Have you visited Salida, Colorado lately? If you haven't, start making plans right now. The "Bluegrass on the Arkansas" festival is a go for 2021.

Get ready for two days of incredible music on the banks of the Arkansas River in Salida, Colorado. This event is not to be missed.

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Where is Salida's Bluegrass Festival?

Start planning now for a quick trip to Salida. It's not that far down the road. Let me tell you, the town is magnificent. It's all there - rafting, music festivals, awesome downtown fun, everything you can think of.

A quick glance at Salida's Bluegrass Festival 2021 lineup and schedule.

Let's begin by stating this is a free event. That's right, free. The festival runs two days, May 23 and 24, 2021. Looking at the official webpage, this is the lineup for 2021.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

  • 5:00 pm–6:15 pm – Ragged Mountain
  • 6:30 pm–7:45 pm – Acoustic Mining Company
  • 8:15 pm-9:45 pm – Wood Belly

Sunday, May 24, 2020

  • 12:00 pm-1:30 pm – WireWood Station
  • 2:00 pm-3:30 pm – Big Meadow
  • 4:00 pm-5:30 pm – Pint & A Half
  • 6:00 pm-7:30 pm – Bowregard
  • 8:00 pm-9:30 pm – Rapidgrass

Put simply, Salida's Bluegrass Festival is incredible.

I had the pleasure of attending this event two years ago. The town's Rotary hosted an incredible two-day music festival, Bluegrass on the Arkansas, on Saturday and Sunday. In this case, Arkansas refers to the Arkansas River, which is right on the edge of downtown.

Salida Rotary Amphitheater May 2019
Waylon Jordan

In a word... amazing.

The festival was amazing. The town is amazing. The river is amazing. Are you starting to notice a certain sameness here?

Waylon Jordan

Seriously, you can park downtown, visit numerous restaurants and bars, and then walk a few feet to the river for the river walk, rafting, kayaking, the park, and music. Seriously, there's a boat launch located downtown.

Waylon Jordan

There are two things you'll notice right away: an abundance of people with dogs, and a shortage of bras. I would estimate half the population of Salida have dogs they take with them everywhere, and half of the female population goes bra-less. What I'm delicately trying to say is.... the town has a certain "hippie" vibe about it.

Here are my top five reasons why you should visit Salida right now.

  • The river walk itself is worth the trip
  • If you want to spend time on the river, this is the perfect place to go
  • Locally owned restaurants abound with well-above-par cuisine using local ingredients
  • You can park once, and enjoy everything. These features are all within a short walking distance of one another
  • You can have fun on a budget - prices are extremely reasonable

Lodging in the area.

Motels are of the "Motel 6" caliber and can run a bit pricey during festivals. Book ahead; motels can definitely fill up during events.

How difficult is it to get there?

Google Maps puts the drive at 188 miles from Grand Junction, coming in at roughly three-and-a-half hours travel time. I made the drive in three hours, and that's driving like a little old lady. If you're leaving from Grand Junction, simply set a course for Montrose, turn to stay on 50 and head to Gunnison, and keep going until you hit Salida.

Salida is the perfect getaway, and the 2021 Bluegrass on the Arkansas festival is the perfect excuse to visit. It's fairly close, inexpensive, and loaded with fun. You won't need a week. All you'll need are two days, a lawn chair, sunscreen, and a desire to listen to awesome music.

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