Popular event returns to Buena Vista

Each season the Ark Valley brings in an array of tourists, all with a unique vacation itinerary in mind. From river sports, climbing, hiking and biking to fishing, off-roading and more, there is something offered for everyone within this fourteener-filled area. For its second year, 14er Fest highlights the town of Buena Vista Sept. 28-30 with events happening on and off the mountain trails.

An idea originally sparked by a group of East Main business owners, 14er Fest is presented by The Trailhead and the Colorado Off Road Enterprise as a way to bring together all types of trail users in a fun, adventure-seeking atmosphere while enjoying the beauty of the fall season. The idea behind such an all-encompassing weekend is to inspire like-minded festival-goers to become involved in keeping trails open and maintained and to support the majestic environment that surrounds BV.

Event coordinator Susan Wood, owner of Aggrandize LLC, said it’s important for Buena Vista to have a festival celebrating fall in the Rocky Mountains.

“14er Fest is about meeting other trail enthusiasts, having fun in the mountains, trying a new trail activity for the first time and enjoying the in-town festivities with new and old friends,” she said. “We hope it brings visitors to the area (repeatedly), boosts revenue for businesses during the end of September and provides publicity for Buena Vista.

“This event is also important for bringing together both motorized and non-motorized trail users – all in the spirit of enjoying trails together and working together to keep more trails open. This event is a first of its kind in that regard.”

Even though it is only the second year, there are quite a few new events scheduled, as well as many new sponsors and vendors. Some top outdoor industry brands are making an appearance at the expanded “vendor village,” which will be a whole portion of East Main Street blocked off for live music, street dancing, vendors, offload vehicles and demos. Local brewery Eddyline has even designed a specialty Session IPA beer exclusively for the event.

The schedule of events includes educational classes about high alpine lakes, fly fishing, planning your trail route and how to prepare for long-distance runs at high altitudes. There are a variety of guided and unguided groups meeting for hiking, off-roading and fishing, as well as a 5-K run and Sleeping Indian Hill Climb half-marathon. For a complete schedule and registration requirement information, visit 14erfest.org. The vendor village and music are free for anyone to attend.

“I am stoked for meeting new people, hanging out in the vendor area and hearing about stories from all the trail outings and classes during the event!” Wood said. “I’m also super excited for the live music – some amazing bluegrass bands are coming – and to finally have a Session IPA, the special 14er Fest brew from Eddyline.”

For the 14er Fest schedule of events, see our event calendar.