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If you’ve been paying attention, by now you probably know that I was invited by GoBreck to judge the 50th Annual Ullr Festival parade last week in Breckenridge, Colorado.

After looking through our parade photos, taken mostly by my husband, Ryan, I just had to share a few of our favorites with you.

Here are photos from the Ullr Festival parade on Thursday, January 10, 2013:

kids in sleds at Ullr Parade HeidiTown 2013

If there had been a prize for “cutest float,” this would have won it.

fat guy on bike Ullr parade 2013 HeidiTown

This is a good time to tell you that it was COLD out! Really, really cold.

Guys riding keg skis Ullr Parade 2013 HeidiTown

The Ullr Festival parade is way more entertaining than your average 4th of July parade.

Heid Judging at Ullr Parade 2013 HeidiTown

It’s fun being a judge! My hands were cold, but my helmet was AWESOME!

Dancing viking woman Ullr Parade 2013 HeidiTown

This gal was having A LOT of fun!

Viking gals at Ullr parade 2013 HeidiTown

There are lots of viking women at Ullr Festival in very little clothing.

Grand Lodge float the 1000 dollar winner at Ullr parade 2013 Heiditown

This float by Grand Lodge took home first place & won $1000.

Snow Globe at Ullr Parade 2013 HeidiTown

The Good Times Adventures Snow Globe float was my favorite & they won 2nd place.

filled float Ullr parade 2013 Heiditown

Floats full of shiny, happy people.

not really a fire dancer cool shot at Ullr parade 2013 HeidiTown

One of my favorite photos from Ullr Festival parade.

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A huge thank you to GoBreck for asking me to participate in this wacky week of fun in Breckenridge, Colorado!!!

Bikes & Beer Show logo krfc

My segment on KRFC 88.9 FM comes on right before the Bikes and Beer Show at 6 p.m. every Wednesday.

It’s time for another segment of the HeidiTown show on KRFC 88.9 FM.

It’s already been an amazing year here at HeidiTown, and it’s only been a few weeks!

On this week’s show, I do a little housekeeping. There are some changes on the horizon for the HeidiTown show, so listen to find out what’s in store. Also, I preview some of my upcoming trips to Grand County this winter.

So without further ado, LISTEN HERE.

Four years ago, Ryan and I decided to go snowshoeing in Rocky Mountain National Park, and afterwards we stopped in Estes Park and stumbled into what has become one of our favorite winter festivals.

Me & Jack at Estes Park Winter Festival 2012 HeidiTown

Goofing around with Jack at the 3rd Annual Estes Park Winter Festival in 2012.

At that time the Estes Park Winter Festival was a small affair, a lot of local cooks serving up chili and just a few beer and wine vendors, but what fun we had. We tasted every chili under the tent and then, like kids, took pictures all around the ice castle in the park.

We’ve watched this event grow and grow, but the organizers have done a great job keeping it organized. Why is it a favorite? We love chili – who doesn’t? And we love beer. This event combines beer, wine and chili and new this year, mac ‘n’ cheese. Yes, in addition to the massively popular chili cook off that pits restaurant against restaurant and amateur cook against amateur cook, the event organizers have added a mac ‘n’ cheese cook off.

chili cook off pic Estes Park Winter Festival 2012 HeidiTown

A chili taster at the Estes Park Winter Festival in 2012.

Not only do guests of the fest get to taste all the chili and mac ‘n’ cheese, they get to vote for their favorites. So put your New Year’s resolution on hold and go crazy!

Another great feature of Winter Festival is that it really is fun for all ages. There are activities for kids that include ice skating and an amazing interactive ice castle. Last year we attended Winter Fest with friends who have two little boys. The ice castle kept them entertained for hours.  There’s even more fun for the kiddos this year including a toboggan run and an interactive snow globe.

Having fun in and on the ice castle at Winter Festival 2012 Heiditown

Our friends' kids love the interactive ice castle at the 3rd Annual Estes Park Winter Festival in 2012.

