I’ve been writing and attending festivals in Colorado for long enough to inform you with authority that we Coloradoans celebrate beer very, very well. I don’t try to keep up with all of the beer festivals around the state – it would be nearly impossible. There are events that feature chili beers, microbrews, home brews, and there are small fests and large fests and then there’s the grand daddy of all beer festivals, the Great American Beer Festival.
One of the things I most like giving away on HeidiTown are tickets to beer events. After all, free beer always proves to be very popular.
This week I’m giving away two tickets to Colorado Brewers’ Festival.
After trying a new approach to the festival last year, the organizers have gone back to what has worked best in the past – although the event is still being held in location of Civic Center Park in downtown at LaPorte and Howes Street.
The organizers have done away with the beer sessions that were instituted last year, and now festivalgoers can enjoy tasting beers and listening to bands on three stages all day long. Twenty bands will play over the two days with 12 Cents for Marvin and 3 Twins Broadband headlining the event.
This year’s festival is being held June 25-26, 2011. Tickets purchased in advance are $10, and tickets at the gate are $15. Designated drivers get in for free. Once inside, patrons can purchase $1 tokens and exchange them for 4 oz. tasters on any of the over sixty Colorado beers that will be represented at the event.
~ CONTEST CLOSED ~
In order to be entered to win a pair of tickets to this year’s festival, please leave me a comment below telling me your favorite Colorado beer. My current pick is Little Red Cap by Grimm Brothers Brewhouse located in Loveland. Be sure to stop by and visit them at the festival – tell them the Mayor of HeidiTown sent you.
A winner will be chosen at random on Friday at 3 p.m.
Find out more about the Colorado Brewers’ Festival at www.downtownfortcollins.com.
One of my favorite summer activities is listening to live music while laying in the green grass and watching the clouds roll by. When I researched summer outdoor music options in Northern Colorado, I was overwhelmed. If you were so inclined, you could spend every evening of the week listening to live music somewhere in Colorado, and I think that’s pretty awesome.
I’ve mentioned several of these events before, but thought it would be nice to have them all right here in an a handy little list for my readers. I have no doubt that I’ve missed a few, so if you know of a free concert series in your town, whether it’s in Northern Colorado or beyond, please drop me a message in the comment section!
All of these concerts are FREE!
Foote Lagoon Concert Series (Loveland, Colorado)
This free concert series starts on June 16 and runs every Thursday until August 20. The Foote Lagoon is located at 500 E. 5th Street near Loveland’s municipal buildings just east of historic downtown.
The round stage is actually located in the lagoon, with the audience sitting either in the concrete seating area or on the grassy slopes of the lagoon. Concerts start at 7 p.m., and many people bring a picnic to enjoy before or during the show.
Each year the lineup at the lagoon is different and this year is no exception, featuring everything from honky-tonk to a Beetle tribute band. To see the entire schedule of bands including links to their website go to my previous post here.
Friday Fest (Greeley, Colorado)
Every Friday, starting on June 10, you can enjoy live bands during on 9th Street Plaza in downtown Greeley. The Greeley Blues Jam (June 10-11) kicks off the event and it concludes with the Arts Picnic extravaganza on July 30. Greeley’s music scene attracts talented bands from every genre. Learn all about GBJ in my previous post about the event. The Greeley Blues Jam is not a free event.
Lagoon Summer Concert Series (Ft. Collins, Colorado)
This event is held every Wednesday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the lagoon on the west lawn of Colorado State University’s Lory Student Center. The concert series starts on June 29 and runs through August 10. To see what bands are on the schedule go to www.lagoonseries.com.
Also in Fort Collins…
Noontime Notes Concert Series – Tuesdays from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Oak Street Plaza in Old Town. Runs June 7 through August 16.
Ben & Jerry’s FAC Concert Series – Friday nights in Old Town Square from 7 to 9 p.m. Starts June 3 and ends on August 19.
Longmont Summer Concert Series (Longmont, Colorado)
The City of Longmont offers three free concerts at various locations during the summer. First up, Concert in the Park in Roosevelt Park at 700 Longs Peak Avenue. These concerts run every Tuesday from 6:30 to 8 p.m., starting on June 14 with the Celtic band, The Indulgers. <— YEAH! Love this band!
The Museum’s Summer Concert Series runs every Wednesday in the Longmont Museum & Cultural Center’s courtyard. Concerts take place from 7 to 8 p.m., and the museum is located at 400 Quail Road.
