Top Events and Festivals in Mountain Village
Tucked away in the San Juan Mountains near Telluride, Mountain Village is a small scenic town filled with tons of amenities and attractions. Uncompahgre National Forest’s alpine wilderness surrounds the town, giving visitors and residents stunning views. Towering peaks reaching 14,000 feet high provide challenging ski runs for experienced skiers. Lower areas offer gentler slopes for beginners. Mountain Village is mainly known for being a ski town thanks to its location. Numerous ski-in/ski-out accommodations can be found here, as well as spas and other amenities.
Mountain Village was designed to be a European-style ski resort town. As part of its founding in 1995, town developers built a gondola to transport visitors to and from Telluride. This free gondola transportation system offers a convenient and thrilling way to get around while being 9,545 feet high. At just 3.3 square miles, Mountain Village manages to pack a lot of fun events, activities, and amenities into its small size. The downtown area, known as Mountain Village Center, is home to restaurants, shops, and a few plazas. Visitors and residents can stroll through this pedestrian-friendly town to grab a bite to eat, do some shopping, see a show, and enjoy local events.
Mountain Village Center and neighboring Telluride are the site of several exciting events throughout the year. From music and markets to films and Fourth of July festivities, these are some of the top events to attend in Mountain Village.
Mountain Village celebrates the art of documentary filmmaking with the Mountainfilm Festival each year. This festival takes place on the last weekend of May at various venues in Mountain Village and Telluride, such as Palm Theatre, Sheridan Opera House, and Nugget. Mountainfilm Festival showcases documentaries that focus on the environment, social justice, activism, and similar themes. The goal of the festival is to help audiences learn more about these themes through short and feature-length nonfiction films and inspire them to take action. Each year, Mountainfilm includes speakers, panel participants, film presenters, and other festival guests. Festival passes for ticketed venues typically go on sale starting in December. Mountainfilm also has free viewings open to the public at Telluride’s Base Camp in Town Park.
White tents line Heritage Plaza in mid-summer as Market on the Plaza opens for the season. This community market in Mountain Village gives locals and out-of-town guests a chance to shop for homemade products and locally grown food from regional farms and businesses. Shoppers can head to Heritage Plaza on Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. from mid-June through mid-September to stock up on fresh produce or buy delicious baked goods. Other vendors sell handcrafted jewelry, homemade soaps, hand-carved wooden items, and other goods. Market on the Plaza provides a great way to mingle with visitors and residents, while also supporting local vendors.
Mild summer weather in Mountain Village makes it an ideal place to catch a movie outdoors in the fresh air. This family-friendly event takes place in Reflection Plaza on Saturdays during summer. Movies begin showing at sundown, so guests have time to grab a spot, set up chairs or a blanket, and get comfortable. Movies Under the Stars shows kid-friendly films that provide a night of fun for the whole family. Bring some popcorn or candy and drinks to enjoy during the movie. Since the mountains cool off quickly once the sun sets, visitors should bring jackets and extra blankets to keep warm. Arrive early to get a spot closer to the screen for a better view.
Celebrate Independence Day with a fun-filled day in Mountain Village. The town’s Red, White, and Blues Fourth of July Celebration features live music, face painting, carnival games, and much more. This festive event typically takes place in the afternoon on the 3rd and 4th. Activities are spread out among the town’s plazas. Guests can head to Sunset Plaza for an ice cream social, magic show, balloon art, inflatables, and other kid-friendly activities. Live musical performances also take place at Sunset Plaza. Reflection Plaza features an outdoor movie and mechanical bull, while Village Pond Plaza has a dunk tank, water balloon toss, and mini circus shows. Firework displays may or may not happen, depending on current drought conditions and fire restrictions.
Music lovers can enjoy four days of rock-n-roll at The Ride Festival in Mountain Village and Telluride. This event brings musicians to the area in early July for a few nights of memorable live performances and shows. From year to year, the festival includes a few or more artists doing a handful of shows at historic venues in Telluride and Mountain Village. Gather at The Ride Lounge and Tavern or Sheridan Opera with tickets in hand to catch these shows. The Ride Festival gives rock fans a chance to see their favorite artists perform multiple times. Arrive at the venue early to get close to the stage and enjoy a drink before the show starts.
Artists get a chance to shine at the Mountain Village Fine Art Festival. The art festival takes place in Heritage Plaza, Oak Street Plaza, and Conference Center Plaza in late July each year. Artists from around the country display their finest works of art for visitors to see over the course of three days. Each festival day starts at 10 a.m. and lasts until 5 p.m. or 6 p.m. With free admission and tons of creative artwork on display, the Fine Art Festival is a top event for art admirers in Mountain Village. Some festival artists also have their artwork available for purchase.
There’s no shortage of festivals and other fun events in Mountain Village for any age. Adults can rock out at the Ride Festival or get inspired to work towards change after attending Mountainfilm. Families can spend quality time together while watching movies under the night sky. Visitors and residents of all ages can shop for artwork or local goods and support vendors and artists thanks to Market on the Plaza and the Mountain Village Fine Art Festival. When the Fourth of July rolls around, guests young and old can head to Mountain Village Center for holiday festivities, live music, great food, and more. With so much to do, Mountain Village isn’t just a top ski destination. It’s also a prime summer destination for those looking for excitement.