It’s summertime and that means the Colorado Renaissance Festival in Larkspur is in full swing. Ladies, lords, swordsman, wenches and peasants are gathering under the trees to celebrate all things medieval at one of Colorado’s best and longest produced festivals. Win tickets to Colorado Renaissance Festival 1 It’s the 39th season of Colorado Renaissance Festival, an event that employs hundreds of talented folks who are there to make sure that YOU have the best experience possible while visiting the realm.

There are eight themed weekends planned, three of which are already in the history books. Upcoming weekends include Children’s Weekend (July 4-5), Wine Revelry (July 11-12), Love & Romance (July 18-19), Music & Dance Festival (July 25-26) and Fare Thee Well & Mardi Gras Style Carnivale (August 1-2). Win tickets to the Colorado Renaissance Festival 2 washing wenches We are aiming to attend on Music & Dance weekend, a celebration of Celtic musicians featuring belly dance troupes, Irish dance groups and pipe bands. The super high energy band, Celtic Legacy will be featured this weekend. Win 4 tickets to Colorado Renaissance Festival, Celtic Legacy. My husband, who grew up in Littleton, has been attending the Colorado Renaissance Festival all his life and we rarely miss a season, and I know many of you are the same.

We get to the festival when the gates open because we enjoy being greeted by the Royal Court and we enjoy shopping before the crowds thicken. When the festival grounds start to get crowded it’s time for us to kick back with a cold hard cider and find a show or two to watch. We love tasting a variety of different food items at the festival including artichoke dipped in hot butter, meat on a stick, turkey legs and we always share a cold pickle. Win 4 tickets to the Colorado Renaissance Festivl, childrens section This week, you have the chance to win FOUR tickets to the Colorado Renaissance Festival from HeidiTown.com.

In the comment section just tell me your favorite thing about this festival and you’ll be entered. If you’ve never been, tell me why you want to go. The winner will be chosen at random on Friday, July 3, 2015 at 3 p.m. Because of the holiday weekend, I will give the winner through Monday evening to respond before contacting the runner up. Good luck!

Thank you to the Colorado Renaissance Festival for providing the tickets for this giveaway.  

 

It’s that time again, time to polka with me at Biergarten Festival in Morrison, Colorado.

I’ve written about and attended Biergarten since 2011, and have become very well acquainted with this event. I know it well enough to say that it is probably my favorite event of the summer. There, I’ve said it. FAVORITE! As the Mayor of HeidiTown I’m not supposed to play favorites, but I just did. That’s how much I love Biergarten Festival.

Biergarten Festival, Colorado. HeidiTown (1)

In last year’s feature about Biergarten Festival I shared with you the top four things I look forward to the most about this festival. They were music, beer, food and ambiance.

This year I’m going to share with you the Four Fantastic P’s of Biergarten Festival.

PRETZELS, salty deliciousness

This year’s pretzels will be provided by Styria Bakery from Frederick, Colorado. This family-run company also serves their pretzels at the Denver Christkindl Market and you don’t get better or more authentic German pretzels than these.

Biergarten Festival, Colorado. HeidiTown (2)

PAULANER, it’s German for beer

I have to give Biergarten Festival mad props for sticking to their German roots and serving up Paulaner beer year after year. In a state that’s overflowing with microbreweries, it probably hasn’t been easy to stay the course, but Biergarten does not waver. This event is a German summer party and that means German beer. And nothing tastes as good with a pretzel as a Paulaner. Nothing!

POLKA, grab a partner

Whether you like to dance or just like to watch they’ve got your covered at Biergarten Festival. One of my favorite dance troupes, The Chalet Dancers from Castle Rock, will be performing this year, but you can perform too. That’s right, dancing is a big part of this event and there’s ample opportunity to strut your stuff. Everyone gets into it; the bigs and the littles.

