As the days get shorter and colder, I start to think about theater and museums. I realize these topics come up a lot on HeidiTown, but that’s because Colorado has no shortage of artistic and cultural events to write about, plus museums and live theater are the Mayor’s favorites.
On this week’s radio show on KRFC 88.9 FM, I share some upcoming art-related events happening along the Front Range in November.
Nothing destroys the stereotype of being a cow town, like Denver Arts Week. Denver is a hub of arts and culture and during this week long celebration, every type of artistic medium is celebrated including visual arts, theater, music, film, museums, dance, opera comedy, history and heritage.
Get walking, get artsy
The event kicks off on November 2 with First Friday Art Walks in numerous neighborhoods around town. A list of six different walks can be found here.
Next up, on November 3, it’s Night at the Museums. This is an opportunity to tour 22 Denver museums and pay no admission fees. There’s even a free shuttle that makes exploring that much easier. From the Denver Art Museum to the Denver Children’s Museum to the Forney Museum of Transportation, this is a whirlwind event that will leave you with a better knowledge of everything from history to art. Click here to learn more about Night at the Museums.
Every day during Denver Arts Week, you’ll have a chance to see live theater, from the Denver Performing Arts Complex (the second largest such complex in the U.S.) to more intimate neighborhood theaters. There’s also the opportunity to get a sneak peek behind the curtain; see how productions come together and learn about actors’ and dancer’s crafts during workshops. From ballet to musicals to dramatic theatre, there’s a little something for everyone on stage during Denver Arts Week. For the entire lineup go here.
Becoming Van Gogh
The Denver Art Museum is the largest jewel in the city’s cultural crown. The museum hosts world renowned exhibits, such as Yves Saint Laurent this past summer. Another amazing show just opened and it’s attracting art lovers from around the world.
The exhibit explores Van Gogh’s evolution as an artist through more than 70 paintings, alongside paintings from artists who played significant roles in his life. The exhibition is on loan from more than 60 public and private collections around the world.
Nothing like this has ever been assembled before and Denver is the only venue for this exhibit. Becoming Van Gogh is at the museum through January 20, 2013. Learn more at DenverArtMuseum.org.
Starz Denver Film Festival, brought to you by the Denver Film Society, celebrates its 35th anniversary this year. If you’re a movie buff, this is the festival for you. The event runs November 1 through 11, and features 100s of films (I think. Their website doesn’t have the exact number of films being shown, but it seems like there are a lot). From documentaries to student films, the entire Starz Denver Film Festival schedule can be found here.
Denver Arts Week runs November 2 through 10th. Learn more at Denver.org/DenverArtsWeek.
Put on your reddest lips and slip on your most comfortable dancing shoes, it’s time for one of Colorado’s most unique events, the 1940s WWII Era Ball.
I have been to the ball and it was a terrific experience. The Big Band Christmas Ball, produced by the same folks, has also become a tradition in my family. The popularity of these two events has resulted in a third ball being added in September, the Voodoo Island 1940s & 1950s Tiki Exotica Ball.
Being involved in these parties has even inspired Ryan and I to take swing lessons, so that we can cut a proper rug on the dance floor at these events. We’re usually the ones salsa dancing to big band music, which can be done, but just doesn’t look as good.
The 1940s WWII Era Ball is held annually at the Boulder Airport, an ideal location for an event that includes vintage airplanes, a 40s car show, military vehicles and re-enactors. The ball is taking place Father’s Day weekend and features a 1940s USO style show with Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra and the Andrews Sisters. The world famous Las Vegas Bob Hope impersonator, Bill Johnson, has been booked for the ball this year.
My favorite part of the ball is dancing the night away to the tunes of The Hot Tomatoes, the Rocky Mountain’s most sought after big band. It’s impossible not to get up and boogie when this band is on the stage.
The airport grounds are transformed into a festive atmosphere with food vendors and cocktail stands. I recommend getting to the ball early enough to tour the vintage cars and airplanes while it’s still light out so that you can take some photos.
The event is a salute to “The Greatest Generation,” and many of these men and women come to the ball. In fact, there is a vast array of ages and faces at this event, and everyone is friendly so be ready to make a few new friends.
This year’s theme is Casablanca and the hanger at the airport will be transformed into Rick’s CafÃ© American, complete with belly dancers, Rick, Sam and a working roulette table.
This is truly a night to remember, and last year the ball sold out. This year, the 1940s WWII Era Ball will be held Saturday, June 16 at 6 p.m. Tickets are $30 in advance through the website and $35 at the door. Children under 12 are not permitted.