Last, but not least, the Downtown Summer Concert Series kicks off on June 10. These concerts take place every Friday night at 4th and Main in downtown Longmont with music starting at 7 p.m. To see the entire lineup of bands playing at each of these venues go to www.ci.longmont.co.us.
Rhythm on the Rails (Niwot, Colorado)
This is award winning concert series is held every Thursday evening at 6:45 p.m. in Whistle Stop Park. The event starts on June 9 and runs through August 18, 2011. This event includes food vendors, artisans, kids activities and a beer/wine/margarita tent for the adults. Find a complete lineup of bands playing this venue visit www.niwot.com. The best part? It’s held in one of the Mayor’s favorite towns! Read all about Niwot, here.
Sounds of Centerra (Loveland, Colorado)
Friday, July 15 through Friday, August 19
The concerts will be held from 7-9 p.m. at Chapungu Sculpture Park, located just east of the Promenade Shops at Centerra and are free to the public. To see the lineup of bands go here.
St. Patrick’s Day seemed the appropriate time to post my article about the Rocky Mountain Irish Festival. As you know, the Mayor likes all things Irish and she likes Irish festivals most of all.
And as you can see by the adjacent photo, Leprechauns like me. By the way, being kissed by a Leprechaun gives you good luck for life, so obviously I am good to go!
I attended the first two years of this festival when it was the Fort Collins Irish Festival. Both times I had an absolute blast. The ambiance will be different this year because it isn’t being held in downtown Fort Collins, but it’s going to be an even bigger and more amazing, not-to-be-missed event.
In 2008 and 2009 the festival was held in downtown Fort Collins, Colorado. The first year attracted 4,300 festivalgoers and the following year that number more than doubled.
The event organizers had a hit on their hands and realized they needed a bigger space. In 2010, they planned to move the event to The Ranch in Loveland, Colorado. Due to unforeseen circumstances and a struggling economy, the 2010 event was cancelled.
This year the festival is back on and is going to be bigger and better than ever. Scheduled for August 25-28, 2011 at The Ranch, this event will be a celebration of Irish music, history and culture.
This year the festival welcomes the NYPD Pipes & Drums, America’s oldest and largest pipe and drum band. Rocky Mountain Irish Festival is currently seeking sponsors for the NYPD Pipes & Drums. If you or your company is interested, visit the festival’s website (link below).
One phenomenal exhibit this year is the John F. Kennedy President Exhibit, a collection of over 350 pieces of memorabilia including personal items such as Tiffany cuff links, letters, 1960s campaign materials and more. The exhibit has been traveling the country for three years, but has never been exhibited at an Irish festival and has never been in Colorado.
There will also be comprehensive exhibits on The Great Starvation and Irish hero, Michael Collins. Returning to the festival are the Irish Archives, the Irish Surnames Exhibit as well as a number of independent exhibitors. The festival is expanding this year to include a smorgasbord of Irish authors and artists.
This festival always has an amazing lineup of bands playing both contemporary and traditional Irish music. For a full line up of bands and other information visit Rocky Mountain Irish Festival online.
Visit the festival on Facebook HERE.
Read a previous article about the festival HERE.
This event caught my eye because bluegrass music is always a good time and at $10, ticket prices are just right.
This weekend Laporte, Colorado will be alive with the sound of the fiddle, banjo and guitar. It’s the First Annual Northern Colorado Bluegrass Festival to be held on Sunday, September 5 at Bar Double-S.
Laporte is just six miles northwest of Fort Collins on Old US-287. Bar Double-S is located at 3311 County Road 54G, and will host the event starting at 12 p.m. Underage festival attendees are allowed at this event but will receive wristbands.
Northern Colorado Bluegrass Music Festival was organized by BuckVillian Productions. The band, The BuckVillians, recently received first place at Loveland’s Got Talent at Corn Roast Festival in August.
On their Web site, the BuckVillians write the NCBMF is, “an exciting day for both us and for local Bluegrass music.” Local bands performing include The Hartmans, Lonesome Traveler, Mountain Holler and The BuckVillians.
The goal of the event is to entertain and to bring attention to the amazing bluegrass music right here in Northern Colorado. You can purchase your tickets in advance at www.nocobluegrass.eventbrite.com for only $10, or at the gate on the day of the show for $12.
