» Sept. 18-20

ColorFest weekend rings in the fall season accompanied by a blaze of gold and red hues, complemented by the bright colors of hot air balloons.

ColorFest weekend also celebrates the harvest season with the Passport to Pagosa Wine and Food Festival and the Pagosa Springs Music and Microbrews Festival paying tribute to numerous local and regional foods, microbreweries and music.

Add the crisp and glorious Colorado autumn weather, and you have a weekend of fun, friends and unparalleled beauty.

On Friday, Sept. 18, the popular “Passport to Pagosa: Wine and Food Festival” fills the tent in Town Park. Paired with the delicious wines, chosen for this event, is the scrumptious food provided by many of Pagosa’s superb restaurants, caterers and specialty stores. This event is certainly an epicurean delight and often sold out. Tickets become available at the end of July.

The Music and Microbrew Festival highlights some of the best breweries in Southwest Colorado and Northern New Mexico with many of the breweries bringing in specialty quaffs just for the season. On Saturday, Sept. 19, the late afternoon kicks off with multiple live music performances, delicious beverages, food vendors and activities for the children. The Saturday evening Balloon Glow will be held in the Town Park athletic field where the Microbrew Festival is held. Music and Microbrews attendees will be able to continue their party while watching the silhouettes of glowing balloons adjacent to the festival as the evening grows dark.

Several nonprofit agencies also host noteworthy events during this weekend. Rise Above Violence will host their annual 5K ColorFest Color Run to begin at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 19, at Town Park. Get doused with color as you walk or run the designated trail in the downtown area where volunteers will welcome you with every color of the rainbow and you can view the hot air balloons as you navigate the course. Sign up for the festivities at www.riseaboveviolence.org.

The Geothermal Greenhouse Partnership hosts Breakfast with Balloons at its site in Centennial Park along the San Juan River directly across from the balloon launch site on Saturday, Sept. 19. Enjoy a gourmet breakfast and mimosas in the comfort of your ringside seat to the Saturday balloon launch. Start the morning off with live music, the morning balloon mass ascension and the splash and dash antics of the balloon pilots. Tickets are available at www.pagosagreen.org.

Saturday, Sept. 19 will also be the last day to purchase tickets for the Pagosa Springs Adventure Raffle. A “winner takes all” package of a Polaris RZR, trailer to transport the RZR, inflatable kayak, shopping spree, and mountain bike are just some of the items being raffled. The drawing will take place at the Microbrew Festival at 7 p.m. under the tent in Town Park. Tickets for the Adventure Raffle can be purchased at www.pagosachamber.com beginning in June. This outdoor package celebrates all the activities that abound in and around Pagosa Springs. 

You will enjoy the magic of hot air balloons as they ascend around 8 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday mornings. A mass ascension on Saturday, Sept. 19, will take place in the downtown area with the beautiful San Juan River in the foreground and the San Juan Mountains as a backdrop. The west side of town will host the balloon ascension on Sunday morning, Sept. 20, with the majority of the balloons ascending from the Pagosa’s Lakes area near the PLPOA Recreation Center offering fabulous photographic opportunities. All balloon-related activities are dependent upon the weather.

For more information about ColorFest, call the Chamber of Commerce at (970) 264-2360 or purchase tickets at www.pagosachamber.com. Balloon pilots interested in flying can download the pilot application at www.pagosachamber.com/colorfest/.