I was asked recently to write a “tips for attending winter festivals” post. Well, I had already written that post way back in 2014. Since it has some great winter festival survival tips I decided I’d re-post the original article.
The following post originally appeared on HeidiTown.com on February 7, 2014.
I was prompted to write this post after an experience I had last month during Breckenridge’s Ullr Festival. For the first time ever I experienced the terrible symptoms of severe dehydration. As a longtime Coloradan, I am embarrassed to admit this, but it happened and it’s NOT fun.
On our second night in town, after soaking in the beautiful hot tubs at Grand Timber Lodge, we went out to dinner where I started to feel shaky and nauseated. I thought I was coming down with the flu. I didn’t touch dinner and had to head back to our condo early where I crawled into bed with intense muscle cramps and aches all over my body.
The next day I was fine, a bit weak, but otherwise back to normal. When I searched my symptoms on Google, I discovered that I had suffered from dehydration. Usually I drink a ton of water, but on this trip I was so busy with Nordic skiing and partying that hydration had skipped my mind. It won’t happen again.
This long story leads me to tip number 1, which is HYDRATE! HYDRATE! HYDRATE!
Colorado is at elevation – all of it – but especially in the mountains where most of the great winter festivals take place. Dehydration can happen to anyone, even a Colorado resident – case in point -but those coming from outside the state should be even more conscientious of this issue. Continue reading
This was the most unique winter festival we attended last year. It’s a spectacle of creativity and fire and must be experienced to be truly understood. And, the fact that it’s held in Telluride is a big bonus.
Part Burning Man, part community party, 2015 was the inaugural year of Telluride Fire Festival. The first thing we witnessed on our first night in town was El Pulpo Mecanico. I’ll admit, this fire breathing art car was one of the most amazing things I’ve witnessed in my nearly 40 years on this planet.
Telluride Fire Festival is broken into various piece. There are free events held in the Town of Telluride and in Mountain Village. There are also ticket events. Last year, March Fourth put on an outstanding ticketed show during Telluride Fire Festival.
There are also festival workshops. You can learn to weld or spin fire (yes, fire!). Some workshops have a fee while others are free. See a list of them here.
Dozens of artists come to town for this festival. From fire spinners to DJs to dance troupes, you won’t be able to toss a snowball without hitting an artist during Telluride Fire Festival. This is what makes it one of the most inspiration winter festivals in Colorado. See a list of participating artists here.
During the day you can participate in workshops or visit participating art galleries around Telluride, or you can ski or take a yoga class. That’s the beauty of Telluride, there’s a lot to do in this beautiful town.
Each night of fire festival there will be an event to warm you up including a dance party on Friday with Rob Garza, a Costume Fire Ball on Saturday and a fire-spinning party on Sunday.
A VIP event takes place Thursday evening and only those who purchase an All Access Pass will be allowed into this private reception.
An All Access Pass is just $195 (must be 21 or older to purchase). Purchase your pass here. Tickets to individual events are also available.
While some events are 21 and older, in general this is a festival for anyone who seeks to ignite a creative fire within their soul. I guarantee that something you see, hear or feel at Telluride Fire Festival will spark your imagination.
Telluride Fire Festival
January 14-18, 2016
Free & ticketed
Featured Festival spots on HeidiTown.com are paid advertisements. Interested in having your festival or event considered for a feature? Email TheMayor@HeidiTown.com.
It’s time for another HeidiTown segment on KRFC 88.9 FM.
June has five weekends, so that’s changing up my recording schedule. After this segment, I won’t be back on the radio until July 3rd, so this week’s segment covers the rest of June.
Without further ado, listen NOW to the HeidiTown segment on KRFC.
I attended my first TEDx last year, and was pleasantly surprised. I walked away inspired and impressed with the level of talent and determination that emanated from the stage on that afternoon.
If you aren’t familiar with TEDx, it originated from TED. TED was founded in 1984, by Richard Saul Wurman. He saw a powerful convergence between technology, entertainment and design (TED) happening in the world. The event brings together movers and shakers; individuals who have done amazing things or simple things that have had amazing results.
The event involves speakers taking the stage for up to 18 minutes. There are two annual TED conferences, with one occurring in the United States and the other in Edinburgh, Scotland. Speakers have included movie directors, software developers, founders of various nonprofit organizations and so many more.
A TEDx is an indepdently organized TED event, and hundreds now take place across the world, including here in Colorado.