Biergarten Festival, Colorado. HeidiTown (3)

SCHNAPPS, it has two p’s

Okay, I realize schnapps doesn’t start with a P, but I’m adding it because at Biergarten Festival there are Schnapps Waitresses. That’s right, gals with schnapps shots on wooden trays and they’ll sell you one for just a couple bucks. A great aperitif after a strenuous round on the dance floor or a nice followup to your wiener shnitzel and red cabbage.

So there you have it – the Four Fantastic P’s of Biergarten Festival. I hope to indulge in all four this July.

Biergarten Festival

Morrison, Colorado

July 10-12, 2015

Friday – 4 to 10 p.m., Saturday – 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Friday & Saturday, $5

Sunday, $3 with an early bird special of $1 from 10 a.m. to noon

Children 12 & under are free / free parking

This event is family-friendly!

Biergarten Festival, Colorado. HeidiTown (14)

New this year, CASH ONLY (ATMs onsite)

BiergartenFestival.com

Join the fest on Facebook here

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Featured Festival spots on HeidiTown.com are paid advertisements. Interested in having your festival or event considered for a feature? Email TheMayor@HeidiTown.com.

Back in January I wrote, “Winter road trip tips – Colorado,” so I thought that a summer oriented road trip post was appropriate.

I put thousands of HeidiTown miles on my car every year and we’ve learned a thing or two about Colorado travel via the open road.

Independence Pass, Colorado. Scenic byway. Summer road trip tips - Colorado. HeidiTown.com

Independence Pass in early June.

Whether you’re planning an hour or seven hour drive, my hope is that these tips will help your next road trip across Colorado be fun and worry free.

1. Check in with your car. Before heading out across the hot asphalt this summer, make sure that your car is in good working order. If that check engine light has been on, you need to have that checked before you go. Also, make sure your tires have the right amount of air and that all your fluids are topped off. Nothing ruins a road trip like a breakdown – nothing!

2. Be prepared for Men at Work. Summer is festival season in Colorado and it’s also construction season, and you’ll find it all over the state, not just in cities. We’ve ran into major construction zones in the Middle-of-Nowhere, Colorado. It’s wise to be mentally prepared for these situations because there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it. I find that a good book on Audible makes construction wait times go by much more quickly.

Tarryall Ranch along Hwy 285. Summer road trip tips - Colorado. HeidiTown.com

One of those random photo ops around Colorado. Tarryall Ranch along Hwy 285 near Fairplay.

3. Take the high road. If you are traveling in the mountains and have the option to take one of the state’s scenic byways to your destination, do it. Earlier this month, on our way to Snowmass, we took Independence Pass as an alternative route to I70. From Denver this only adds about 20 minutes of travel time to Snowmass and the views are more than worth it. For a list of all of Colorado’s most scenic routes, go to ColoradoScenicByways.com.

waterfall on Independence Pass. Summer road trip tips - Colorado. HeidiTown.com

Waterfall on Independence Pass. Photo taken from the passenger’s window as we drove by.

4. Stay hydrated. I also included this tip in my “Winter road trip tips.” Colorado summer get hot and sitting in an air conditioned vehicle is dehydrating. I already knew that thirst causes grumpiness, but I recently learned that your body can misinterpret thirst as hunger, so staying hydrated (with water!) is a very good idea all the time.

5. Take your time. Give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination. There are so many photo opportunities around Colorado and you may find a small town or museum to stop and explore along the way. The art of the road trip is not to rush. People who take it easy have much more fun, and you’ll find it’s those people who have all the best road trip stories.

Colorado high country wine festivals

Colorado’s ski resorts come alive during the summer with festivals of all kinds; music, muddy races, biking extravaganzas, beer fests and more. However, for those who prefer the pursuit of wine tasting over running a race through the mud, Colorado’s resorts have got you covered too.

Here are three Colorado wine festivals that should be on your radar this summer.

Uncorked in the Village, Winter Park, July 4, 2015

WinterParkResort.com

Enjoying myself at The Village Uncorked at Winter Park Resort. HeidiTown.com

Uncorked in Winter Park in 2013.