Now here’s your chance to win a pair of tickets to this fantastic event. Just leave a comment here telling me your favorite classic film. I know many of you love “Casablanca,” but my favorite is Hitchcock’s “Rear Window.”
The winner will be chosen using Random.org on Monday, June 4 at 3 p.m.
My weekly segment on KRFC 88.9 FM.
Listen to AUDIO HERE or read the transcripts below.
Hi, my name is Heidi and I’m the Mayor of HeidiTown.com, a blog about events, festivals and travel around Colorado.
Is this year flying by for anyone else? Because I can’t believe that I’m already talking about the last weekend in February.
You’ve probably noticed that I’ve been chatting a lot lately about mountain events, and that’s because ski season is in full swing and there’s always something happening at the resorts. However, this week I’m going to talk about events across the Front Range.
First, many of you probably don’t know, but I used to be a movie reviewer. The reviews ran in a local newspaper and on HeidiTown.com, so I’m a bit of a film buff. The Academy Awards are this Sunday evening, and I’m rooting for Hugo to win Best Picture. Not only was this a beautiful crafted 3D film, but the story was wonderful. If you can’t tell by my gushing, I loved it.
This Sunday, I will be watching the Academy Awards at the Kress Cinema & Lounge in Greeley. They have an annual Oscar Party shindig that includes hors’ orderves, champagne, a red carpet and even paparazzi. Guests can watch the Academy Awards live on the Kress’s big screen. To learn more go to KressCinema.com.
Oscar Night in America is the annual gala fundraiser for the Denver Film Society. This is one of 49 official Oscar parties sanctioned by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Enjoy a glitz and glamour filled evening at this magnificent event. Go to DenverFilm.org for details.
And now for something completely different…
On Saturday at the National Western Complex in Denver it’s the 9th Annual Colorado Baby & Kidz Expo. Whether you are already a parent or expecting, this event is the largest indoor Parent, Baby, Todder and Child Expo in Colorado. There will be vendors, entertainment and more. Go to TheExpoPros.com for information on this and other large shows across the country.
If you didn’t make it down to the Home & Garden Show in Denver, be sure to check out the 29th Annual Greeley Tribune Home & Garden Show this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Island Grove Regional Park Arena. For more go to GreeleyTribune.com or find this event on Facebook.
In Colorado Springs this weekend fans of sci-fi will enjoy GalaxyFest at Antlers Hilton Hotel. This Science Fiction Media and Literacy Conventions features shows, presentations, interactive events, costume contests, a zombie crawl, celebrity appearances and a whole lot more. Grab your Stormtrooper costume and get to Colorado Springs for a wild weekend of Sci-Fi fun. More at GalaxyFest.org.
If you prefer going back in time, instead of forward, Buffalo Bill’s Birthday Bash is this Saturday at the Buffalo Rose Music & Events Center in Golden. Born in 1846, William F. Cody experienced the Old West to its fullest. His Wild West Show was the most popular of his day and his legend will live on forever. Buffalo Bill’s grave is located on Lookout Mountain Road in Golden. His birthday bash will be a day to remember with an historic re-enactors contest and more. Visit BuffaloBillDays.com for a schedule of events.
I mentioned this event previously, and now it’s here. The High Plains Snow Goose Festival runs February 23 through the 26th in Lamar. Celebrating birds and the heritage of Southeast Colorado, learn all about this unique event at HighPlainsSnowGoose.com or find them on Facebook. They have some lovely birding photos posted there.
And now for those planning ahead…
I love trains. If you’ve listened for any length of time you’ve probably figure that out. So I always have my eye open for fun train events. I really wish there were trains here in Northern Colorado, but they tend to be all south.
On March 3rd the Rio Grand Scenic Railroad has a Wine Train. They also had a beer train earlier this month. Combining a wine tasting and scenic ride on the rails is my idea of the perfect outing. Other trains around Colorado run special events throughout the year as well. For more info on the wine train go to RioGrandeScenicRailroad.com.
Another wine event to put on your calendar is Wine Fest Fort Collins on March 23rd. It’s the 30th year of this event that benefits Disabled Resource Services. This is among the largest wine tasting events in Colorado, so go to WineFestFC.org to get all the delicious details.
That’s all for this week. Until we meet again, come party with me and other town citizens on Facebook at Facebook.com/HeidiTown.comonFB. Or chitchat with me on Twitter @HeidiTown or join the town on Google Plus.
