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Featured Festival: NoCo Mini Maker Faire 2016



1. A person or thing that makes or produces something

“A cabinetmaker”

          Synonyms; creator, manufacturer, constructor, builder, producer, fabricator, inventor, architect, designer

         “The makers of fine furniture”

2. God; the Creator


I have a real affinity for makers. After all, my husband designs and builds furniture, so “making stuff” plays an important role in our lives.

A decade ago, the first Maker Faire was held in California. Since then, the movement has grown, and today there are maker faires across the world. A Maker Faire is a celebration of arts, crafts, engineering, science projects and the DIY mindset.

The 4th NoCo Mini Maker Faire, held in Loveland, Colorado, continues to grow, and with growth comes change. This year, the event is being held in a new location, inside the First National Bank Building at The Ranch Events Complex.

More than 100 Makers converge on Loveland for this event, which kicks off with an adults-only party on Friday, October 7, called Sparks & Spirits. Cocktails will be provided by local distillers and entertainers include Rubens Tube fire and music, interactive light art from Solid State Depot and Mystica body paint.

Featured Festival NoCo Mini Maker Faire Mystica body paint

One of my favorite gin makers, Golden Moon Distillery, will be there, along with a nice lineup of other Colorado makers of fine spirits such as Syntax Spirits from Greeley. Distiller, Heather Bean, makes small-batch vodka, whiskey and rum from grain-to-glass using all Colorado ingredients.

Featured Festival NoCo Mini Maker Faire Sparks & Spirits fire art

The Noco Mini Maker Faire is an family affair. On Saturday and Sunday, children are more than welcome and in fact, encouraged to attend. A maker faire is an excellent place for a inquisitive child. 

Featured Festival NoCo Mini Makers Faire is for children too

Attendees will be inspired, awed and intrigued. Some makers are students, while others are adults. Exhibits include everything from social robotics from Robauto to creative music makers, Serenity Forge. In addition, there will be several community art projects including a Chalkboard Art Car where guests can give voice to their creative expression. And fresh from Burning Man, no one will be able to miss the 30-foot DaVinci Flying Machine.


Attendees can expect to spend hours strolling through the event, chatting with makers and getting hands on with various projects and games.

A maker event is where the left and right brain merge to create amazing, innovative and beautiful things.

NoCo Mini Maker Faire

October 8-9, 2016

Location: The Ranch Events Complex, Loveland, Colorado

Advanced ticket prices $10 adults, $6 child/student

Sparks & Spirits, Friday evening, October 7

Advanced ticket price $50

CLICK HERE to purchase tickets


Join this event on Facebook

Follow @NocoMakerFaire on Twitter


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

Art Car Photos, ArtoCade 2016, Trinidad, Colorado

I can’t wait to write about our trip to Trinidad, Colorado. In the meantime, I’m going to share with you ten of my favorite photos from the festival that brought us to town. I was in town to cover ArtoCade, an art car extravaganza that was like nothing I’d ever experienced before.

Nothing could have prepared me for the creativity on display at ArtoCade. In it’s fourth year, ArtoCade brings people together from around the country to Southern Colorado – people who share the love of turning their cars into art pieces.

Without further ado, here are ten of my favorite photos from the ArtoCade, the parade that was held on Saturday, September 10, 2016, in downtown Trinidad, Colorado. There were 83 entries, so choosing only a few photos to share was very difficult.

Car #1 kicked things off. It’s, “Reincarnation”  and was created by Fritz A. & Gail M. of Trinidad, Colorado.

Photos from ArtoCade 2016. Reincarnation, Fritz A. & Gail M. (Trinidad, Colorado) HeidiTown.com

Event organizer, Rodney Wood, created the “EyeVan.” It will see you before you see it. Is this an art car or an art van?

EyeVan at ArtoCade by Rodney Wood of Trinidad

One of the best things about ArtoCade is that everyone is invited to participate. This is in no way an exclusive club. The following “Go Fish” artcar was created by Trinidad resident, Star Galbraith and it had all the right fishy moves.

Photos of ArtoCade 2016. Go Fish by Star Galbraith of Trinidad, Colorado.

Ex-smoker Carolyn Stapleton of Albuquerque, New Mexico created the Stink Bug for ArtoCade. And no, she didn’t smoke all of those cigarettes and said it was quite easy to find more than enough to cover the Volkswagen Bug.