4th Annual Estes Park Winter Festival

Location: Fairgrounds at Stanley Park

Date: January 18-21, 2013

Festivities get underway on Friday with the FREE Ceilidh Barn Dance that includes live music, a caller, dancing, a bar and more.

Saturday & Sunday enjoy the MAIN (ticketed) event from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Monday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., it’s the Block Party across from Bond Park at the ice skating rink. There will be pony rides, a petting zoo, balloon artist and FREE ice skating. Monday is also a FREE day at Rocky Mountain National Park.

For the entire lineup of events & to buy tickets go to

www.estesparkwinterfestival.com

ice rink at Estes Park Winter Festival

Ice rink at the Estes Park Winter Festival in 2012. This year's event is Jan. 18-21, 2013.

After a week off, it’s time for another installment of the Mayor on KRFC 88.9 FM, community public radio in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Starting in February, these shows will occur on the 1st and 3rd week of each month. Life is just getting too crazy to do a show each and every week.

Remember, if you’d like to catch the show on the radio, I’m on at 5:55 p.m. on Wednesdays, immediately before Bikes & Beer and on Fridays at 5 p.m.

On this week’s segment I talk about what I’m up to this week – it’s ULLR FESTIVAL – and preview one of my favorite winter festivals in Colorado.

LISTEN HERE.

 

It has been an AMAZING year here in HeidiTown…

and 2013 is going to be even better.

I have so many great memories from this past year, like emceeing a freezing/cold/snowy Berthoud Oktoberfest, attending the Great American Beer Festival for the first time and speaking multiple times at Metropolitan State University. There were some real standout moments however, so without further ado, here are my Top 10 Memories from the Mayor of HeidiTown, Colorado for 2012 (in pictures):

March – MyHandleBar HeidiTown ride in Fort Collins, Colorado

 My Handle Bar Ride March 2012 HeidiTown.com

May – The HeidiTown banners are revealed

 HeidiTown Banners May 2012

June – Champagne in the gondola & dining at the top of Keystone Resort during TBEX

 Champagne on the gondola in Keystone for TBEX June 2012 HeidiTown.com

June – Being a judge at the kick-off of Loveland Loves BBQ , Bands & Brews

 Haivng a laugh with Lauren Hoff at kick off for Loveland Loves BBQ Brews & Bands June 2012 HeidiTown.com

July – Gorging ourselves on food cart delights & wine at Unwined Denver

 Cupcakes from Denver Cupcake Truck at Unwined Denver 2012

July – Enjoying a really big pretzel and German dancing with my main squeeze at the Biergarten Festival

 Biergarten festival big pretzel July 2012 HeidiTown.com

August – My first hot air balloon ride at Sweetheart Balloon Rally in Loveland

 Sweetheart Balloon Rally August 2012 HeidiTown.com

August – Ziplining at Copper Mountain & riding the chairlift with beers

 zip lining at Copper Mountain HeidiTown August 2012

October – Staying at One Steamboat Place for the Governor’s Tourism Conference in Steamboat Springs (via Moving Mountains Chalet)

One Steamboat Place Diamond Peak

December – Laughing our butts off at the Cripple Creek Jail Museum & winning on Elvis at The Rush Casino

 The Rush Casino Cripple Creek December 2012 HeidiTown.com

  Thank you to everyone who has helped make this year so special & now? Bring on 2013!

P.S. A special thank you to my husband, Ryan, the person I most enjoy taking adventures with – now and always!

Heidi & Ryan Grand Lake

Happy Holidays to all the HeidiTown citizens, from Heidi & Ryan

It’s time for another segment on KRFC 88.9 FM.

Please note that there will not be a radio segment next week due to the Mayor’s crazy holiday schedule.

The evolution of the HeidiTown brand over the past year has been amazing, and lots of exciting things are in store for the upcoming year. On this week’s radio show I share with the listeners some of the changes happening around HeidiTown in 2013.

