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Highlight Reel: Our 15 Favorite Keystone Festivals Moments this Summer

Check out the top 15 Favorite Keystone Festivals Moments from the Summer.

Bacon guest uses a sock to hold beers on a snowy day

"Bacon" written in the snow

1. A White Bacon & Bourbon

Keystone Festivals take over in the Summer and Only in the high Rockies can you get a snowy surprise on Summer Solstice weekend! Inclement weather be damned; we still had a blast and you did too! We never thought our 2019 bacon socks would be put to use as hand warmers, but we got to witness the most hardcore bacon and bourbon fans this year who stuck out the freezing temperatures and still enjoyed plenty of swine and spirits!

Makers Mark Makers Wanted Pavilion at the Jim Beam Bourbon Tour

2. Maker’s Wanted!

You can’t have a Bacon & Bourbon Festival without a plethora of both. This year, we brought more bourbon than ever and extended the Jim Beam Bourbon Tour, complete with a whole Maker’s Wanted Pavilion! This bourbon fortress kept us warm with drinks, had a name-carving barrel for guests to make their mark, and made us all re-think our go-to cocktails for the summer with samples of fun Makers Mark cocktails. Will any other bourbons be able to top this tent next year? We can’t wait to find out!

Camp Bacon Ranger Marshall leads kids in a Camp Bacon cheer

3. Camp Bacon For Kids

Bacon Education got a lot sillier this year at Camp Bacon for Kids! We sang bacon campfire songs, ate chocolate dipped bacon, and learned how to become a Camp Bacon Ranger. Little bacon lovers enjoyed camp crafts and bacon crowns in preparation for a lifelong bacon passion. Maybe we’ll even see the first class of Camp Bacon graduates at the Bourbon Tour in 15 years!

Kids compete at the end of the bacon eating contest

4. Kids’ Bacon Eating Queen

This year was our first ever Kids’ Bacon Eating Competition, and 11-year-old Hailey shocked the crowds as she narrowly beat all the boys by being the first to prove her plate and mouth were bacon free! The Kids’ Bacon Eating competition was inspired in part by the new Camp Bacon for Kids and was a crowd favorite. Camp Bacon featured all new, kid-specific bacon education and activities, culminating in a little healthy speed-eating of a third of a pound of bacon on the main stage. Check out the festival footage here!

5. Bustin’ a Move at the Reserve Wine Tasting

Some people take their wine seriously and some people take their wine fun; we prefer a healthy mixture of both and this year’s Reserve Wine Tasting was no different. After a few classy hours of sipping and swirling some of the rarest varietals with Pg6ix playing along, this Wine & Jazz kick off turned into a dance party with participation from the audience, band and staff! Don’t miss this Wine & Jazz kick off to start sampling early and practice your smoothest dance moves before the festival begins.

Ben Fraley prepares to appear on Fox 31 News for a blind wine tasting exercise

6. Fox 31 plays Name! That! Wine!

It’s not every day you get to do a wine tasting on the morning news, but Fox 31 Denver played right along as Ben Fraley guided them through the dos and don’ts of blind wine tasting! Check out the full video here.

7. Wine & Jazz Balloon Crew

We love our festivals, but we also love how much our guests love our festivals! People watching at Keystone Wine & Jazz Festival this year got a little more fun with this whole crew of balloon-wearers. This fun idea helped this group of friends keep up with each other among 400+ wines and nearly 7,000 people! What costumes will your friend group don next year? We can’t wait to see!

8. Art Festival Fun

The River Run Art Festival is our most laid-back event of the summer, with artists from all over the country gathering to show off their most unique and ambitious works. This year we enjoyed strolling around checking out everything from guitar string jewelry to liquor bottle lamps, and got a little bit of a head start on our holiday shopping as well with gifts as unique as the artist themselves!

a kid lounges in an Eno Hammock at Keystone bluegrass and beer festival

9. Loungin’ at Bluegrass & Beer Festival

Eagles Nest Outfitters always joins us for this event, but this year they stepped it up with hammock pods at the festival where you can rest your legs or your eyes, all while taking in the free live music and latest beer pour (or lemonade for the kiddos)! We enjoyed these resting hubs and were inspired to get our hammocks out more this summer!

a brewer pours spiked snow melt into a bluegrass glass

10. The Summer of Spiked Seltzers

Upslope Brewing Company, returning for their 8th year of Keystone Bluegrass & Beer Festival, added a little variety to the game this year with their Spiked Snow Melt! Spiked seltzers were all the rage this summer, and their varieties prove just why. A little lighter than beer on the stomach, seltzer is a great beer alternative during the dog days of summer, whether you’re gluten free or just too full of hops already!

three different brews in keystone bluegrass and beer glasses

11. Locals Appreciate Angry James Brewery, the Keystone Best Brew 2019 Winner

Silverthorne’s newest Brewery, Angry James Brewing, was founded only in 2018 but has quickly proven themselves as a local favorite, as proven at this year’s Keystone Best Brew competition. Did you like the token method of voting we started this year too? Several breweries buckets were overflowing! #keystonebestbrew

12. Bluegrass and Beer Downpour

Sunday of Bluegrass and Beer got off to a memorably soggy start. The rain came down and the river flowed through the village, but that didn’t stop our guests from sipping beers at 1pm sharp! Luckily, the sun shone through after a raging summer storm and the bands forged on, soggy stage and all. Where did you take shelter to wait out the rain? Our event coordinator favored a ticket booth tent, but one guest got creative with a table umbrella to make the beer sampling rounds!

a girl climbs a ladder into a rooftop tent on a sprinter van

13. Elevation Outdoors Raising the Roof

Elevation Outdoors came back with gear giveaways and displays, this year topping off their Sprinter Van with a Roofnest Hard Shell roof top tent. The Elevation Outdoors team gets to try out new gear on the road as they travel to different events throughout the summer, so it’s always fun to see which cool new toys they’re trying out when they visit Keystone. Check out their August Gear Blog to learn more about their toys and life on the road!

14. The Strumbellas Steal the Spotlight

Mountain Town Music Festival is always a magical Colorado evening, and this year was no different with a killer lineup of Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal, Jared & The Mill, The Brothers Comatose, and headliner The Strumbellas! Colorado weather treated us kindly with a sunny Saturday and the crowds felt the music (and New Belgium Peach Kick brews!) With a starry backdrop and stomachs full of Palisade peaches from Conner Orchards, The Strumbellas were the musical highlight of a brimming Colorado summer here in Keystone.

15. The Triple Crown of Stein Hoisting

This year with the introduction of Kinderfest, Oktoberfest hosted its first ever Kids’ Root Beer Stein Hoisting Competition. Lasting more than 4 minutes, the Kids’ Stein Hoisting was as nail bitingly close as the adults! After a full lineup of men hoisting traditional, liter beer steins, crowds were surprised by a last minute addition of a Women’s Stein Hoisting competition as well! There’s something for everyone at Keystone Festivals and Oktoberfest is no exception!