Tucked away in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, just 20 minutes from Boulder, Colo., sits the quirky and charming town of Lyons.
As is typical of most mountain towns, mountain biking, rock climbing, kayaking and other outdoor adventure sports are extremely popular amongst the locals. Something else particularly popular with the citizens of Lyons: beer.
As such, these two community favorites come together each May to create the Lyons Outdoor Games, complete with the Burning Can ExtravaCANza Beer Festival. Perfect for families, brew enthusiasts, dirt-swirling hippies who just wanna dance and hardcore outdoor-lovers, this festival leaves its mark as one of the most unique and relaxed in Colorado.
Flying high at the Lyons' bike park — Photo courtesy of Eddie Clark / Burning Can Extravacanza
Outdoor Games Events and Other Frivolities
For families and those who are interested in spectating and as well as enjoying some games of their own, a variety of events take place throughout the day, including the BMX Dirtbike competition, Acro Yoga Demo and Workshop, sunrise yoga, and free-style kayaking and slack-line competitions. Not to mention, for your corn hole fanatics, a competition will be raging for several hours in the morning.
For event-goers with kiddos, there's a children's outdoor area complete with a climbing wall, and youngsters are also welcome to participate in the Spring Runoff 5k and Beer Relay Race (minus the beer, of course).
"This year we have really focused on the "Kids Outdoor Games" and promoting to people to "Live and Adventurous Life". We have blown it up the kids area with a climbing wall, kayak pool, face painting, games and Gerbil Balls", says Rebecca Louzan, Event Manager for Lyons Outdoor Games."
But with all of the events for families and beer enthusiasts, don't forget the main draw: The world-class athletes that will be competing right before spectators' eyes all around the town.
"What is cool about the Lyons Outdoor Games is that world class kayakers, slackliners and bmx riders from around the world love to compete here not just for the games themselves, but also this small community really reaches out to them to feel welcome", states Rebecca Louzan, Event Manager for Lyons Outdoor Games.
Burning Can: The Greatest Beer Festival in All the Land
Playing host to a variety of local and out-of-state microbreweries, as well as larger operations, the Burning Can Festival creates the perfect atmosphere for laid-back beer tasting under the Colorado summer sun.
"We've built Burning Can to truly be the best weekend of the year for anybody who loves craft beer and the adventurous life," says Event Director Josh Kravetz. "While enjoying great beer from all over the country, you can do some trail running in the Beer Relay, watch pro athletes compete in multiple competitions, see a live concert, then camp out at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. Could it get any better?!"
Not to mention, many of the beer booths give out free swag, including stickers, cups, cozies and t-shirts.
Play Me Some Mountain Music
Each year, the Lyons Outdoor Games provides an awesome lineup of musicians for evening entertainment.
The outdoor concert begins in Bohn Park at 5 p.m. This year, it features Big Thompson Flood and Interstate Stash Express. Rounding out the night, the Revivalists will take to the stage, bringing an eclectic mix of old-school rock and roll and electronica.
Bring lawn chairs and blankets, or merely kick off your shoes and dance barefoot. Getting down and dirty in the Lyons soil is optional, but the fun is not.
Music swells as event-goers eat, drink and make merry — Photo courtesy of Eddie Clark / Burning Can Extravacanza
Camping and Tickets
Camping spots are located in Bohn Park, close to all of the action and can be purchased on site at the Operations Tent.
Though the games themselves are free and open to watch for the public, as are the concerts, Burning Can and Beer Relay tickets can be purchased online.