I have fond memories of a girlfriend getaway to Uncorked in the Village back in 2013. It just doesn’t get better than wine and cheese and that’s what you’ll find under the tents during this Colorado wine festival at The Village at Winter Park.

There are also interactive Learning Tents that feature all sorts of classes and demos. In addition, vendors sell jewelry and beautiful art objects throughout The Village.

Keystone Wine & Jazz, July 18-19, 2015

KeystoneFestivals.com

Perfect for a girls’ getaway, Keystone Wine & Jazz is also surprisingly family-friendly. Last year, I took a girlfriend up to experience this high altitude Colorado wine event. We were delighted to find that we could look down on the festival’s music stage from the patio of our Buffalo Lodge condo.

Keystone Wine & Jazz Festival, Colorado. HeidiTown (14)

Dotsero entertains the crowds at Keystone Wine & Jazz Festival 2014. They will be back this year!

Fun is not a strong enough word to describe our experience at Keystone Wine & Jazz. Wine and food booths are spread out throughout the village and so you walk and drink and eat, and walk and drink and eat. It’s fabulous. There are several music stages, so when you wanted to sit and sip, that was available too.

I say that this wine festival is family-friendly because Keystone Resort is very kid-friendly. Children activities such as panning for gold are spread throughout the village, not to mention Kidtopia, free and open daily. There’s a reason Keystone Resort is widely considered one of the most family-friendly ski resorts in Colorado.

Western Slope Uncorked, Powderhorn Ski Resort, August 1, 2015

Mix104.3FM.com

I’m including this brand new slope side wine festival because they will be serving up Colorado-only wine. Wineries in attendance include Talon Winery, Grand River Winery, Gubbini Winery and many more. The admission price to this wine festival is extremely affordable if you buy your tickets now. Currently they are on sale for just $30, but if you wait to get them at the door they’ll be $50.

Keystone Wine & Jazz Festival, Colorado. HeidiTown (15)

Country band Restless Heart will headline the new Colorado wine festival.

 

 

We pulled into Antonito in the late afternoon. The dusty little town was all quiet with the exception of a road construction project on Main Street that involved lane closures and big machinery.

Alanna Brake, of Lucky Brake, Ltd., and I were at the start of a two-night adventure that would take us from Antonito, Colorado to Chama, New Mexico by train; the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad to be exact.

Antonito is in the south central part of Colorado, just a few miles shy of the New Mexico border. Its claim to fame is the railroad, a castle and its connection to Indiana Jones.

Cano's Castle. All photos by Alanna Brake, Lucky Brake, Ltd.

Cano’s Castle in Antonito, Colorado. Photography by Alanna Brake of Lucky Brake, Ltd. HeidiTown.com

We were booked at the Steam Train Hotel, a newly renovated boutique hotel in tiny downtown Antonito. Our room at the back of the historic building was actually two rooms with a bed in each, a bathroom and sitting area. Perfect for friends or family traveling together. Continue Reading…

Father’s Day is June 21st, and I’m sure that your Colorado dad would love for you to celebrate with him by taking him to a festival. Here are several good ones that dad is sure to enjoy.

BBQ DAD

For the dad who loves his grill and loves all things barbeque, look no further than the Colorado BBQ Challenge in Frisco. This is the granddaddy of all Colorado’s barbeque fests. The three-day event kicks off on Thursday evening with an evening of live music. On Friday and Saturday approximately 70 competitors will barbeque their hearts out in order to win a variety of awards that are given out in categories such as pork, ribs, chicken, sauce, side dish and more. And the best part? You get to taste it all. For details and tickets go to FriscoBBQ.com. Follow the 22nd Annual Colorado BBQ Challenge on Facebook here.

2012 Town of Frisco Barbecue Challenge, Frisco, Colorado

Colorado Barbecue Challenge in Frisco, Colorado. Photo by Todd Powell.