TEDx Front Range will present the Pioneers, Guides & Innovators who are elevating the Front Range of Colorado to be unique and vibrant. Speakers include artists, environmentalists, teachers, athletes, writers and magicians.
If you are a magician, I’m the gal you want in the audience. I love the feeling of being amazed, and I am truly amazed by magic.
Another person I’m looking forward to hearing speak is artist Daniel Ibanez. He is a G+ sensation with 1,593,199 following him. To put this in perspective, 241 people follow me on G+. Find out why Ibanez is so big on G+ by attending TEDx Front Range.
If you want to be enlightened and amazed, don’t miss this event!
May 31, from 1 to 5:30 p.m.
A new beer festival rolls into Northern Colorado this May, and the unique feature at this event will be food trucks. The brainchild of the guys at Grimm Brothers Brewhouse and my favorite beer blogger, Dave of Fermentedly Challenged, Front Range Rally is about all about drinking good beer and eating good food for a good cause.
More than 30 craft breweries are participating in the festival, along with 15 food trucks. All the proceeds from this event go directly to the Food Bank for Larimer County.
The festival organizers are still pinning down bands for the event, and so far Dr. Doctor, a rock’n’blues band from Boulder, has been booked.
Details on food trucks are yet to be revealed, but you can bet that food options will be as varied and delicious as the food cart scene is in Northern Colorado.
Keep track of all the latest developments at Facebook.com/FrontRangeRally.
Early bird tickets are ON SALE NOW! If you buy your tickets on or before April 30, they are just $29, or $36 for a combo ticket that includes $10 in food tokens. After April 30, ticket prices will go up to $33 and $40. Designated driver tickets are $10 and include complimentary soft drinks.
Front Range Rally
May 18, 2013 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Loveland Food Share Parking Lot at 2600 N. Lincoln Avenue in Loveland, Colorado
Full disclosure: As a redhead with an Irish grandmother, I’m a big fan of St. Patrick’s Day. BIG.
Last year I finally attended the Lucky Joe’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Fort Collins, Colorado, and it’s a heck of a good time.
This is one of Fort Collins’ biggest parties of the year, with half the town coming out to witness the huge parade and after party in Old Town Square. Downtown Fort Collins literally becomes a sea of green, including the beer.
When we arrived in Fort Collins last St. Patty’s Day, Ryan and I were amazed to find the streets full of parade fans, and for good reason. It’s a premiere parade, with participates sticking with the theme of green, green, green. The streets get full, so get there early to find prime parade watching territory.
Families, college kids and leashed dogs all come together to celebrate one of my favorite holidays of the year.
The best part of this event, aside from the parade, are the bands that play in Old Town Square. Fort Collins keeps it authentic with Irish bands and pipe bands.
This year, stick around after the parade, stick around downtown to enjoy music with Irish bands such as Gobs O’Phun, The Commoners and TribU2, a U2 Tribute band. Guinness will be flowing along with Odells and green beer in Old Town Square. In addition you’ll find Irish food, green cotton candy, Bailey’s Irish Cream and Jameson Whiskey.
I’m not normally a fan of green beer, because it’s weird and not authentically Irish, however, last year we indulged and enjoyed our green beers.
This year the parade features over 80 floats and Colorado State University’s own Dr. Temple Grandin is the parade Grand Marshall.
Lucky Joe’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Fort Collins, Colorado
March 16, 2013
Parade route & more info can be found at
Behold the Frozen!
Frozen Dead Guy Days is hardly a secret anymore. In just 12 years they’ve managed to put this fest on the map. It’s been written up in magazines around the world, blogged about and even featured on national television (more than once).
Apparently, when you design a festival around a frozen dead guy, it’s a recipe for media attention.
If, for some reason, this festival is new to you, let me fill in the cold and gory details. There really is a dead guy in Nederland and he’s been frozen for 24 years. His name was Bredo Morstoel. He never lived in Colorado, in fact, he lived and died in Norway. However, he was a believer in cryonics, and after his death his body was shipped to a cryonics lab in California.
Remember cryonics? You don’t here about it much anymore, but it was the popular pseudo-scientific idea that if you kept a dead body frozen, you could somehow bring it back to life in the future when we figure out how to do that, or aliens land and show us how.
Apparently Grandpa Bredo, as the cold corpse is called, had family who also believed in cryogenics. They lived in Colorado, so that’s how Grandpa found his way to a shed on a hill in Nederland. His relatives are long gone, but when the media got wind of this unique situation, Grandpa Bredo became sensational news, and has been cared for ever since, and by cared for I mean a group of individuals deliver ice to his shed monthly keeping his body ready for his future resurrection.
