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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. Continue reading

Christmas in Ouray, It’s Not Too Early to Start Planning

There are still 144 days until Christmas, so please don’t panic, however, it’s never too soon to plan holiday travel. And after this summer heatwave we’ve been experiencing, a cool down in the beautiful village of Ouray, Colorado sounds heavenly.

Spend Christmas in Ouray, photo by Dan Navakowski

Photo by Dan Navakowski & used with permission.

Imagine spending a wintry weekend surrounded by snowy peaks in Ouray, Colorado. Snowshoe on a local trail, enjoy a delicious meal or cozy up with a warm whiskey drink at KJ Wood Distillers. Top it all off with Ouray’s Wine, Chocolate & Cheese Festival.

Discounted tickets to Ouray’s Wine, Chocolate & Cheese Festival

The Annual Wine, Chocolate & Cheese Festival takes place during Ouray’s Winterfest, a seven-week holiday season of events and promotions. It starts after Thanksgiving and last through the Ouray Ice Festival in January. Festive activities take place throughout Winterfest, including Wine, Chocolate & Cheese Festival.

Spend Christmas in Ouray at Wine, Chocolate & Cheese Festival. HeidiTown.com

This blog post is your chance to purchase discounted tickets to Wine, Chocolate & Cheese Festival, and to start planning your winter getaway in Ouray.

This year’s event takes place on Saturday, December 10, 2016.

This festival features Colorado wines, chocolate and cheeses, and has expanded to include local craft distillers and arts and crafts. Of course, there’s live music too and this year’s festival theme is 1930’s Swing.

Ouray’s Wine, Chocolate & Cheese Festival is a beautiful way to ring in the holidays with a few of everyone’s favorite things. And it’s also an opportunity to purchase last minute Colorado gifts for all your favorite people.

Spend Christmas in Ouray. Cheese table at Wine, Chocolate & Cheese Festival. HeidiTown.com

Click here and enter “HeidiTown” into the “Enter Promotional Code” box to receive a 10% discount on your 2016 tickets to Ouray’s Wine, Chocolate & Cheese Festival. Promotion runs through August 31, 2016.

Ouray’s Wine, Chocolate & Cheese Festival is online at ColoradoWineFest.org.

Start planning your visit to Ouray at OurayColorado.com.

Each year, Ouray’s Wine, Chocolate & Cheese Festival supports a local non-profit and this year’s benefactor is Weehawken Creative Arts, helping kids and adults in Ouray County and neighboring communities discover their creative potential through the arts.

Winterfest is supported by the Annual Ouray Jeep Raffle, a half-century-long community fundraiser that gives participants the opportunity to win a jeep.

Faith Perry at Ouray's Wine, Chocolate & Cheese Festival. HeidiTown.com


This post is a paid advertisement. Interested in marketing your event, festival or destination with HeidiTown.com? Please email TheMayor@HeidiTown.com.

Top 5 tips for attending a Colorado winter festival

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!

Beer at Breckenridge Brewery. HeidiTown.com

It’s delicious, but it’s not water. Drink one of these and follow it up with a pint of water.

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

Featured Festival: Telluride Fire Festival (Jan. 14-18, 2016)

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.

Featured Festival Telluride Fire Festival 2016 El Pulpo Mecanico

Photo courtesy of Telluride Fire Festival.

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.

FractalTribePerformer#2ByRyanBonneau (1)

Photo provided by Telluride Fire Festival. Photographer, Ryan Bonneau.

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.

Telluride Fire Festival fire breathing dragon. HeidiTown.com

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

Telluride, Colorado

Free & ticketed


Join Telluride Fire Festival on Facebook

Join Telluride Fire Festival 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.

HeidiTown on the radio – Colorado in June

Beer at the Lyons Fork HeidiTown

Enjoying a couple beers on the patio of the Lyons Fork in Lyons, Colorado.

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.

As always, in order to get the most out of HeidiTown, I encourage you to visit the town’s block party on Facebook and subscribe to HeidiTown.com here.

Without further ado, listen NOW to the HeidiTown segment on KRFC.

Featured Festival: TEDx Front Range ““ Bringing the Magic

TEDx Feed Your Brain LOGOTEDx Front Range is taking place in Loveland, Colorado on May 31, 2013. It’s not a festival per se, but I am featuring the event this week anyway.

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.

Here’s a little secret about the Mayor of HeidiTown. I love magic, and I’m most excited about the two magicians in the lineup at TEDx   Front Range, Dan Jaspersen and Derek McKee.

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!

TEDx Front Range

May 31, from 1 to 5:30 p.m.

Rialto Theater

Loveland, Colorado

Buy Tickets Now

horiz tedx

Featured Festival: Front Range Rally, beer & food truck fest in Loveland

Front Range Rally Loveland beer festival LOGO 2013A 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


Purchase Tickets Now

Featured Festival: Lucky Joe’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade (Fort Collins, Colorado)

St. Pats Fort Collins parade picture

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.

A sea of green in downtown Fort Collins for St. Patrick's Day 2012 HeidiTown

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.

The pipers at St. Patrick's Day in Fort Collins 2012 HeidiTown

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.

Green beer in Old Town St. Patrick's in Fort Collins HeidiTown

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


Featured Festival: Frozen Dead Guy Days, March 8-10, 2013 (Nederland, Colorado)


NED WOMEN Frozen Dead Guy Days

All photos courtesy of Frozen Dead Guy Days. Photos by Barbara Lawlor.

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.

Parade of Hearses at Frozen Dead Guy Days.

Parade of Hearses.

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.

guy in blue dress at Frozen dead Guy Days

No idea what's going on here? Me neither.

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.


Frozen Dead Guy Days on Facebook

A snowmobile adventure in Grand Lake, Colorado

snowmobilng Grand County HeidiTown.comOn 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.

Heidi at ON the Trail Rentals snowmobiling HeidiTown

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.

breathtaking view snowmobiling HeidiTown.com

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.

Ryan in the play area snowmobiling HeidiTown

I just had to share my favorite Instagram from this snowmobiling adventure in Grand County. You can follow me on Instagram at TheMayorofHeidiTown.

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.

                snowmobilng grand county heiditown   Ryan & Heidi snowmobiling grand county heiditown

                      looking over my sled snomobiling HeidiTown   snowmobiles coming in at the end of the day HeidiTown

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.

See more photos from this trip on HeidiTown’s Facebook page, and join On the Trail Rentals on Facebok here.


Sponsored by the Grand County Colorado Tourism Board. Find them on Facebook here.  and on Twitter at @GrandCountyCo.  #VisitGrandCounty

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