The solitude, unmatched beauty and adrenaline-inducing activities of the Arkansas Valley draw people from around the globe to the quaint Colorado town of Salida.

If these weren’t reasons enough to visit, the unique town’s burgeoning art community is. Salida is full of sculptors, painters, photographers, jewelers, woodworkers, and glass workers who draw inspiration from the surrounding landscape to create one-of-a-kind pieces of art.

From June 26–28, local artists and artisans will come together to host the 23rd Salida Art Walk, a festival that showcases the vibrant scene that is alive and growing in the Sawatch mountains.

During the three-day extravaganza, which is organized by Salida artists William Boddy and Jimmy Sellars, more than 100 venues will overflow with new masterpieces and demonstrations, so you can see the artists in action. Though the galleries are the heart of Art Walk, the excitement of the event will stretch well beyond their walls. “We want to turn the whole town into a creative hub for art lovers, makers of art, and collectors,” explains Sellars.

In this vein, every nook and cranny of town—which boasts the Colorado’s largest historic district and received the first Creative District Designation in the state—will be teeming with activities sure to please the whole family. Our recommendation? Combine it with a peak climb or a cruise on the river and make a weekend of it.

A Guide:

Dates & Times: Thursday, June 25: 5 to 9 p.m.; Friday, June 26: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, June 27: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, June 28: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission: FREE
Location: Centrally located in downtown Salida near restaurants, boutiques, and galleries; just 2.5 hours from Denver, 2 hours from Colorado Springs


Sneak Peak: This kick-off event will showcase commercial galleries and private studios in the Salida Creative District. Participants will enjoy a beautiful summer evening in one of Colorado’s most picturesque historic towns, while viewing the incredible artwork created by some of Colorado’s top artists—all while enjoying beverages, nibbles, and music. June 25; 5 to 9 p.m.

Endless Local Entertainment: Enjoy concerts, dance numbers, spoken word and theatrical performances on three stages placed strategically downtown. Keep an eye out for impromptu acts from the Salida Circus and the infamous Mud People who’ll be roaming the streets. Ongoing

The Mini-Masterpiece Auction: Watch the action heat up as patrons try to outbid each other or take part in this exciting event yourself and bring home a part of the event by bidding on any number of small works donated by professional and amateur artists from across the region. Proceeds benefit Art Walk. Preview: June 26; 5 to 7:30 p.m.. Auction: June 27, 9 to 11 a.m.

Salida Kinetic Bike Challenge: Create a sculpture from a bike and then peddle it in a fun parade through town. If you’re courageous, race it on infamous Cruiser Crit course or celebrate Salida’s rich biking history from the sideline as you look on in awe at human-powered works of art racing by. June 27

Creative Center for Kids: On-site creative center full of kid-friendly art activities. Ongoing

Doggy Daycare: Keep Fido happy with a fun cozy afternoon at Salida’s Gone to the Dogs on 119 East 1st St. Ongoing

Closing BBQ: Festive community event where organizers will recap the event and present awards while attendees nosh on delicious food. June 28; 5:30 to 7 p.m.

(Read 5280’s First-Timer’s Guide to Salida)