Here's a look at some of our favorite festivals happening around Colorado in the next few days, including the Telluride Jazz Festival, Leadville Boom Days and Olathe Sweet Corn Festival:
BEAT THE HEAT BBQ, BREWS & CHILI FESTIVAL, ALAMOSA
This celebration in Alamosa’s Cole Park on Friday, Aug. 3, and Saturday, Aug. 4, has a bit of everything: music, games, barbecue, chili and beer. The festival kicks off with bluegrass band Oakhurst, features the Hogwaller Mud Run (“lets you act like a pig so you can eat like one!”) and offers rides on the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad. The main event is a professional barbecue cooking competition fielded by more than 40 teams. Don’t miss the Del Mar Carpet One Fourth Annual Hot Pepper Chow Down, a contest for the brave of gullet, on Saturday. Info: slvbeattheheat.com
LEADVILLE BOOM DAYS
Head to the thin air of this historic mining town above 10,000 feet for a festival celebrating the town’s mining roots on Saturday, Aug. 4, and Sunday, Aug. 5. The festival kicks off both days with a pancake, sausage and egg breakfast on the Lake County courthouse lawn ($8). There will be burro races, arts & crafts and food vendors. Saturday’s feature is a parade with the theme “Inter-Laken or Bust” at 10 a.m. Fun options for the kids include mining events Saturday at the Elks Lodge and a pie-eating contest, egg toss, balloon toss and Boardwalk race on Sunday. Info: Leadvilleboomdays.org
OLATHE SWEET CORN FESTIVAL
Colorado corn lovers, this is the festival for you. Admission to the Montrose County event includes corn-eating contests, family fun and games, and all the signature Olathe Sweet Corn you can eat. Country star Eric Paslay, whose five No. 1 hits include “Friday Night,” is the main entertainment with an 8 p.m. concert. The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m Saturday in Olathe Town Park. Tickets include concerts, two beverages, all-you-can-eat corn: $18 for 12 and up; $8 for 11 and under; free for 2 and under; $50 family pack for two adults, two children; brownpaper tickets.com/event/3284146. All proceeds go to Olathe-area nonprofits.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN IRISH GATHERING, FORT COLLINS
Now in its 10th year, this rain-or-shine, family-friendly festival features a celebration of Irish culture and history with unique exhibits, music, food, sports and special guests. Enjoy three days of Irish music by bands including The Young Dubliners, The Prodigals, House of Hamill and Eric Rigler & Dirk Freymuth. Blessed with red hair? Admission is half price ($6) on Sunday for those with red tresses. “Red Hair Day” features special songs for the redheaded attendees. The festival benefits the Rocky Mountain Irish Wolfhound Association. Tickets are $8 for Friday, $12 for Saturday and $12 for Sunday. Info: Rockymountainirishgathering.com
TELLURIDE JAZZ FESTIVAL
Set for Friday, Aug. 3, through Sunday, Aug. 5, this fest features world-class jazz, funk, soul, folk and gospel performances in Telluride Town Park in the picturesque mountain town of Telluride. Now in its 42nd year, the Telluride Society for Jazz’s extensive lineup includes Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers; Irma Thomas, Soul Queen of New Orleans; and Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe. “Take off your shoes, dance in the grass all day, stay up late at the intimate jazz clubs, sip a glass of wine and most importantly, unwind and enjoy your weekend,” says festival director Steve Gumble. Camping available. Info and tickets (one-day passes starting at $60): Telluridejazz.org. Kids 11 and under are free when accompanied by an adult.