The Stink Bug art car at ArtoCade 2016. By Carolyn Stapleton of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

A crowd favorite, Albert Carstein was created by the residents of the Trinidad Correctional Facility. I did say that everyone can participate!


This was one of the creepiest of the creepy art cars at ArtoCade. Chewbaru, by Rex Rosenburg of Holsington, Kansas, was covered in all things related to the subject of dentistry. I’ve never seen so many retainers outside of my 1980s middle school class.


Another crowd favorite, and winner of the Most Creative Award, was Cartoon Apocalypse by C. Wollard from Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Cartoon Apocalypso-by C. Wollard from Tulsa Oklahoma. ArtoCade 2016


I love that a few kids got in on the fun. This is Mini-Mobile-Madness by Mihelich from Pueblo, Colorado.


Check out the crowd’s reflection in Shattered Vanity by Nicole Strine of Houston, Texas. This art car was one of my favorites on the day.


This award winning art car was created by Reagan High School Art Car Club (teacher, Rebecca Bass) in Houston, Texas. Imagine my surprised when I found that out at the awards ceremony where “Bohemian Rhapsody” took home a top prize.


If you want to see more photos of art cars from ArtoCade, I’ll be uploading a few more to HeidiTown’s Facebook page at a later date. Click here to LIKE HeidiTown on Facebook.

ArtoCade is held annually in Trinidad, Colorado in September. To learn more explore ArtoCade.com.



A Delicious Bike to Farm Tour in the North Fork Valley

As alert readers will have noticed, we’ve been riding bikes a lot this summer. I love riding bikes – not any downhill craziness, mind you – I prefer cruising on country roads or trails. Earlier this summer we did a bike to farm outing in the North Fork Valley, located in Delta County, Colorado. This is the story.

Bike to farm tour in the North Fork Valley. Orchard Valley Farms. HeidiTown.com

We rented bikes at Cirque Cyclery in downtown Paonia. A destination in and of itself, Cirque Cyclery is one of several awesome small businesses under the same roof.

Cirque Cyclery rents and sells bicycles, plus unique clothing and gifts, Shish KaBikes repairs bikes and Remedy Juice Bar Cafe provides refreshments, including adult beverages. The entire place, which was formerly the Paonia Post Office, has a laid back, neighborly feel. Continue reading

A Snow Mountain Ranch Summer To-Do List

There is so much to do at Snow Mountain Ranch that the easier (and much shorter) blog post to write would be about the things that aren’t available here.

A Snow Mountain Ranch Summer to-do list. biking. HeidiTown.com

Snow Mountain Ranch, a YMCA of the Rockies property, is a year-round playground for kids and adults. Whether there’s two-feet of snow on the ground or it’s 80 degrees outside, this place has an activities sheet as long as my arm (and I’ve got long arms for a short girl).

I’ve written about Snow Mountain Ranch’s winter activities in this past post.

We tried to do as much as possible during a 2-night stay in Yurt Village this past June, but we only scratched the surface of what’s available here.

Biking at Snow Mountain Ranch

On our first morning, we set out on bikes from Yurt Village towards Rowley Homestead. We’re not hardcore mountain bikers – not even a bit. Thankfully, SMR has plenty of easy biking and their roads have very little traffic, although you might run into a horseback riding group from Sombrero Stables, located at SMR.   Continue reading

Featured Festival: ArtoCade 2016, Trinidad, Colorado

When I began writing about Colorado festivals on HeidiTown in 2010, I was inspired by small town festivals and unique events. ArtoCade, in Trinidad, fits both categories and that’s why I’m excited to be attending this year.

Featured Festival ArtoCade 2015 Trinidad Colorado. Einstein artcar. HeidiTown.com

“Albert Canstein” by inmates at the Trinidad Correctional Facility. Photo courtesy of ArtoCade.

With a population of less than 10,000, Trinidad is definitely a small town. It’s also a bit remote, located approximately three hours south of Denver and three and a half hours north of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Situated along the Sante Fe Trail, Trinidad has always been a place where travelers stopped to relax and refuel. Today, it remains a stop along Interstate 25 for many road trippers, so it seems rather appropriate that it’s now home to an award winning art car festival.

Featured Festival ArtoCade 2016 Trindiad Colorado. skeleton artcar. HeidiTown.com

“Boney Whipman” by Any Hazell. Photo courtesy of ArtoCade.

ArtoCade is a celebration of the wild and wacky world of art cars. Like their website reads, “If you can’t drive it, it’s a float.” And their distinctive parade is for drivable vehicles only – you must be able to drive your art piece in the parade that occurs at noon on Saturday, September 10.