Thanks for listening!
If you’ve been around HeidiTown for more than a couple years, you’ll remember that I used to write movie reviews here, and I’m a bit of a film buff. I absolutely LOVE the Oscars. I am one of “those people,” and I start watching as soon as the red carpet is rolled out and the limos start arriving.
Last year, I ran a similar contest here, and the winners documented their fantastic night at the Kress Oscar Party through the photographs I’m using for this post. This year, I expect to have a fabulous time at this event and here’s your chance to join me.
The Kress Cinema & Lounge in Greeley is holding their annual Oscar Party on Sunday, February 26, with doors opening at 5:30 p.m. The evening includes a red carpet entry, appetizer buffet, Oscar ballot (cash prize) and the 84th Academy Awards live on the big screen and in the Kress’ lounges.
Guests are encouraged to wear their best Oscar attire. I’m thinking of wearing something by Victoria Beckham, I hear her couture is going to be big this year. I’m kidding, of course. This Mayor gig doesn’t pay that well!
Tickets to this event are $20/each, but this is your chance to be a VIP (with ME) at this glamour affair. You don’t have to attend alongside me or anything like that, but I will be there so I’m hoping that we can at least shake hands for the cameras.
Just tell me your pick for Best Picture 2012, and you’ll be entered to win a pair of tickets to this event courtesy of Kress Cinema & Lounge.
The nominees for Best Picture are Hugo, Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, The Tree of Life, War Horse, The Artist, The Descendants, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close and The Help.
If you haven’t seen any of these films yet – shame on you – just tell me your favorite film of this past year.
A winner will be chosen at random this Saturday, February 18 at approximately 2 p.m.
Good luck! I hope to see you on the red carpet!
~ CONTEST NOW CLOSED ~
Tomorrow I will stand beside a very good friend as she ties the knot in Estes Park, Colorado. She has had a longtime love affair with the town; she and her fiance had their first date there, got engaged there and will now be married there.
So I thought this was the ideal week to post an article about the town of Estes Park.
As you’ll discover, I’ve had mixed feelings about this touristy little town, but after experiencing the Estes Park Winter Festival and a lazy afternoon browsing downtown, I just may have changed my tune.
Read all about the Mayor’s visit to Estes Park, Colorado here.
I love it when I discover a truly unique event, and the Rocky Mountain Pinball Showdown & Gameroom Expo definitely falls into this category.
I’ve written about the game of pinball previously on HeidiTown, and Lyons Classic Pinball is one of the Mayor’s frequently recommended activities.
I don’t know why I like pinball so much because quite frankly I’m terrible at the game, but I really enjoy pinball machine art and I’m a sucker for nostalgia. To me, pinball is a reminder of a quieter time when the local malt shop was a gathering spot and poodle skirts were all the rage. Of course, pinball is anything but quiet – walk into Lyons Classic Pinball on a Friday night and the sound of balls hitting paddles will drown out all the stress of your week and any other thought that might be in your head.
This weekend, pinball wizards will gather at the Embassy Suites – Denver Tech Center for three days of pinball debauchery. There will be tournaments for all ages and abilities, and seminars from pinball celebrities like Jack Guarnieri, Jack Askey, Brian “Destruk” Smith, John Trudeau and more.
There will be over 100 pinball machines on display from a variety of companies and featuring many artists. The art on a pinball machine can be just as collectible as the game units themselves.
The photo to the right is of a pinball machine at the Penny Arcade in Manitou Springs. It was our 2008 trip to the town that originally introduced me to pinball machine art. The blue-haired lady is my Twitter avatar and has become a vital part of my HeidiTown.com branding.
There will be over 100 pinball machines that visitors can play for FREE during this expo.
Also attending this event will be exhibitors from around the country, including pinball sellers, buyers, repairers, specialists, and more. They will be on hand to show off their wares, skills and fanaticism.
The expo is also offering a screening of the new pinball documentary called “Special When Lit.”
This expo is for the entire family and will appeal to crazed pinball enthusiasts as well as those with a more casual interest in the game.
The Rocky Mountain Pinball Showdown & Gameroom Expo starts Friday, April 29 and goes through Sunday, May 1. For all the details visit them online at www.pinballshowdown.com. You can also find the event on Facebook here.
The Kress is rolling out the red carpet for YOU!
The Kress Cinema & Lounge is located in downtown Greeley, Colorado and it’s a HeidiTown favorite! This is a classy lounge with a well-appointed theater. They have live music in the bar area on the weekends and old and new movies nearly every night of the week. They also have a full lunch and dinner menu. It’s worth the trip to Greeley to check this place out! You can read my previous review of The Kress HERE.
