The home of Spanish Peaks International Celtic Music Festival is Huerfano County, Colorado, with events taking place in the communities of La Veta, Walsenburg, Gardner, and Cuchara, and at Uptop on Old La Veta Pass. At an average elevation of 6200 ft, Huerfano is considered high desert and boasts clean air, beautiful mountains, and a variety of interesting nooks and crannies to explore. The altitude can be an issue for some people (altitude sickness), but don’t let that spoil your fun. Just remember to drink plenty of water, wear sunscreen, and keep in mind that alcohol affects people differently at altitude.
Festival events begin with the Welcome Gathering at Uptop Thursday afternoon. Uptop is a ghost town situated at the top of Old La Veta Pass. At over 9000 ft, Uptop provides an excellent spot for a picnic and music. For directions, check this site.
The mountain community of Cuchara is the setting for Thursday’s happy hour pub gathering – the first of the weekend – with The Lads at Dog Bar.
The first event of our concert series – Taste of Things to Come – takes place Thursday evening at the Community Center in Gardner. A perennial favorite, this concert gives festival-goers a chance to sample the talents of all the performers who will teach and entertain at workshops and concerts throughout Festival Weekend. The venue is small and always packed, so it’s best to make your reservations early.
Nestled against the Spanish Peaks, the town of La Veta provides the numerous venues which host the majority of Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday daytime events, including workshops, mini concerts, and demonstration/performances. See the detailed La Veta venue map above. La Veta is also home to Sunday’s double finale concerts and where all events associated with the Piping Retreat occur.
Last, but not least, Walsenburg is the hub for Friday and Saturday late afternoon, evening, and nighttime concerts. Headliner concerts take place at the Art Deco-inspired Washington School Theater donated for festival use by the Huerfano School District RE-1. Walsenburg is also where you’ll find La Plaza Inn, the venue for all Harp Retreat events.
Discover more about the area, lodging, camping, and points of interest at Spanish Peaks Country or the La Veta Cuchara Chamber of Commerce website. Here you’ll find current, complete listings for all the communities in Huerfano County.
If you’re looking for a nice drive in Spanish Peaks Country, you can’t beat Highway 12, the scenic byway that wraps around the Spanish Peaks. Check the route here.