The two-day festival, starts Friday evening, September 9, in downtown Trinidad with Vehiculart (5 to 7 p.m.). This event is a tribute to art cars with art exhibits and presenters who focus their artistic abilities on artful transportation. The evening will be a spectacle for the eyes and an opportunity to learn about the fascinating art car world. Vehiculart is followed by the CarBash at Brix Sports Bar & Grill.

art car at ArtoCade in Trinidad, Colorado

On Saturday, September 10, you can explore the historic town of Trinidad until the ArtoCade parade that starts at noon. Expect a colorful and unique extravaganza unlike anything you’ve seen before. There will be 80, yes, EIGHTY, art cars in this “cargantuan” art car parade.

Event organizer, Rodney Wood says, “It’s going to be absolutely carvelous!”

Afterward the parade, stick around downtown Trinidad to check out art cars and meet the “cartists” involved in creating these fantastic and whimsical vehicles.

From 7 to 9 p.m. that evening, adults are invited to attend CarDango, a revue/costume party/dance party/circus happening on Saturday night of the event. I’m really looking forward to this rowdy event – it should be fabulously peculiar – just like the rest of ArtoCade.

cardango fb post 01

ArtoCade is an excellent event, but you don’t have to take my word for it. ArtoCade won the Governor’s Award for Best Festival in 2015. I hope to see you there!


September 9-10, 2016

Trinidad, Colorado

Downtown festivities: FREE

CarDango is a ticketed event ($20)


Website includes lodging info, directions, art car entry forms and more.

Join ArtoCade on Facebook

ArtoCade 2016 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.

Last Minute Colorado Summer Trip Ideas

Not ready to let summer go? Aching to take one last summer trip? Here are some quick trip ideas sure to make a few long lasting Summer 2016 memories.

Go Biking

Biking is one of the Colorado activities that most reminds me of childhood. I think there was a period in my life – while I was trying to learn to ride a bike without hands – that I peddled more than I walked.

Last minute Colorado summer trip ideas - go biking. HeidiTown.com

Biking between small farms & wineries in Paonia, Colorado.

Today, when I’m speeding down the Yampa River Core Trail in Steamboat Springs or sailing down the Animas River Trail in Durango, I feel like a kid again.

Ryan and I have been adding biking to our many Colorado travels over the last two summers; renting bikes at the various locations we visit. Most recently we rented bikes from Cirque Cyclery in Paonia and toured small farms and a winery. Continue reading

FEATURED FESTIVAL: Farm to Fiddle Festival, Hotchkiss, Colorado

This brand new festival is happening in one of my favorite places in the state, Delta County, Colorado. This bountiful area boasts farms, wineries, orchards, ranches and more. And Farm to Fiddle Festival is a celebration of everything this region has to offer.

Farm to Fiddle Festival

The festival takes place in Hotchkiss, Colorado, a town that claims to be the friendliest town around and I’ve had no experiences to the contrary. Hotchkiss really is a friendly place to visit and Farm to Fiddle is a great excuse to do so.

FEATURED FESTIVAL: Farm to Fiddle Festival, Hotchkiss, Colorado

Traffic in downtown Hotchkiss, Colorado.

The festival is being held in downtown Hotchkiss during the last two days of the Delta County Fair & Rodeo, also held in Hotchkiss, and the two events are within walking distance of one another.

Farm to Fiddle will feature three parts; an arts and crafts corner, a farm block and an outdoor expo. Festival goers will be able to buy everything from art for their home to farm fresh fruits and vegetables. At the Outdoor Expo, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation will conduct a Safe Shoot starting Saturday at noon.

FEATURED FESTIVAL Farm to Fiddle Festival, Hotchkiss, Colorado. Veggies. HeidiTown.com

Veggies at the Hotchkiss Saturday Farmers’ Market.

In addition there will be plenty of music throughout the event.. Performers include Miguel Dakota & the Differents, Charlie Ware the cowboy poet, Mike Gwinn & North Fork Flyers, Linda McVehil, among others.

The festival show stealer, however, may be local celebrity, 15-year-old Jeneve Rose Mitchell. Mitchell is from Crawford, which is just up the road from Hotchkiss, and was a contestant on American Idol. She’s been singing and playing fiddle since she was as toddler, and now she plays an array of stringed instruments.