ARTSY DAD

For the dad who loves art, head to Art on the Green in Lyons. I’ve written a full blog post about this event here. If you’re dad is an art collector or art appreciator, this is the event for him. After browsing the show take him to Lyons Classic Pinball for a few games. And if he’s a child of the eighties, drop by the basement bar in Oskar Blues for a game of Tron or Donkey Kong at Lyons Classic Video.

Another event that an artsy dad will enjoy is a stop at the Loveland Museum Gallery in Loveland, Colorado for the Governor’s Art Show & Sale, a display of some of Colorado’s top artists.

Lyon's Classic Video inside Oskar Blues (downstairs).  Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer

Lyon’s Classic Video inside Oskar Blues (downstairs). Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer

OLD-FASHIONED DAD

For the dad who is musically inclined check out the Glenn Miller Swingfest in Fort Morgan. On Saturday, June 21, there’s a free line up of entertainment at the Glenn Miller Auditorium at Fort Morgan High School. That evening, the official Glenn Miller Swing Band takes the stage at Keith Bath Farms. This ticket event was a highlight for us last summer. The nostalgia was thick as folks danced the evening away to songs such as “Moonlight Serenade” and “In the Mood.” Buy tickets and learn more about the event at GlennMillerSwingFest.com.

Edited Glenn Miller Orchestra, action shot. Glenn Miller SwingFest, 2014. HeidiTown

The Glenn Miller Orchestra plays Glenn Miller Swingfest in Fort Morgan, Colorado.

Visiting Glenwood Springs is always nostalgic for me because it’s the one of the first Colorado towns that I visited before moving here permanently in 2000. I remember soaking in the hot springs pool with my then-boyfriend/now-husband, Ryan, and thinking, “I had no idea a place like this existed in Colorado!”

Nearly 20 years later I’m still discovering Colorado places that surprise and amaze me, but Glenwood Springs will always hold a special place in my heart.

The view from our room at the Glenwood Hot Springs Lodge. HeidiTown.com

The view from our room at the Glenwood Hot Springs Lodge.

This spring we had the opportunity to do a one-night stay at Glenwood Hot Springs Lodge. A stay at the lodge comes with free breakfast and unlimited access to the hot springs pool, recently named “Best Hotel Pool” by Sunset Magazine and USA Today. Continue Reading…

I learned recently that Colorado Parks & Wildlife is involved in many nature festivals throughout the state. From birding excursions to festivals celebrating elk, these events take place all year and in every corner of Colorado.

Here are a few events happening this summer and fall that I think should be on your radar. Make sure that you have updated your state’s park pass before going; you wouldn’t want to be left out.

Crested Butte Wildflower Festival, July 13-19, 2015

crestedbuttewildflowerfestival.com

This event has been on my bucket list for a long time. I love photographing wildflowers and the array of flowers that can be found in the Colorado Rockies in the summertime is truly astounding.

Crested Butte Wildflower Festival. Gothic Mountain photo by Doug Beezley

Crested Butte Wildflower Festival. Gothic Mountain, photo by Doug Beezley.

This event has been occurring annually since 1986, and has become much, much longer than a week. Today, the entire summer is filled with CBWF events and more than 200 classes offered by instructors, tour guides and volunteers. Continue Reading…

Art on the Green is the perfect excuse to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and spend a weekend in the delightful town of Lyons, Colorado.

We love Lyons. Ryan and I like to drive out there on a lazy weekend afternoon, grab a beer at Oskar Blues, play a little pinball at Lyons Classic Pinball and walk hand-in-hand around downtown. It’s a refreshing getaway that’s surprisingly close to Denver metro.

Downtown Lyons Colorado 2 - by Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer

Art on the Green is only in its second year, but it has already managed to become one of Colorado’s premiere art festivals. As of today, nearly 80 artists are signed up and I think one of the things that makes this event so interesting is the variety of artists who take part in it.

There are artists who work in ceramics, fiber, glass, jewelry, metal works, mixed media, painting, photography, printmaking, wood and more. Walking through this festival is a feast for the eyes.