Sound a bit weird? Welcome to Nederland. The tiny town embraces weird like a long lost child, and they let their freak flag fly extra high during Frozen Dead Guy Days.
The festival features an array of off the wall events like the frozen t-shirt contest, coffin races, a hearse parade, ice turkey bowling, frozen salmon toss, snowy beach volleyball, polar plunging and more. I’m not making this up – who could?
The popularity of the festival brings a lot of people to the tiny town of Nederland, so be prepared for crowds and leave the kids and baby strollers at home. Located an hour from Denver, the festival organizers encourage people to take the RTD N bus from Boulder to the event.
Frozen Dead Guy Days
March 8-10, 2013
Sorry, VIP passes have been sold out for weeks
FREE except for Friday night concert, $12
There are many, many, many events associated with this festival, including workshops on cryogenics. GO HERE for a listing.
On a trip to Grand Lake, Colorado, primarily to attend Winter Carnival, we had the opportunity go snowmobiling thanks to On the Trail Rentals. My first and only snowmobiling experience up until this point had been riding behind my husband on an old sled over some less than ideal terrain. The snowmobile didn’t have any shocks and it left a terrible trail of environmental pollution.
Thankfully, On the Trail Rentals is known for buying brand new snowmobiles every season, and I found out that riding a brand new snowmobile rocks.
I was a bit apprehensive about driving my own snowmobile, but after Ryan and I went over the map and safety regulations with owner, Nick, and geared up in a helmet and goggles, I started to feel a little more confident.
I felt even better when I saw my yellow snowmobile. Yellow was the color of my first car, and I’m rather fond it, so I liked my sled immediately and we were soon best friends.
It turns out that snowmobiles are super easy to operate. I was a little worried about this, but the machines are fully automatic and they operate like a jet ski – just squeeze and go. After taking a few spins around the field at On the Trail Rentals, we ventured out onto the 33 miles of groomed trail (that’s not counting the play areas along the route).
We were riding through six inches of fresh snow – in fact, it had been snowing bucket loads for three days straight before we arrived in Grand Lake.
“Perfect for snowmobilers,” said Nick at On the Trail.
And it was. We were in pure snowmobile bliss.
If you read my article about Ski School, you’ll know I’m not a braggart and I am always honest with you about my abilities or lack thereof when it comes to any type of sport. It just so happens that I was born to ride a snowmobile. My natural skills even impressed my husband, and that’s hard to do because he’s naturally good at just about everything, and I am not.
Driving a snowmobile is exhilarating and the 33 mile loop was scenic and diverse. We first traveled through miles of open area that looks over the snowy landscape of beautiful and rugged Grand County. We took our sleds for a quick spin in the first play area, where we practiced turns and took great photographs.
Back out on the main trail it started to snow as we climbed. There weren’t a lot of other snowmobilers on the trail, so despite the noise of our machines, it felt like we were really out in back country. We climbed and climbed and the road grew a bit narrower as we found ourselves surrounded by a forested area heavy with snow.
I enjoyed being able to drive through different types of scenery and terrain. It was good practice for a newbie and I could work on things like turning and navigating deep snow. I’ll admit, in one of the play areas I got stuck and Ryan had to spend 20 minutes dragging out my sled – a good reason to bring a strong guy or gal along when you go snowmobiling.
Other than getting stuck once, I’d give myself an A for the day and On the Trail Rentals gets an A+ for their phenomenal snowmobiles.
After this experience, my number one recommendation to my female readers out there: Don’t ride behind your man, ladies. Get your own sled! You won’t regret it. If I can drive one of these machines, anyone can!
Here is a fun video my husband took on our snowmobile adventure at On the Trail Rentals.
One of my favorite memories is waking up to six inches of fresh snow on my birthday, October 10, 2007. We were staying in Leadville, Colorado the highest town in the United States at 10,000 feet above sea level.
This small town provides a uniquely Colorado experience for several reasons. First, there’s no place like Leadville and when I say it’s one-of-a-kind, I mean it. Colorful characters, both past and present and colorful stories, both historical and modern day, plus lots of snow – that’s Leadville in a nutshell.
Leadville Ski Joring Weekend is March 2-3, 2012. Ski joring is the Scandinavian word for ski driving, and in Scandinavia individuals would ski behind reindeer as a method of transportation. More than a half century ago, two men from Leadville witnesses ski joring in Steamboat Springs and brought it back to Leadville where, in 1948, it became a serious competition.
