Festival season is still fresh in Colorado Springs and around Colorado. Program your GPS and get out of your box to explore all the state has to offer.
FIBArk, Riverside Park, Salida
Scoot south to Salida's historic downtown, and don't forget your boating gear. FIBArk (First in Boating on the Arkansas), the country's oldest whitewater festival and the town's signature event, is Thursday through Sunday. A full lineup of boating races will ensue, such as downriver, freestyle kayak, raft sprint, stand-up paddleboard and the crazy river dog, where dogs retrieve items from the Arkansas River. Don't miss the famous hooligan race at 5:30 p.m. Saturday. It's open to anything that floats that's not a boat.
For those who prefer to stay grounded, there are mountain bike and foot races, food, arts and crafts, vendors, a beer tent, carnival and plenty of music, including the Devon Allman Project, North Mississippi Allstars, Secondhand Street Band, Midnight Ultra and Maggie Rains and the Crooked Keys. It's free, though most races have an entrance fee. Register online at fibark.com.
Country Jam, Grand Junction
Florida Georgia Line. Miranda Lambert. Brantley Gilbert. Brett Eldredge. Those are a few of the top-notch country musicians headed to Grand Junction Thursday through Sunday for the 27th annual festival. Multiple stages will feature other big names, such as Luke Combs, Walker Hayes and Josh Turner. Camping is available. Single-day tickets are $119, four-day tickets are $175 and four-day tickets with camping are $174 to $215; countryjam.com.
Victor Gem and Mineral Show, Victor
From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday, statewide vendors will sell Colorado-dug minerals, polished gems, hand-crafted jewelry, rough slabs, Cripple Creek and Victor Mining District gold ore specimens, Burtis Blue Cripple Creek turquoise and more. Visitors also can pan for gold and gems at the Victor Lowell Thomas Museum and indulge in grilled burgers. A presentation on the geology of the gold mining district is at 1 p.m. Saturday at Victor Elks Lodge. The show is free; 689-2675, victorcolorado.com.
Strawberry Days Festival, Glenwood Springs
Head to Glenwood Springs Friday through Sunday for arts and crafts, food booths, music, entertainment and, of course, strawberries. Free berries will be available all weekend, but ice cream also will be part of the mix Saturday in Sayre (Strawberry) Park.
Miss Strawberry Days will be crowned between 6 and 7 p.m. Friday, followed by music by Chris Daniels and the Kings with Freddi Gowdy. The festival parade is at 10 a.m. Saturday, followed by the Salida Circus and music by the 101st Army Band, A Band Called Alexis and Cowboy Mouth. Sunday's festivities include more music, family yoga, aerialists, bubble dancing and a pie-eating contest; glenwoodchamber.com/events-programs/strawberry-days- festival.
Food and Wine Classic, Aspen
Foodies and wannabe chefs will find much to savor Friday through Sunday at the famous event, with cooking demonstrations, wine tastings and panel discussions by big names in the business, including celebrity chefs and wine experts. A $1,700 consumer pass allows access to cooking demos, wine tastings and the grand tasting pavilion throughout the three days. An extra $150 will get you a seat at the farewell brunch Sunday at Hotel Jerome; 877-900-9463, foodandwine.com/promo/ events/aspen-classic/classic-main.