When: Friday, August 27
When: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Where: Longmont, Colorado
What: It’s the 10th anniversary of Festival on Main, Longmont’s largest community street party.
Read all about this family fun festival by clicking here.
A couple weeks ago I walked into the Kress Cinema & Lounge in Greeley for the first time, and the first words out of my mouth were, “How did I not know about this place?”
The truth is, despite being in business for several years, I’d never heard of the Kress until the Greeley Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Bureau (@GreeleyCVB) tweeted me about them during World Cup. The Kress showed many of the World Cup matches for free on their big screen, and as soccer nut I applaud them.
After Greeley CVB brought the Kress to my attention I found their Facebook page and discovered that at least once a week they have a free movie. I decided to take my husband to their free showing of “Blade Runner – Final Cut,” and that brings me back to my original exclamation. As soon as I walked in the door I was impressed with the Kress. It’s a trendy sort of retro-looking bar that just so happens to have a nicely appointed movie theater too.
On the Friday evening we arrived a musician was playing guitar in the front area of the establishment. It turns out the Kress lounge has live music every Friday and Saturday night. We sidled up to the bar and perused the menu. The food items at the Kress all have fabulous names such as Porky’s Revenge, a pulled pork sandwich, A Fish Taco Called Wanda, a fish taco, a Quesablanca”¦ okay, I think you get it. The drink titles are just as entertaining, but we stuck with beer from Crabtree Brewing Company in Greeley. Beer is $4.50, wine is $7, and mixed drink prices vary.
The Kress bartenders are hip and cool and so are the patrons. I noticed a lot of well-dressed young people drifting in and out through the backdoor. I solved this mystery when I visited the ladies room; a group of hipsters were swing dancing in one of the rooms behind the Kress.
After enjoying our beer we bought soda, popcorn and candy and got our free ticket to the show. The theater snacks are reasonably priced, and to my delight, the candy comes in retro-packaging. The theater at the Kress is even more impressive than the bar. It’s not large, but not too small. The screen is high quality and the theater itself is well appointed with beautifully restored high ceilings that look original to the building.
There are cozy booths with tables in the back for snuggling or eating. The room slopes downward towards the screen, and in addition to comfy theater seats, there’s a long, narrow table in the middle of the room where patrons can comfortably sit with their drinks. When the movie started we were happy to discover the sound system was top notch.
The Kress plays new movies as well as classic films. The new movies are often indies, although recently they had the mainstream movie “Get Him to the Greek.” I’m so glad I discovered the Kress Cinema & Lounge. I was impressed and think you will be too.
No matter your musical tastes, Colorado has got you covered this weekend; from bluegrass to jazz, from country to reggae, there’s a little something for everyone. First up, the 38th Annual Rocky Grass in Lyons, July 23-25, 2010.
This festival is held at Planet Bluegrass Ranch, 500 W. Main, along the banks of the St. Vrain River, and features top-notch bluegrass acts. Doc Watson, Patty Loveless, and Tony Rice, along with dozens of other acts will hit the stage in this three-day festival.
Along with the music, Rocky Grass features workshops in the Wildflower Pavilion, as well as contests. Grownups spend their weekend listening to music and drinking beer, while the kiddos cool off in the river. Rocky Grass is touted as a festival for the entire family and camping is encouraged. For camping information and tickets, visit www.bluegrass.com/rockygrass.
Want to beat the summertime heat? Head to the mountains for the Winter Park Jazz Festival this Saturday and Sunday, July 24-25, 2010. This is the 28th year for this famed Colorado festival that brings in regional and national recognized jazz acts.
In addition to such as musical acts as Chaka Khan, Hazel Miller, Craig Chaquico, Boney James and more, Winter Park will be filled to the brim with other festivities. There are merchandise and food vendors, beer garden and lots of fun for the whole family. Go to www.playwinterpark.com for all the details and tickets.
Also located in the mountains is the Collegiate Peaks Music Festival (July 23-24, 2010). This is the 5th annual year for this growing music festival in scenic Buena Vista, Colorado. Headlining this year’s event is the funk band Fort Knox Five from Washington, D.C.
In the shadow of the Collegiate Peaks, at McPhelemy Park, the entire town gets out for this event featuring funk and reggae, dancing, vendors and more. At only $10 for the two-day festival you can afford to bring the kids and the dog. Learn more at www.collegiatepeaksmusicfestival.com or find them on Facebook and get ready to party Buena Vista style.
