Town talk: September in Snowmass goes big on sports, sips, sights and sounds

Fall events to feature long-running festivals, athletic competitions

Beatriz Lopes, center right, and Dylan Brown, right, share a moment during the start of the 44th Annual Snowmass Balloon Festival in Snowmass on Friday, Sept. 6, 2019.
Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times

Yes, it’s September. No, that doesn’t mean that Snowmass Village lineup is getting any less busy than it was for most of the summer with sights and sounds (and a few sports and some wine sips) on the town calendar.

“September is going to start with a bang and end strong with a fabulous lineup of events,” Snowmass Tourism director Rose Abello said in a news release announcing this month’s lineup Aug. 30.


The annual Jazz Aspen Snowmass Labor Day Experience is back in full force after last year’s pandemic hiatus with performances from headliners like Kings of Leon, Sheryl Crow, Eric Church and Jimmy Buffett. The festival takes over Town Park Friday-Saturday this week. (See “JAS is back,” page 1.)

Also in the music mix, the town of Snowmass Village keeps the spirit of Thursday night live music alive all month long.

This Thursday, a “Mall Jam” hits the Snowmass Mall from 3-9 p.m. with bands as well as a cornhole tournament, street performers, raffles and prizes. Performers include The Confluence, Rob Drabkin and El Loco Fandango. Live music continues Thursday nights from 4:30-6:30 p.m. through the end of the month on the Snowmass Mall and in Base Village.


The Snowmass Balloon Festival takes off Sept. 10-12 at Town Park. Early birds and night owls alike can take in the sights of colorful hot air balloons Sept. 10, with a launch from 7-9 a.m. and an evening “Night Glow” from 7-9 p.m. Additional morning balloon launches are scheduled for Sept. 11 and 12, also from 7-9 a.m.

Also that weekend, the Axes and Arms 9/11 Climb will occur Sept. 11 from 6-8 p.m.

The public are invited to join first responders on a walk from Town Park to the Top of the Village in honor of lives lost in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The elevation climbed along the walk — 956 feet in total — is the highest number of feet that first responders walked in the first tower of the World Trade Center.


The weekend of Sept. 18-19 will be a busy one on the trails surrounding Snowmass with a half marathon, collegiate bike racing and a women’s mountain bike clinic on the calendar.

The Golden Leaf Half Marathon kicks off the morning of Sept. 18, with seven waves of Aspen-bound racers toeing the start line on Fanny Hill from 8-8:30 a.m.

Once competitors are off and running, expect trail impacts in the morning along Fanny HIll, Dawdler and the Government Trail; race registration is already sold out.

The University of Colorado mountain bike team hosts elite collegiate racing Sept. 18-19 with competition across several disciplines like short track, downhill, cross-country and enduro racing.

The VIDA women’s mountain bike clinic series also comes back to town Sept. 18-19 for another round of a two-day immersive biking clinic for female riders. The September session has sold out, but a waitlist is available at

More bikers come to Snowmass Village the weekend after for cross-country racing hosted by the Colorado High School Cycling League Sept. 25 and 26.

The “Snowmassive Chase” cycling race will feature two days of competition. Races begin and end on Fanny Hill at the Snowmass Mall; expect impacts on Fanny Hill, the Discovery trail, Sleigh Ride, the Ditch Trail, Connector, Sam’s Knob Road and Village Bound between 7 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. for racing and course pre-riding. Trails also will be impacted Sept. 24 from 2-5:30 p.m. for course pre-riding.


The Snowmass Wine Festival returns for the usual “Grand Tasting” on Sept. 18, plus a new “Evening of Food & Wine” event and raffle the night before Sept. 17.

The Sept. 17 event, featuring appetizers, drinks and dessert, takes place from 6-8:30 p.m. at The Collective in Base Village. Guests will experience live entertainment and can participate in a raffle and silent auction. Tickets are $120.

The Sept. 18 Grand Tasting takes place from 1:30-5 p.m. in Snowmass Town Park. Nearly three dozen vintners and a handful of distilleries are slated to attend; food also will be available from more than 15 vendors, many of them local restaurants. Tickets are $105 online or $115 at the door.

Both events benefit the Snowmass Village Rotary Club’s grant-writing and scholarship initiatives for local, national and international recipients. For more information, visit


An ease into fall also marks the wind down of some summer events as the town starts to enter the offseason.

Local comics Beth Brandon and Miller Ford close out the Snowmass Live comedy series for two sold-out shows Wednesday at The Collective.

Outdoor King Yoga classes on weekend mornings in Base Village run through the end of the month. Bookings for those classes as well as indoor sessions at the studio in East One Snowmass are open at

Daily guided treks led by Aspen Center for Environmental Studies naturalists continue through Monday, then shift to weekends only through Sept. 26. Tours depart from the Snowmass Mall at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

And operations at Elk Camp, including the gondola and chairlift, shift to weekend operations after Labor Day. Monday is the last day of daily operations; Elk Camp remains open Fridays through Sundays until Oct. 3.


See more