Steamboat takes the protection of its beloved Yampa River seriously, which is why you’ll see “Respect the Yampa” bumper stickers plastered all over town. Come kick off the unofficial start to the summer season with Friends of the Yampa’s annual signature event at the Yampa River Festival. You’ll find kayaks, paddleboards, pack rafts, surf boards, tubes and full-sized rafts all vying for the fastest and most “styled” route down the river! Saturday is an especially fun day at “Charlie’s Hole” (or the “C-Hole” as the locals call it) right in front of the library on the water. A collective of vendors, swimsuits, all-craft races, surf competitions and a beer garden will all be present to make sure everyone has a wet and wild time.
While it’s never too hard to find a whole team of mustangs running around the horse country of Steamboat, you might be surprised to find a group of nearly 500 Mustang cars flying through the streets of our rural community. Traditionally held over Father’s Day Weekend, the annual Rocky Mountain Mustang Roundup plays host to hundreds of Mustang owners from all over the Rocky Mountain region. You won’t have to look far to see one (or dozens) of these iconic cars and the event has several scheduled outings where all the Mustangs congregate at once. You’ll find a miles-long stream of the vehicles touring the countryside during their “Scenic Mountain Tour,” the “Show n’ Shine” lineup of Mustangs with their hoods raised lining the streets of downtown Lincoln Street, and a full day of timed auto-cross to determine the 200 speediest steeds.
The growing season in the High Rockies is short, but when the produce gets going, IT’S GOOD! Held on the corner of 7th and Yampa Street, you’ll find vendor tents sprawling full of fruits, veggies, honey, fresh bread, pies, local meat, jams and other savory items at the Steamboat Farmers Market. The non-food vendor tents feature home goods and local artists’ work, ranging from apparel, bags, blown glass, sculptures, ceramics, jewelry and photography. If you’re more of a farmers market browser, enjoy some fresh food from one of the food trucks or mobile bakeries on-site while you listen to live acoustic music from a plethora of local musicians. The market runs from 9am – 3pm every Saturday and parking can be found across the bridge on 5th Street at the Rodeo Grounds.
Steamboat is known for hosting a lot of unique events, but none exemplify the history, tradition and style of this western town quite like Steamboat’s Pro Rodeo Series. The rodeo here is so popular, in fact, that you can find a full-scale pro rodeo every Friday and Saturday night of the summer. Every rodeo includes the premier events of bull riding, saddle bronc riding, barrel racing, tie-down roping, steer wrestling, bareback riding, and calf and ram scrambles for the kids. Cheer on your favorite professional cowboy or cowgirl with a beer and brat in-hand.
Rodeos start at 7:30pm, except for the special 4th of July Rodeo, which begins at 6:30pm. It is highly suggested that you get there early to claim a good seat in the covered Grandstands. For more information on schedules and to pre-purchase tickets, check out the Steamboat Pro Rodeo website
A relatively new summer event in Steamboat, the Reds Whites & Brews festival on downtown Yampa Street is a great way to gear up for the upcoming 4th of July festivities. Featuring beer and wine tasting from over 30 craft breweries and wineries from around the country, you’re bound to find something that suits your taste. Pair your beverage with a bite from one of the local and regional food vendors on-site and move to the live Jazz-Blues-R&B musical mix of the Hazel Miller Band.
Steamboat may be located off the beaten path, but that doesn’t stop it from hosting some of the best and biggest names in the music biz. Better still, Steamboat has successfully found a way to keep these concerts entirely free all summer long. Sales from food and beverage purchases, along with select fundraisers throughout the year, help to aid the town in putting on one of the best Free Concert Series anywhere. A historical lineup of favorites such as Sam Bush, Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers, Big Head Todd & The Monsters, The Infamous Stringdusters, The Wood Brothers, Ziggy Marley & more, this year’s musical selection is sure to impress.
All concerts are held on a full-sized stage in front of historical Howelsen Hill and the music grounds open at 5:30pm. Leave the pets, carry-in food and beverages, and tobacco products at home. To find a concert and/or date that suits you best, follow the link below.
There’s traditionally nothing more patriotic than celebrating the birth of America in a western town, and Steamboat is no exception. In its 116th year, Steamboat’s Cowboy Roundup Days will be filled with red, white and blue throughout four days of holiday events. Check out the locals’ scene at the annual Block Party, watch kids soar down the giant ski jump on their “summer skis,” cheer on one of the many downtown races, grab a bite or support one of the local vendors, hit up the specially-added Wednesday and Thursday night rodeos (in addition to the Friday and Saturday night shows) and don’t miss one of the best downtown parades and fireworks shows in the US. You’ll find horses, floats, vintage cars, kids, cowboys, candy, music, concerts, local clubs and tons of fun for the family all weekend long.
Each summer, the lush greens, browns and golds of the Valley get an explosion of color when the annual Hot Air Balloon Rodeo comes to town. It’s an early rise, but more-than worth it to catch the sunrise filling of the balloons along Bald Eagle Lake at 6am both Saturday and Sunday mornings. The vibrant balloon reflections against the morning glow make for photos that even the most serious of Instagrammers would envy. The rodeo portion of the show begins once the balloons take off and the pilots compete to make the smoothest “basket dips” in the lake as possible, among other flight competitions until 9:30am.
In addition to the morning festivities, don’t miss the Saturday night balloon glow at the base of the mountain from 8pm – 9pm. A handful of the biggest and brightest balloons will line the foot of the slopes, inflate to full capacity, and flare their torches simultaneously to create a vividly colorful setting against the dark evening sky.
Held the same weekend as the Balloon Rodeo each year, Steamboat’s Art in the Park is another annual favorite that highlights the overflowing creativity flooding our grand valley. The festival features 150 artists, food and drink vendors, live music and a children’s art area. All of the artists go through a qualification process prior to the event, so you’re sure to find the most impressive work around. The event is held from 9am – 5pm on Saturday and 9am – 4pm on Sunday.
Don’t miss Steamboat’s “western” take on the popular Oktoberfest celebrations traditionally happening all across globe in September and October. With OktoberWest festivities beginning on Friday night, join the official Beer Stroll in downtown Steamboat and sample beers from over 20 participating restaurants and breweries. Then keep the tasting fun rolling on Saturday at the main event on the base of the mountain, where you’ll find a large beer garden and the annual beef cook-off. You’ll have over 40 Rocky Mountain Western Brewers to choose from while you sample and vote on your favorite Steamboat restaurant’s beef dish.The Friday beer stroll will be held from 4pm – 8pm downtown, and the Saturday events will take place from 2pm – 6pm.