With a mere 72-hour window of opportunity before Monday to squeeze out the last ounce of summer fun, incoming CSU freshmen find themselves looking for an outlet to ease their pre-class stress.
Luckily for freshmen, the city of Fort Collins and Larimer County offer a number of ways to experience the entertainment mecca that is Ram country.
As the heart of Fort Collins, Old Town ought to be the first place to check out, particularly during the weekend before classes start.
As part of a string of town festivals throughout the year, Old Town will host the 2005 Michelob Ultra NewWestFest this weekend, a free three-day festival featuring over 300 arts and food booths, a carnival, two beer gardens and six stages reserved for bands of all genres.
The Bohemian Foundation will host the first annual Bohemian Nights music festival, showcasing music on four stages from bands from all across Colorado and the country. The band War, best known for songs like "Why Can't We Be Friends" and "Low Rider," will headline on the Linden Street Stage at 8:30 p.m. Saturday.
With over 35 bands, the event will likely attract a crowd of over 120,000, according to Peggy Lyle, the Entertainment Director for the Fort Collins Downtown Business Association and the NewWestFest.
The festival kicks off with a concert Friday night at 5:30 p.m. on the Linden Street Stage, and will continue until 6 p.m. Sunday.
If a weekend downtown is not appealing, outdoor-loving students might want to venture outside the city to check out two of Larimer County's most notable natural wonders: Horsetooth Reservoir and the Poudre Canyon.
The reservoir, located in the foothills just west of campus, offers a variety of recreation options, including boating, fishing, hiking and camping, as well as a panoramic view of Fort Collins.
"The best time to go to the reservoir is at sunset," said Ashley Morrison, a junior psychology major who frequently hiked along the reservoir throughout the summer.
The Poudre Canyon, which runs along Highway 14 northwest of downtown, also offers a variety of water recreation, including rafting, kayaking, tubing, and fishing.
For the nostalgic moviegoer, Fort Collins offers double features at one of its oldest entertainment hotspots, the Holiday Twin Drive-In, 2206 S. Overland Trail.
The Holiday Twin is one of ten operating drive-ins left in the state, and the only one in Larimer County.
"The drive-in is the best place to go if you want to still be in an outdoor atmosphere, plus the price is a lot less than going to an indoor movie theater," said Kathryn Abbott , a junior health and exercise science major, as she munched on popcorn while watching the latest New Line Cinema release, "Wedding Crashers."
Tickets for the theater are free for children under five, $5.00 for adults, and $2.00 for ages six to 11.