From A (athletic) to Z (zany), Ouray, Colorado, hosts a number of festivals and events throughout the year that offer the perfect excuse to plan trip to the “Switzerland of America.” Here is a look at what is on Ouray’s fun-filled calendar this year.
TASTE OF OURAY, June 8, 2011: What better way to experience the true flavor of Ouray than with the Taste of Ouray celebration, held every June. Including a tantalizing and delicious sampling of local cuisine, the festival also features music and beverages. The Taste of Ouray is held at the Ouray Community Center, 5:00pm - 8:00pm. This year also features a town "Cupcake War" that embraces the theme of "Spring Fling" and a culinary cooking challenge.
FOURTH OF JULY, July 4, 2011: One of the most cherished traditions of Ouray’s old fashioned Fourth of July celebration is the water fights on Main Street that grew out of the old mining days of Ouray in the late 1800s. In addition to the water fights, other festivities include: the Firefighters Dance; horse races; a pancake breakfast; “Ourayce” (a 10K walk-run); a patriotic parade; kids games; barbeque; zip line rides; and a Jeep flare parade, followed by fireworks over the city.
51ST ANNUAL ARTIST’S ALPINE HOLIDAY, July 29 – August 6, 2011: This is the 51st anniversary for this celebration that features a number of outstanding events during the nine-day gala. Enjoy the exhibition of the Ouray County Arts Association (OCAA) Permanent collection at the Ridgway Library and other gallery venues, a judge’s workshop, a “Paint-Out” event on Main Street Ouray, Artist’ Demonstrations, Studio/Gallery Tours, and Children’s workshops. Visit http://www.ourayarts.org/aah.html for more information.
GRILLIN’ & CHILLIN’ MUSIC AND BREW FEST, August 27, 2011: Head over to Fellin Park in Ouray for the Annual Grillin’ & Chillin’ Music and Brew Fest. Enjoy live music, tasty BBQ, cold microbrews from breweries on Colorado’s western slope. Bring your lawn chairs, blankets, kids, dogs (on leashes please) and even your mother-in-law and spend an afternoon hanging out, tasting craft beers, and chillin'.
IMOGENE PASS RUN, September 10, 2011: For 38 years, athletes have challenged themselves to a grueling, 17-mile race from Ouray over 13,114-foot Imogene Pass to Telluride. This is one of the premiere mountain races in the country that has grown to include thousands of participants each year. Racers must be 15 years or older, and participants must pre-register to participate. Registration opens on June 1 and fills up fast. Visit http://www.imogenerun.com to learn more and sign up.
OURAY OKTOBERFEST, October 8, 2011: Cold beers, hot brats and a great German band. It is all on tap October 8 when Ouray plays host to the annual Ouray Oktoberfest celebration, which kicks off at 6 p.m. at the Ouray Community Center. The festivities also include the Annual Jeep Raffle Drawing, dancing, door prizes and the popular Museum Quilt Raffle.
OURAY ICE FESTIVAL, January 2012, : Each January, world-class athletes converge on Ouray for the Ouray Ice Festival. The festival is held at the Ouray Ice Park, the world’s first park dedicated exclusively to ice climbing. The Ouray Ice Festival is arguably the ice climbing community’s favorite gathering of top competitors, spectators and climbing gear manufacturers. It includes professional competitions, ice climbing clinics, slide shows, an outdoor bazaar and gear demos and a silent auction.