish Festival

Estes Park hosts this incredible annual festival the week following Labor day. For these 5 days, the town of Estes Park transforms into a highland oasis. Even if you don't attend the festivities, you'll still see folks from all over the world... dressed "to the kilt" around town. This year represents the 32nd year that Estes Park has hosted this event. Events include: Parades, Old fashioned Olympic "highland games," traditional dance competitions, ballad & harp competitions, jousting (yes - knights in full armor on horseback!), pipe & band competitions, the dogs of the British Isles, various feasts, scotch tasting events, Guinness, and of course the breathtaking nightly "tattoo" (formal closing ceremony for the day). Streamside on Fall River is a proud sponsor of the Long's Peak Scottish Festival.

I can't even begin to describe the depth of this experience, but it will be one that I remember for a very long time. Try to picture hundreds of bag pipe & drum musicians (fully dressed in their family plaids), in columns marching slowly toward you as they play "Amazing Grace" and "Scotland the Brave." Very eerie, thrilling and almost a little scary. With every step as they approach, the music gets louder and the thrum in your chest stronger. This day, Estes was in the clouds, so it made it seem even more authentic for a Highland's festival. Simply incredible. Courtesy of T. Volan

Part of the highland games includes jousting tournaments. These aren't the choreographed jousting events that you commonly see at Shakespearean festivals. Instead, these are actual tournaments, with cash prizes to the winners. Courtesy of T. Volan

Traditional dances & competitions are also part of the festivities. Courtesy of T. Volan

This photo's a little dark to see easily, but it is of yet another part of the Long's Peak highland festival which highlights demonstrations of cannons and catapults set up along Lake Estes. In the same area, there are also other historical military displays. Periodically throughout the day, troops in historical military garb provide firing demonstrations including the catapult which hurls bowling balls at an inflatable sea monster (Essie) target in the lake.

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1260 Fall River Rd. (Hwy. 34) | PO Box 2930 | Estes Park, Colorado 80517 | (970) 586-6464 | (800) 321-3303
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