Many towns have great film festivals and there are other destinations that celebrate hot air balloons but only Telluride provides a mixture of festivals as unique and memorable. Here is a list of 5 non music festivals happening in Telluride this summer that should not be missed:
May 20-22 Telluride is hosting the 2nd annual Literary Arts Festival
The Festival is a celebration of the joy of reading and the passion for good old fashioned books. It features everything from performance poetry and literary burlesque to a book lovers bash, hike-to readings and even events for kids. The featured author this year is Peter Heller.
June 3-5 Telluride Balloon Festival
This year marks the 33rd anniversary of the Telluride Balloon Festival. Even though it is not the biggest festival, the Balloon Festival is arguably one of the most beautiful events of the summer.
Over a dozen hot air balloons launch from Town Park on the east end of town and sail down the valley landing about one mile out of town. The balloons launch at sunrise (between 6:45 and 7 am) and bystanders often get to help with the launch. On the last night of the festival, the balloon pilots inflate their balloons along Main Street and fire up the propane for the "Glow". This is a beautiful and incredibly unique sight.
August 18-21 Telluride Mushroom Festival
Telluride has hosted the quirky Mushroom Festival for over 30 years. The festival is a celebration of all things fungi. Activities of the weekend include lectures by renowned experts, cooking with mushrooms, and guided hikes that focus on mushroom hunting and identification.
Aug 31-Sep 5 Telluride Film Festival
The prestigious Telluride Film Festival debuted in 1973 and has since been a gathering place for industry professionals and film enthusiasts alike. The festival notoriously keeps its film schedule a secret, but you can bet that many of the films you will see will be at the top of your Oscar picks in the next awards season. In addition to film screenings, the weekend includes guest speakers, discussions, and informal meet and greets. There are also numerous free events in Town Park and guest speakers in Elks Park.
October 14-16 Telluride Horror Festival
The Telluride Horror Festival is a 3-day genre film festival. Screenings of the latest horror, fantasy, and sci-fi films take place throughout the weekend at the Sheridan Opera House and the Nugget Theatre. The festival screens an average of 18 feature films and more than 20 short films.