Also, I highlight some of the New Year’s Eve celebrations taking place in Fort Collins and Denver.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and may 2013 by the Best Year yet for all of us!!!

Listen to this week’s radio show HERE.

Ullr Fest in Breckenridge Colorado by Carl Scofield

Ullr Fest in Breckenridge, Colorado. Photo by Carl Scofield. Provided by GoBreck.com.

Party like a viking with me in Breckenridge, Colorado!

For half a century the people of Breckenridge have been donning horns and participating in a huge party inspired by Ullr, the Norse God of Winter. In Europe, Ullr is the Guardian of Skiers, and the gods know I will need him during my skiing adventure in Breckenridge this season.

Originally developed as a party for the people of Breckenridge, Ullr Festival has expanded over the years, although it is still a homegrown event. The party got started in 1963, and today it is a week long festival with all kinds of wacky traditions.

I will be attending Ullr Festival this year and I’m looking forward to a crazy party.

The 50th Ullr Festival runs January 6-12, 2013, and the schedule from GoBreck is as follows:

Sunday, Jan. 6 – Crowning of the Ullr King & Queen (6-9pm)
Toast to 50 years of fun with free beer and live music by The Luv Brothers. New location for 2013 – Breckenridge Riverwalk Center, 150 W. Adams Ave. FREE

Monday, Jan. 7 – Family Night new (3:30 – 5:30pm)
Bring the kids for Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, indoor activities and a family-friendly bonfire at the Gold Run Nordic Center on Tiger Road. FREE

Tuesday, Jan. 8 – Ullympics (6 – 8pm) 

Partake in wild events such as the frying pan toss, group ski racing and ski boot relay. FREE

Mayor’s note: I can’t WAIT for this evening!

Wednesday, Jan. 9 – Ullr Dating Game

Join local radio station KSMT and all the singles in town for Breckenridge’s 21+ version of the Dating Game at Cecilias. To apply to be a bachelor/bachelorette, call KSMT at 970-453-2234 ext. 20. FREE

Thursday, Jan. 10 – Ullr Fest parade and town bonfire (Parade starts at 4:30pm, Bonfire 5-7pm, and Fireworks at 7pm)

The centerpiece of the week, the Ullr Fest parade showcases Breckenridge’s style of wild winter fun – past floats have included dogsled teams, hot tubs, a ski jump and more. A town bonfire and fireworks follow the parade. FREE

Mayor’s note: I’m either going to help judge the parade or I may actually ride on a float. I better pick up a pair of great Viking horns, pronto! 

Friday, Jan. 11 – Comedy night:

Comedy Works comics descend on Breckenridge for a night of big laughs at Beaver Run Resort.

Saturday, Jan. 12 – Ullr Fashion Show: Close out the week with a Viking-themed costume contest at the Park Avenue Pub.

To keep tabs on all the fun stuff happening in Breckenridge during the winter or any other time of year, go to GoBreck.com.

UPDATE:

12/30/12

The first glimpse of what I’ll be sporting at Ullr Festival this year.

Ullr helmet heiditown 2013

Photo via HeidiTown on Instagram

A grand welcome to the market by Ms. Laura Kantwerk.

A grand welcome to the market by Ms. Laura Kantwerk. Photos by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer, all rights reserved.

It seems rather appropriate for the Mayor of a place called HeidiTown to have a connection to the German Chamber of Commerce – Colorado Chapter. Full disclosure: This organization has been advertising their events with HeidiTown for a while now and it’s a match made in heaven.

This organization puts together well-organized and top-notch events that I am more than happy to slap my endorsement on. Their Biergarten Festival is a summer party my husband and I look forward to every year.

The GACC-CO’s winter event is the Denver Christkindl Market. In operation for 12 years, this year there’s a new look, but the market hasn’t lost its intimate, European feel.

Christkindl markets have deep roots in Germany where the oldest recorded Christmas market dates back to 1310 in Munich. Held in front of churches, the markets were often part of a person’s church visit. Today, these markets are still held in town squares across Germany.