Today, the Leadville Ski Joring completion is considered the preeminent event in the sport and has a $1,000 purse. If you’ve never watched skijoring, you in for a treat – watch the video from PLUM TV at the bottom of this post to get a taste of what it involves.
The event poster gives all the details on the ski joring events taking place in downtown Leadville. Click image to enlarge.
For families that choose to make a weekend out of the event, Leadville has much to offer in the way of wintertime fun. There’s the groomed, free Dutch Henri Sledding Hill where families can either bring their own sleds (no metal allowed) or rent tubes for $7 on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The hill is open every day from dawn to dusk.
There is also the 30,000 square foot outdoor Leiter Ice Skating Rink, an affordable way to spend the afternoon. Skate rentals plus skate time is just $3.25 for children and $4.25 for adults. Ice rink is open 3:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sunday and includes a warming hut, snack bar and sound system.
The Mineral Belt Trail is free, and is 12 miles of groomed trail for cross country skiing and snowshoeing. In fact, Leadville has a total of 50 miles of cross country skiing trails, including 12 kilometers of groomed trails on the golf course.
The National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day. This is the only federally chartered non-profit museum and if mining sounds boring to you, it did to me too. However, this museum is really impressive. My husband wanted to go and I tagged along, and I was so glad that I did. Find them online at MiningHallofFame.org.
Leadville Ski Joring Weekend
March 2-3, 2013
Want to experience an authentic Colorado Valentine’s Day? Here are my tips for infusing a little Rocky Mountain high into your relationship this February.
Colorado offers everything from well-appointed historic hotels like the Brown Palace and Hotel Colorado to the shiny and still-fairly-new Ritz-Carlton in downtown Denver to Movie Manor, a motel in Monte Vista offering a drive-in movie with your stay.
When it comes to lodging options, this state has it all, but it’s Colorado’s bed and breakfasts that offer the perfect romantic ambiance for a Valentine’s Day escape. Many bed and breakfasts are located in the heart of Colorado’s unique towns, making everything within easy walking distance including restaurants, bars and shopping.
If you have reservations about staying at a bed and breakfast, I encourage you to read my article, “Dispelling the myths about staying at a bed & breakfast.”
Pick a bed and breakfast with a romance package, or make your own romance package. Pack a bottle of bubbly, some of your partner’s favorite chocolates or other fancy foods and stay in for the evening. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge!
We recently stumbled across the Carr Manor in Cripple Creek, and toured this 14-room bed and breakfast in a converted high school. There are two spa suites that will blow your mind. One has a vaulted Jacuzzi tub that should come with a couple servants waving palm frawns.
For a romantic little get away in the charming town of Berthoud, Colorado, check out the Berthoud Inn. The owner is an accomplished chef who just might cook up something special for your dinner if prearranged.
When it comes to the culinary scene, Colorado has chefs who are pushing the boundaries and testing the palates of residents from the Front Range to Aspen. While not always known as a “foodie town,” today, inspired cuisine can be found throughout Denver at places like Euclid Hall and Fruition Restaurant.
But let’s face it, Colorado’s known for meat, red meat like steak, lamb and wild game.
If you want to impress your date this Valentine’s Day with an authentic Colorado meal, try the Frontier Platter at The Fort in Morrison. This sample plate includes a buffalo sirloin medallion, wild boar chops and grilled teriyaki quail. Start your meal with some Rocky Mountain oysters as a daring aphrodisiac.
Looking for Rocky Mountain oysters at a less fancy establishment and price? Try Bruce’s in Severance, Colorado. A basket of oysters, fries and dip at Bruce’s will only set you back $8.99.
Here at HeidiTown, I’m all about doing stuff, and Valentine’s Day is your opportunity to get out and do something romantic with that special person in your life.
If you read HeidiTown then you’re already an expert when it comes to doing fun Colorado stuff, but if not, here are a few suggestions for this Valentine’s Day.
Dinner theater – This option kills two birds with one stone; dinner and the evening’s entertainment. And if you want to keep the Colorado theme going, The Unsinkable Molly Brown is now onstage at the Candlelight Dinner Playhouse in Johnstown.
A free gondola ride in Breckenridge – The 143-cabin Breckenridge Gondola runs year-round for skiers and non-skiers. This ride could be part of a romantic getaway in the beautiful town of Breckenridge, Colorado. Current hours of gondola operation are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
A moonlight snowshoe outing – Check out Colorado’s Best Snowshoeing Trails and do a little investigating to find out what resorts/ranches have this unique experience available.