Featured photo for New West Fest

New West Fest

With scarlet sunlight dipping below the mountains well before 8:00 p.m. and college students unloading truckloads of furniture into their new abodes in preparation for the start of the new schoolyear, we are reminded that summer is winding down. What better way, then, to mark the unofficial end of college kids’ days-of-freedom-in-the-sun with a grand party in Old Town? New West Fest—in its 18th year—is actually a celebration of the founding of Fort Collins in 1864, but can be characterized as a huge festival of music, food, and fun.

Over 50—50!—music acts performed on five different stages throughout the weekend, topped in popularity by the famous B-52s from Athens, Georgia. Kids, students of Colorado State University, and elders alike danced in the pedestrian streets as the bands played; diners enjoyed delectable meals al fresco; brewery enthusiasts enjoyed the beer gardens; and shoppers amused themselves by checking out all of the arts and craft booths. I rode my bike down there—avoiding parking hassels—though not spending nearly as much time as I would have liked to enjoy the acts.

Ah well, there is always next year as Fort Collins holds this unique tradition on an annual basis.

Old Town was as busy as ever with patrons dining al fresco.
Many street vendors were selling interesting arts and crafts during the festival.
A Dixieland jazz band was performing in the more family-oriented Library Park.
The performance at the Oak Plaza Stage featured hip hop when I passed on by...
The B-52s from Athens, Georgia performed here at the Mountain Ave. Stage on Saturday night.
The Old Town Stage at the New West Fest featured some 1950s rock when I got there.