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Featured Festival: First Night, take an Enchanted Voyage in Fort Collins, Colorado

First Night Fort Collins 2012-13 largeThis year is the 17th Annual First Night in Fort Collins. This a New Year’s Eve celebration for the entire family.

This is a non-alcoholic New Year’s Eve party with entertainment galore. This year’s theme is Enchanted Voyage, and the night will not disappoint.

First Night events take place in 12 different venues around the city, from Lincoln Center to Old Town Square, and festivities get under way  at 6 p.m. on Monday, December 31st.
The schedule is jam packed with storytelling, history, interactive craft projects, street performers, international dance acts, comedy, theater, magicians and so much more it would take me too long to list them all here.

The evening’s headliner is  Popovich Comedy Pet Theater  from Las Vegas, Nevada. The Comedy Pet Theater features 16 dogs and other animal performers – all are rescue animals. Gregory Popovich has been featured on the Tonight Show and was named Entertainer of the Year by the American Circus Association. His unusual theater troupe has even been featured on Animal Planet.

The 45-minute Popovich Comedy Pet Theater is being held at Lincoln Center at 6, 7:30 and 9 p.m. This show is included with your First Night Button.

What’s a First Night Button? It’s your $12 ticket to every event that’s happening on the evening of the 31st.

Buy your First Night Button  HERE!  Kids under 5 are free.

For more information on First Night and other events happening in Fort Collins go to  DowntownFortCollins.com.

Be a tourist in your own town

Greeley Freight Train Museum

Greeley Freight Train Museum (Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer, all rights reserved)

As tourists we take the time to learn the history and hidden secrets of the places we visit, but how many of us know the story of our own town?

Earlier this year I wrote a post entitled, “Become an advocate for your town,” and today’s post has a similar feel, although I fear I’m going to get preachier. In that piece I gave you five ways to become an advocate because your advocacy will result in a positive economic impact for your town.

Today, I want to inspire you to become a tourist in your own town because it will enrich your life. HeidiTown is about festival, events and travel in Colorado, however, this post is for people who live in Florida, California, or anywhere in between. Every town has a different tale to tell, but many of us don’t know our community’s story.

This post was inspired by two recent incidents. Earlier this fall I attended an event held at the Greeley Freight Station Museum in Greeley, Colorado. Most of those in attendance were from Greeley, but none of the thirty-some people there had ever been to the museum before.

Train enthusiasts come from around the world to visit the Greeley Freight Station Museum because it’s truly one-of-a-kind, but many who live in the region haven’t stepped foot in the building.

Tread of Pioneers Museum Colorado

Tread of Pioneers Museum in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. .Photo taken by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer in February 2011. All rights reserved.

I had a similar experience earlier this month in Steamboat Springs. While there I took a walking tour presented by the Tread of Pioneers Museum in downtown. I’ve been to Steamboat Springs a number of times, but was surprised to realize I knew very little about the history of Ski Town USA. I was even more startled when our tour guide informed us that she’s been giving these historical tours twice a week for about a year and no local has ever been on the walk. In fact, locals seldom visit the museum, unless it’s a group of school children.

It’s time we all became tourists in our own towns. There’s no doubt in my mind that knowing your town’s story and hidden treasures will enrich your life. It may even make you a little prouder about where you live. So this weekend, get out and discover your town; visit a museum, visit your town’s Visitors Center, and find out what hidden gems are right outside your front door.

HeidiTown on the radio – Car shows, community festivals & scenic fall drives around Colorado

fall flowers in Colorado

Fall flowers in Colorado. Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer.

For those of you who may be new to HeidiTown, each week I have a radio segment on KRFC 88.9 FM in Fort Collins, Colorado. It’s a community-ran public radio station broadcasting around Northern Colorado and beyond. My HeidiTown segments run on Wednesday around 12:30 p.m. and Friday at 5:30 p.m.

This week I share about some fun things happening around Northern Colorado in September, including a car show this weekend and several community festivals. I also mention a favorite scenic fall drive, that I have blogged as well. Read “Scenic Autumn Drives in Colorado with a Destination” here.

