Year-round, Colorado is filled with festivals, events, and other outdoor activities that bring people from across the nation to The Centennial State. February is frigid in Colorado. It often brings with it bitter temperatures, cold winds, and sometimes feet of snow –, especially in the mountains. Despite the cold, there are some really amazing and exciting festivals across the state that celebrate winter at its finest.
Let's look at some of the most popular February winter festivals across the state, what you can expect from each one, and how to find our more.
February can be brutal for Colorado. You never know what the weather will bring, especially in the Rocky Mountains.
From ice and snow to biting cold—bundle up and be prepared. Make sure your car is equipped with snow tires or chains. Ensure you're layered up. Spend your time indoors when you can to warm up. Imbibe in hot chocolate and other piping beverages where you can.
If the weather looks too dicey, don't venture out if you can. It's better to be safe than be stuck on the mountain during February, no matter how excited you are for winter festivals throughout the state.
Winter Carnival: Feb. 1 & 2, 2020
The annual Grand Lake Winter Carnival features teapot curling on the lake, a kids' snowman-building contest, snow golf, human bowling, and other wacky and entertaining events in "the most authentic small town in America." You can also look forward to snow sculpting and a sled pull. Grand Lake brings in a lot of tourists during winter and is a hidden gem among Denverites venturing to the festival.
Steamboat Winter Carnival: Feb. 5 – 9, 2020
The Steamboat Springs Winter Carnival is the oldest continuous such event west of the Mississippi, now celebrating more than 100 years. Typical community events include ski races for kids and adults, a community tubing party, ski jumping demonstration, on-snow mountain biking, horses pulling kids on skis along Main Street, and skiers jumping through fiery hoops.
Ski Spree & Taste of Sunlight: Feb. 8, 2020
Weekend Ski Spree highlights usually include ski and snowboarding contests at Sunlight Mountain Resort, a highly competitive chili cook-off, a treasure hunt, live music, and a fireworks show at the historic Hotel Colorado in downtown Glenwood Springs. Glenwood Springs is surrounded by small towns, mountains, and other areas to explore. If you're in the area, stay a few days and take part in everything else you can do with your family.
Ice Climbing Festival: Feb. 8, 2020
The Lake City Ice Climbing Festival is a February tradition at Lake City Ice Park. Ice climbers venture to Lake City throughout winter and from across the U.S. to take part in some of the most treacherous and challenging climbing. While there's smaller challenges for those learning the ins and outs of ice climbing, you'll be astounded at the beauty and athleticism required to climb the man-made and naturally-occurring ice. This event is free as is climbing ice – so give it a try if you dare.
Cripple Creek Ice Festival: Feb. 8 – 16, 2020
Amazing ice sculptures line the streets of historic downtown during the Cripple Creek Ice Festival, and the weekends' festivities include ice slides and interactive sculptures just for kids, as well as an ice bar with frosty beverages for adults. Cripple Creek is a gorgeous area. This year's theme for the festival is "Carver's Choice." You can even visit the Ice & Art Fest at the Heritage Center to learn more about local artists and the area.
Mardi Gras Celebration & Fireworks: Feb. 25, 2020
Snowmass celebrates more than three decades of Fat Tuesday revelry with an incredibly festive Mardi Gras bash in the mountains. The day kicks off with the Mother of All Ascensions uphill race, followed by a bead toss, street performers, and an upbeat parade on the Snowmass Mall, plus free live music and evening fireworks.
Mardi Gras Party feat. The River Run Gumbo Cook-Off: Feb. 25, 2020
Wear your purple, gold and green beads to sample gumbo and beignets on Mardi Gras at Keystone Resort's River Run Village. Cast your vote for a People's Choice award and listen to live music. This Mardi Gras party is family-friendly. The River Run Gumbo Cook-Off is the perfect way to warm up while walking around and celebrating Mardi Gras.