Other events at Farm to Fiddle include a Saturday night dance at the Elk’s BPOE 1807, and a motorcycle poker run sponsored by Pat’s Bar & Grill. Don’t miss the wine and cheese tasting hosted by ShadeScapes from 5 to 8 p.m. on Saturday.

This festival is a wonderful opportunity for folks to get acquainted with the Delta County area of Colorado. It would be a fantastic time to pick up some fruit and with u-pick farms around every bend, visitors can go home with a trunk full of farm fresh produce. Wine lovers will want to visit  the many wineries in the area. Those who want a hands on farm experience can tour farms like The Living Farm.

FEATURED FESTIVAL Farm to Fiddle Festival, Hotchkiss, Colorado. Our haul. HeidiTown.com

Our haul from Delta County. Just imagine what you could come home with!

For area lodging information click here, but I can say from experience that Leroux Creek Inn & Vineyards is a fantastic bed and breakfast in Hotchkiss.

Farm to Fiddle Festival

August 12-13, 2016

Friday, 9 to 6 & Saturday, 10 to 6

Hotchkiss, Colorado

Admission: FREE


Farm to Fiddle on Facebook

Farm to Fiddle is presented by Outdoors Alive, Inc., an organization founded to promote safe enjoyment of recreation through educational programs and humanitarian services to all with an emphasis on youth, disabled, handicapped, underprivileged persons, and military personnel.

FEATURED FESTIVAL Farm to Fiddle Festival, Hotchkiss, Colorado. Avlanche Cheese Co. goat. HeidiTown.com

Farms like the Avalanche Cheese Co.’s goat farm allow visitors to tour.


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


Wildflowers & Wild Chipmunks on Grand Mesa Scenic Byway

I’m assuming that most of my readers have heard of Grand Mesa, but I’m betting that many haven’t been there. I hadn’t beeen there until this past weekend. We were visiting the Paonia and Hotchkiss area of the state and decided to return home via the Grand Mesa Scenic Byway, a route we’d never taken before.

Wildflowers & wild chipmunks on Grand Mesa. HeidiTown.com (6)

This byway runs from Cedaredge, across the top of Grand Mesa and down into Skyway near Powderhorn Ski Resort. Grand Mesa is 500 square miles and is the largest flat-topped mountain in the world according to National Geographic. At 11,333 at the highest point, it’s tall too.

Stopping briefly for some apple cider at a farm stand in Cederedge, we began to wind our way up the Grand Mesa. We watched with some interest as the temperature outside began to fall from near 90 degrees to 65 degrees by the time we reached the top.

Before we reached the top, however, we pulled into the visitor’s center. As we exited our vehicle, the smell of pine trees filled me with nostalgia for childhood camping trips in Northern California. Continue reading

Kids bored this summer? Let HeidiTown help

Since the beginning of summer break, I’ve seen dozens of my friends complaining on Facebook about their kids’ boredom and asking about interesting ways to keep them busy this summer.

Kids bored this summer Let HeidiTown help. The living Farm, Paonia, Colorado. HeidiTown.com

The Living Farm, Paonia, Colorado

I’m not a mom, so I’m not going to use this blog post to list arts and crafts projects or fun backyard activities to do with your kids this summer. However, I am going to shed light on a few free and low costs outings that are guaranteed to keep your kids entertained for at least a few hours.

Outdoor concerts

Nearly every town in Colorado seems to have a free concerts series happening this summer. Some cities, such as Loveland, have two (Thursdays and Fridays). See my recent post for Visit Loveland for details. Continue reading

Nine & a Half Things to Do at Colorado Renaissance Festival

Haven’t made it to the Colorado Renaissance Festival this year? Well, what’s stopping you? It’s time to saddle up the pony and head out. While there, I highly recommend doing these nine and a half things.

1. Gnaw on a Turkey Leg

There’s something about gnawing on a turkey leg that’s highly satisfying. Vegetarians, you can gnaw on a roasted artichoke instead, although I guarantee that it’s not nearly as fun.

9 and a half things to do at colorado renaissance Festival. HeidiTown.com

2. Catch a Show

The Colorado Renaissance Show curates their shows carefully and they are all very good. This year, The Washing Well Wenches have moved to the big stage, formerly the home of Puke & Snot. This is a longtime favorite of mine it’s nice to see these funny, irreverent ladies rewarded for their hard work. Continue reading

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Farm Stand Band



Summer 2016 –  Featured Nonprofit

National Mill Dog Rescue

Featured Festival:

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