Listen to this week’s show HERE.

 

What’s happening in Colorado this weekend, June 8-10, 2012 (HeidiTown on the radio)

the Mayor in a blue car at Colorado Nationals

The Mayor of HeidiTown at the 2011 Colorado Nationals. Photo by Ryan Schlaefer, all rights reserved.

It’s another great Colorado weekend with events that will suit every taste and every age group.

The following is the transcript from my weekly radio show on  KRFC  88.9 FM. If you’d rather listen to the show,  click here.

***

Hi, my name is Heidi and I’m the Mayor of HeidiTown.com, a blog about festivals, events and destinations around Colorado.

This is the line up for June 8 through the 10th, 2012, and now that the festival season is in full swing I urge you to hook up with me on Facebook and Twitter, because it’s an impossible task to share everything I’d like to share here on the radio show.

First up, it’s the Taste of Fort Collins this weekend. Food events take place around the state and it seems most towns now have one and these festivals are a great way to introduce your taste buds to new restaurants in your community.

Taste of Fort Collins LogoFort Collins has a thriving food scene and new restaurants are cropping up every month. 41 restaurants are participating in this year’s Taste of Fort Collins. Marketed as a family-friendly event, festival goers can even vote on their favorite restaurant at the Taste. Last year’s People’s Choice winner was Jax Fish House. For more on this two-day tasty affair go to TasteofFortCollins.com.

I’m not a car nut and I can’t tell you the first thing about an engine, however, I LOVE vintage cars, so I really enjoy attending the Colorado Nationals held at The Ranch in Loveland every year.

The event features over 1500 rods, custom, classic and muscle cars through 1972. There are vendor and manufacturers exhibits, a swap meet, a model and pedal car show, an autocross competition that’s very exciting and a lot more.

Even if you aren’t a gearhead, I know you’ll have fun at the 15th Annual Colorado Nationals running this Friday through Sunday. Get all the details at Good-Guys.com, look under Events.

The famous Greeley Blues Jam is upon us. It starts in downtown Greeley this Friday and then the ticketed event is Saturday at Island Grove. Eleven hours of nonstop blues awaits the avid fans of this annual music festival. Learn more at GreeleyBluesJam.com.

Two events are happening in the tiny but fabulous town of Lyons, Colorado this weekend. It’s the Lyons Outdoor Games and the Oskar Blues Burning Can Festival is back. The games were created 11 years ago to celebrate mountains sports such as kayaking, mountain biking, fly fishing, chainsaw carving and more. There are numerous clinics and exhibitions by some of the world’s most elite athletes.

The Burning Can is a festival of CANNED beer featuring over 25 breweries. This is the perfect weekend to be in Lyons, check it all out online at LyonsOutdoorGames.com.

It’s Wool Festival in Estes June 9 and 10. This is one of the largest all-natural fiber markets in North America featuring demos, contests, a children’s tents, exhibits and the sale of fiber animals like alpacas. In its 22nd year, this event draws more than 10,000 to the beautiful town of Estes Park, Colorado. One of the more interesting features of this event is that you can learn how to pack a llama for hiking of hunting. I’ve always thought it would be fun to hike the backcountry with a llama. Learn more at EstesParkCVB.com.

Colorado Renaissance Festival in Larkspur Colorado

The joust at the Colorado Renaissance Festival is a highly anticipated event involving a lot of cheering and jeering from the crowd. Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer

Two popular summer festivals get underway this weekend including my personal favorite the Colorado Renaissance Festival in Larkspur running through the end of July, and the Colorado Shakespeare Festival in Boulder running through mid-August.

It’s Parker Days this weekend, a family event that has been taking place in Parker, Colorado for thirty years. There’s a parade, carnival, and tons of activities for all ages. More at ParkerDaysFestival.com.

There is a fun fest taking place in southwest Colorado this weekend, a destination that should be on your radar this summer. June 7 through 10th is the 34th Annual Pioneer Days in Crawford, Colorado. Outhouse races are the highlight of this celebration of the wild west that also features lots of live entertainment, vendors, a Cowboy Cook-off, parade and lots more family fun. Learn more at CrawfordCounty.org.