Curtright_Art on the Green Lyons, Colorado

Photo courtesy of Art on the Green.

People visit art festivals to find that special painting or sculpture that finishes a room or that unique piece of jewelry that they can’t live without. And while the art is the star at Art on the Green, there are other things to see, do and taste at this festival.

This year there will be wine and cider sponsored by Twin Peaks Living Colorado Real Estate and ran by What We Love Winery from Boulder (I love these guys. Be sure to taste their chardonnay if they have it on hand at the event). Festival goers may purchase a glass of wine and sip while they shop for art.

Shopper browsing art at Art on the Green in Lyons, Colorado.

Photo courtesy of Art on the Green.

If all this art browsing makes you hungry you can visit Food Truck Row where Em’s Ice Cream, Heirloom Food Truck, Midwestern Roots and one to-be-determined food truck will feed you fine food.

Don’t have a babysitter? Don’t worry. This festival is kid-friendly. There will be a children’s booth where your little one can try his or her hand at being an artist and he or she will be able to take their project home at the end of the experience.

Skanson & Hansen, Colorado’s virtuoso double finger style guitar duo will entertain the crowds at Art on the Green as well M Squared, an instrumental progressive jazz rock jam band out of Boulder.

This is an art festival with a little something for foodies, wine lovers and kids too. Bring out the entire family and enjoy Art on the Green this month in Lyons, Colorado.

Art on the Green

June 20-21, 2015

Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. & Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sandstone Park, Lyons, Colorado

Free admission

LyonsArtFestival.com

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Art on the Green logo***

Featured Festival spots on HeidiTown.com are paid advertisements. Interested in having your festival or event considered for a feature? Email TheMayor@HeidiTown.com.

What happens when you combine chili, beer and bands in one of the most beautiful places on earth? I believe it’s called magic, but I’m going to find out for myself this June. Snowmass Mammoth Festival is three days of fun for everyone on June 12-14, 2015.

festival-crowd-snowmass-mammoth-festival

Photo courtesy of Snowmass Mammoth Festival.

The event kicks off with “Free Friday” on June 12. Bring the kids and bring your appetite to the festival’s “Chili Showcase Day” that includes a chili competition, live music and entertainment. Free chili and salsa tastings take place between 5 and 9 p.m. A cash bar is also available. Fort Collins’ band Whitewater Ramble, a personal favorite, is headlining this free Friday event – don’t miss them!

The rest of the weekend is part concert and part beer fest. More than 25 breweries will participate in the Grand Tasting on Saturday (June 13) from 2 to 5 p.m. Both Saturday and Sunday will be filled with music. Fifteen bands will play during Snowmass Mammoth Festival and headliners include Wheels of Soul tour featuring Tedeschi Trucks Band, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings and Doyle Bramhall II. See the entire band lineup here.

Tedeschi Trucks Band

Tedeschi Trucks Band, courtesy photo.

The party doesn’t end when the music stops in Town Park on Saturday night. A late-late party will take place at Base Camp Bar & Grill with two floors of music featuring The Barr Brothers and Tallgrass. This is a ticketed evening and tickets can be purchased here.

There are lots of ticket options for Snowmass Mammoth Festival. You can buy everything from a one-day pass to a festival+camping pass to a two-day VIP package that includes access to an open bar, catered food, a champagne lite brunch on Sunday, private restrooms and VIP parking, access to onsite-massage therapy and so much more. If you’ve ever considered going VIP, this would be the festival to do it.

Snowmass Mammoth Festival

June 12-14, 2015

Snowmass Town Park, 2835 Brush Creek Road

Tickets range from free to VIP packages – click here to view

SnowmassMammothFestival.com

Join the festival on Facebook

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Snowmass Mammoth Festival poster 2015

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Featured Festival spots on HeidiTown.com are paid advertisements. Interested in having your festival or event considered for a feature? Email TheMayor@HeidiTown.com.