The Best Ways to Outsmart the Crowds at Taste of Fort Collins
Townsquare Media’s Taste of Fort Collins is Northern Colorado’s biggest party, and crowds are pouring in from all over to listen to great music and sample great food and drinks. Thanks to FNBO, Taste of Fort Collins will be even bigger and better this year, so that means navigating the crowds to have the best time possible.
Take the Max
Taste of Fort Collins happens every year in beautiful downtown Fort Collins, but for music-lovers based out of the south side of town or even in Timnath or Loveland, driving up and parking can be a major hassle. But do you know what spots have plenty of parking? The South Transit Center and other stops along the Max route.
The Max is known as Bus Rapid Transit, where buses run along designated routes that help them avoid getting caught in traffic. All TransFort services, including the Max, have had their fares suspended for now, meaning bus rides are free.
Washington Park is just a block over from the Downtown Transit Center, which acts as the northern end of the Max line. If you hop on the Max at Harmony, Horsetooth or Drake, the bus will drop you right next to Taste of Fort Collins.
The city has even extended bus service in preparation for Northern Colorado’s biggest party – the last bus leaves at around 11:30 p.m. on Saturday and around 9:30 p.m. on Sunday. TransFort buses even have room for bikes if driving isn’t your jam.
Enter through the west gate.
Washington Park is on the west side of Old Town, so most people will come into Taste of Fort Collins through the east gate. It’s convenient, right until everyone else gets the same idea. The time saved in walking gets doubled by waiting in long lines in the hot sun.
Taste of Fort Collins veterans know one little secret, however – the festival has three entrances. Everyone knows about the main entrance on Laporte Avenue, but there’s another on the west side of the festival area and a third on Howes Street.
From the Downtown Transit Center and parking garage on Laporte, it’s only a 1,000-foot walk to the south entrance or a half-mile to the west entrance. You can dodge the line and get your steps in by becoming a Taste of Fort Collins expert.
Show up early
Music fans who want to get a real taste of the Fort Collins food and music scene know you have to arrive at Taste of Fort Collins early. Seeing local acts perform and sampling Fort Collins flavors before they run out is the point of the festival.
Families with young kids also know that while snow cones are all-ages, some later performers are not. Showing up early ensures that kids will enjoy the festival before Lil Jon gets a little loud for their little ears.
Another reason to show up early? Last call happens as the headliners take the stage. If you want to enjoy local Colorado beers, order them before the Eyeopeners Kiwanis of Fort Collins packs up for the night.
Be mindful of your surroundings
It’s important to respect others’ space and make sure they have just as much fun at Taste of Fort Collins as you. By keeping an eye on your food and drink and staying mindful of your elbow room, you can make Taste of Fort Collins a safe and fun environment for everyone.
You can also sign up for emergency alerts by texting TASTEOFFC to 888777. These alerts will keep you updated on the weather and any other situations as they come up.
Check the stage drink station
We know it’s tempting – you want to get your drink right as you enter the gate, so you’ll get it as quickly as possible. But we have a secret: you won’t need to be fast at some of our beer stations because they have barely any line.
The drink station next to the Pedersen Toyota main stage reliably has the shortest lines of the festival, according to Taste of Fort Collins experts. It’s easier to enjoy a beer when you haven’t faced crazy lines to get it.
Taste of Fort Collins is produced by Townsquare Media with the support of presenting sponsor FNBO.
Thank you to all of our valued partners: Breeze Thru Car Wash, CRISP & GREEN, Coppermuse, Denver 7, Eagle Rock Distributing Co., Fort Collins Connexion, Fort Collins Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep & Ram, Kiwanis International, Glacier Creek Dental, GOAL Academy, John Elway Powersports, Lion Home Service, Los Chingones, New Belgium Brewing, Odell Brewing, Ottershop, The OBC Wine Project, Pedersen Toyota, Pepsi, School of Rock Fort Collins, Waste Management and The Women’s Clinic of Northern Colorado.