If country music is more your thing, than don’t fear, Cheyenne Frontier Days starts Friday. Held annually since 1897, this event claims to be one of the largest festivals of its kind in the world. Featuring a world-class rodeo and outstanding country music artists, if you have a hankering to dust off your cowboy hat, Cheyenne Frontier Days starts Friday (July 23) and last until August 1, 2010.
This year’s musical acts features country music legends Alan Jackson, Brooks & Dunn and so many more. Although country is king at Frontier Days, this year’s event is being kicked off with an opening day appearance by the legendary rock-n-roll band KISS. For more information about Cheyenne Frontier Days visit www.cfdrodeo.com.
*Article also appearing in the Berthoud Weekly Surveyor.
Held annual on the second weekend in July, this year (2010) will be the 4th SummerFest celebration. This community celebration features a smorgasbord of events, including an opening evening of wine and music on Friday, July 9.
This event is hosted by World Beverage and kicks off the weekend with attendees enjoying samples of over 600 wines, appetizers and live music, all in the tranquil ambiance of Foote Lagoon in downtown Loveland. Get tickets at www.engagingloveland.com.
The rest of SummerFest weekend is free and fun for the entire family. It’s chockablock with far too many activities to list here. There’s live music, a car show, salsa tasting, beer garden, arts and craft vendors and much more. Saturday evening ends with a performance by That Eighties Band and a fireworks display at the Foote Lagoon.
The amusements continue on Sunday.
For an entire schedule of events, visit www.engagingloveland.com/event/summerfest.
HeidiTown Tip: Be sure to hop on over to 5th & Cleveland on Friday and Saturday to indulge in Loveland Loves Barbecue.
The Mayor thinks the Foote Lagoon in Loveland, Colorado, is one of the best small town outdoor music venues in the state. The lagoon is located at 500 E. 3rd Street, in historic old town. Join the fun at these FREE, Thursday summer evening concerts. Each concerts start at 7 p.m.
June 17 – The Jurrassicasters play classic rock and roll hits from the The Who to Peter Gabriel, plus much, much more. The band has been playing together since 1993. Learn more and hear their music at www.reverbnation.com/thejurassicasters.
June 24 – Kizuma is sure to get the Foote Lagoon audience dancing. This Afro-Caribbean band plays salsa, merengue, zouk, soca, kompa, meren-rap, and other Caribbean rhythms. The 11 band members originate from Columbia, Mexico, The Dominican Republic and the US. Kizuma have played the Denver area for 15 years and won the 1st “Westwards Best Latin Band in Denver” award. Visit them online at www.kizumba.com.
July 1 – Cool Shooz is an award winning a cappella rock and roll band. The five members have been entertaining Denver area crowds for over twenty years. Visit them on the Web at www.coolshooz.com.
July 8 – The Elders are the Mayor’s all-time favorite band. I’ve written about this Kansas City Celtic band here at HeidiTown multiple times. If you haven’t had the pleasure of tapping your toes to The Elders tunes, get to the Foote Lagoon on July 8, or attend the Rocky Mountain Irish Festival in August. Learn more about the band at www.eldersmusic.com.
July 15 – Heidi & the Rhythm Rollers is a band working to keep old fashion jazz and blues alive. Lead vocalist, Heidi Hamill is a native Coloradoan. With locks of flaming red hair and lipstick red lips, Heidi and her Rhythm Rollers are sure to have the lagoon crowd swinging in the aisles. See videos of the band perform at www.heidiandtherhythmrollers.com.
July 22 – Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem features a fiddle, a guitar, a standup bass, a cardboard box and a suitcase bass drum and tin can cymbals. This band tours the country and Loveland is lucky to have them this summer. Listen to their unique sound and meet the band at their Web site, www.raniarbo.com.
July 29 – Brad Fitch & the TropiCowboy Band play original acoustic folk, family and western music. Based out of Estes Park, Colorado, fans have been known to plan their vacations around Brad Fitch’s performances. Learn more about the band online at www.tropicowboy.com.
August 5 – Wendy Woo is a singer/songwriter who grew up in Boulder, Colorado. Woo is a popular independent artist who has release 8 albums under her own record label. She has played everywhere from Red Rocks to Eddie’s Attic in Decatur, Georgia. She’s played the Foote Lagoon Concert Series multiple times and Loveland is happy to have her playing once again. Visit Woo’s Web site at www.wendywoo.com.