As a reminder, if you are looking for ways to keep the kiddos busy this summer, be sure to check out your local museum. Many are offering workshops, exhibits and other programs aimed at entertaining and educating children.

That’s all the time I have for this week’s radio show. Be sure to join me on Facebook at HeidiTown.comonFB and follow me on Twitter for more festival and event information. The town is also on Google Plus.

Thank you for listening! Until next week I hope to see you online or at a festival near you!

The past in living color at History Colorado

Frank Oom History Colorado

History Colorado (Photo by Frank Oom, used with permission)

I had an opportunity to get a sneak peek at the new History Colorado museum in Denver this week, and I am so excited to share this blog post with you.

I grew up visiting museums, and I really love them, so I’m not completely unbiased when it comes to writing about museums. However, the fact that I have toured so many makes me a pseudo museum expert, and most museums, especially those focusing on history, feel very similar, but I am here to tell you that History Colorado is truly different.

Continue reading this post by clicking here.

Celebrate Colorado Buy Local Week with FREE t-shirts from LoyalTee & HeidiTown

It’s Buy Local Week here in Colorado, and around the country. There are so many reasons why it’s good to buy local, and according to ColoradoLocalFirst.com, there are five main reasons.

1. Environment By buying things closer to home you are cutting down on fossil fuel use, reducing your carbon impact AND saving money!

2. Local Economy Local businesses buy more often from other local businesses, so the money you spend is retained in the community in a more concentrated fashion.

3. Local Flavor The experience at a local establishment is unique – providing the local flavor of the area.

4. Community Care Local entrepreneurs are more connected to our community, because they live here, too! They are more likely to get involved in community efforts and activities.

5. Voicing Your Opinion By buying locally you are saying, “Hey, I like this business and the neighborhood wouldn’t be the same without it.”

So without further ado, to celebrate Buy Local Week here on HeidiTown, I’ve joined forces with a local Colorado company, LoyalTee, a Denver-based t-shirt company. LoyalTee is a collection of shirts featuring local landmarks, like Johnson’s Corner, Stadium Inn, and Duranglers Fly Fishing, to name a few.

Johnsons Corner t-shirt

All LoyalTee shirts are made in the USA, and a percentage of all sales goes to the business feature on the shirt. I absolutely love this company and their concept, so I was very happy when they decided to be a part of a HeidiTown contest.

In addition to getting a $23 gift certificate and free shipping to LoyalTee, the lucky winner of this contest will also get a HeidiTown t-shirt!

HeidiTown t-shirt on blue

Just leave me a comment  telling me your favorite Colorado landmark and you’ll be entered. As usually, I will pick the winner (at random) on Friday afternoon, Dec. 2, 2011, at approximately 3 p.m.

It’s hard for me to pick just one favorite Colorado landmark, but today I think I’ll go with the Bucksnort Saloon.   I love that the Bucksnort is located up a long dirt road. I love their un-level floors, and I especially love their forest fire burger with jalapenos and cream cheese.

Good luck!

~ Contest Closed ~


“Community” beating the pants off “The Office”

Community

Just when I thought I couldn’t love this show anymore, last night’s show had an ode to my all-time favorite movie, “Dead Poets Society.”

So now it  is now official: I will cry if they cancel “Community.”

If you haven’t seen “Community,” it stars Joel McHale, most famous as the host of E’s “The Soup,” he also  snagged a  role as an FBI agent  in the new Matt Damon flick, “The Informant!”

From the people who brought you “Arrested Development,” this  sitcom is  set at a community college, where students  of all ages are enrolled for a variety of reasons.  McHale plays  Jeff Winger, an attorney whose degree has been revoked.   The show also stars Chevy Chase, as  “Chuck,” a  millionaire  and a  tactless chauvinist.  

The show is witty without being pretentious.    If you were a fan of “Arrested Development” – and I was – you will probably like “Community.”   So far, this season of “The Office” has been a let down, but  “Community” is making up for it.

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