Tour the Denver Christkindl Market to find unique, handmade gifts for nearly everyone on your list. I found lots of knit hats and beautiful artisan jewelry that I’d love to find under the tree this Christmas.

Pastries at the Denver Christkindl Market

Pastries at the Denver Christkindl Market.

The best part of the market, in my illustrious opinion, is the food and the beer/entertainment tent. I’d recommend coming hungry, having some delicious European-style food and a beer or two and then going shopping.

While we were visiting the beer tent last weekend, the Chalet Dancers from Castle Rock were peforming and their authentic German dances impressed the crowd, me included. Under the tent you’ll find a full lineup of entertainment on the weekday evenings and weekends.

Sipping a beer or gluehwein (spiced wine), you’ll be transported to a different time and place, and this is what I love the most about the Denver Christkindl Market and the Biergarten Festival – it’s a chance to experience a little German culture right here in Colorado. Our state is rich with German heritage, but we don’t always get a chance to see it, taste it and feel it in action. I applaud the German Chamber of Commerce – Colorado Chapter for keeping this culture alive and well.

Keep in mind that the market is a wonderful event for children – from entertainment to delicious pastries, make the Denver Christkindl Market a part of their childhood memories this Christmas.

chalet dancers at Denver Christkindl Market

Chalet Dancers from Castle Rock, Colorado.

Denver Christkindl Market

Skyline Park (16th & Arapaho)

November 23 to December 22, 2012

Sunday – Wednesday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Thursday – Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Join the Denver Christkindl Market on Facebook

www.denverchristkindlmarket.com

This week’s radio segment on KRFC 88.9 FM offers up some seasonal fun this weekend in Fort Collins PLUS, some ideas on what to do with out-of-town guests over the holidays in Denver and beyond.

Listen to the segment HERE.

Church Carolers

 

santas workshop cripple creek parade cunningham

Gold Camp Christmas, photo courtesy of Maria Cunningham & VisitCrippleCreek.com.

The holidays come alive in Cripple Creek and Victor on December 6-9, 2012, during Gold Camp Christmas. One hundred years ago, thousands of people converged on this area of Colorado in search of fortune in the form of gold. The area is rich in mining history and today visitors can explore mines or visit a number of museums that tell the wild story of Cripple Creek’s lively past.

Today, people visit Cripple Creek seeking treasure of a different sort. The town is popular with gamblers who want a friendly environment where the air has always been thick with the anticipation of a big jackpot.

The Sounds of Christmas” is the theme of this year’s festivities in Cripple Creek and Victor. Please note that activities will be taking place in both towns throughout the weekend. Approximately five miles separate these two historic mining communities.

The party kicks off on Friday with activities during the day followed by the Parade of Lights down Victor Avenue at 6 p.m. Activities are planned throughout the day on Saturday including a Christmas bazaar, ice skating, an Elf Emporium, musical entertainment, a Christmas Parade at noon in Cripple Creek and more.

riders in Cripple Creek parade Charlie Chambers

Photo courtesy Charlie Chambers and VisitCrippleCreek.com.

 

Don’t miss the special Colorado Springs Chorale performance planned for 3 p.m. at the Cripple Creek Baptist Church. That evening, “A Cripple Creek Christmas Carol” is on stage at the Butte Theater (there are multiple shows on the calendar).

Visitors interested in going on the Lighted Mine Headframe Guided Tour on Friday evening can catch shuttles leaving the Aspen Mine Center located in Cripple Creek at 5:30 p.m. There are no reservations, it’s first come, first serve, so arrive early! More info at 1-877-858-4653.

View a comprehensive schedule of all the events planned for Gold Camp Christmas here.

Cripple Creek is a 2-hour drive from Denver and just 45 minutes west of Colorado Springs.

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I’m spending a weekend in Cripple Creek later this month, so watch for a fun travel piece about my adventures in this Wild West town.