The Kress is throwing their annual Oscar Party on Sunday, February 27 at 5:30 p.m. The event includes a red carpet, appetizer buffet, Oscar ballot and cash prizes and the 83th Academy Awards on the big screen and the smaller televisions in the lounge. Tickets are $20 each.
You can win 2 tickets to the Oscar Party at The Kress by leaving me a comment here. Tell me which of the ten best picture nominees you think should win. If you haven’t seen any of the best picture nominees (and shame on you!) tell me your favorite movie of the past year.
A winner will be picked randomly on Thursday at 9 a.m. Good luck!
If you’ve been a longtime resident of HeidiTown, you know that the Mayor likes movies. I don’t post movie reviews here anymore, but I still see a lot of movies, and I love the Oscars despite the fact that there are now ten best picture nominees (it’s hard enough finding 5 movies good enough to be best picture nominees).
The 83rd Academy Awards will be held on Sunday, February 27, 2011, and I will be glued to my television the moment the stars start to walk the red carpet. I may be a low-maintenance gal, but I’ve always love glamorous fashion and all the glitz surrounding this award ceremony.
If you’d like to throw an Oscar Party, here are a few tips. If you’d like to attend an organized Oscar party, scroll to the bottom of this post for a couple recommendations.
Red carpet – If you can obtain a large red carpet the length of your driveway to your front door – so awesome and I want to see pictures. However a small one will suffice. Buy a red entry way or bathroom rug at Kohl’s or Target. This will be an amusing addition to your party decorations. You can have your guests get their “party photo” taken while standing on the rug. Here’s when a Polaroid come in handy!
Champagne – I’m not a huge fan of bubbly unless it’s in orange juice, but every Oscar party needs at least a couple bottles. Plus, it looks so pretty in a fluted glass, even if it’s only one of those fake plastic champagne glasses you can buy for a dollar at Target.
SWAG – When the stars attend the Academy Awards they get a SWAG bag. These goodie bags are filled with promotional items like perfumes, slippers, and even jewelry. For your guests fill up SWAG bags with candy, stuff from the Dollar Store, or items from those bins in the pharmacy section of grocery store. Who doesn’t need a small tube of toothpaste?
Oscar Ballots – Moviefone.com has a printable ballot, get it here. Make sure you stock up on prizes for the winners. The prize for first place should be a fake Oscar (you can order them online) or just get a silly trophy from the thrift store. Other prize ideas? Things from the dollar bins at Target.
Don’t want to throw you own party? Here are a couple of official Oscar parties in Colorado. If you know of any others, please leave a comment with event details.
The Kress Oscar Party, Greeley, Colorado
Time: 5:30 p.m. until it’s over
This party includes a red carpet entrance, an appetizer buffet, Oscar ballot with cash prizes, and the 83rd Academy Awards on the big screen and in the lounge.
Oscar Night America, Denver, Colorado
Where: Exdo Event Center @ 5 p.m.
Tickets start at $80
This is the annual fundraiser for the Denver Film Society, a nonprofit organization working to promote film as an art form and civic forum. Guests will walk the red carpet and pose for the paparazzi. There will be a cocktail reception and seated dinner. A silent auction will be conducted throughout the night while the 83rd Academy Awards is shown via a live feed. Oscar ballots will be provided and guest can win big prizes. things to do in Denver
Learn more about the 83rd Academy Awards at www.oscar.go.com.
Read this closely guys, because the planning for this holiday usually falls on your shoulders. Here are a few ideas from the Mayor, and I think any of these date nights will score you big points this Valentine’s Day.
1. Dinner theater – There’s a slight chance all the dinner theater joints are already booked for Valentine’s Day, but it’s worth checking. Dinner theater is an entire evening of fun without ever having to leave your seat. Seriously, it makes a great date. Even for those of you who aren’t “theater” people, this evening will undoubtedly prove entertaining. If you can’t find any tickets left for dinner theater, take her to dinner and a play. Colorado has an amazing theater scene, and I guarantee you’ll find a special show.
2. A night away – Don’t underestimate how sexy a hotel room can be as opposed to your bedroom; after all, she sees that scene every night. Whether it’s a stay at a local bed and breakfast in your own town, or a hotel in the nearby big city, a one night excursion just may rock your Valentine’s world, and it won’t break the bank.
Tip: Make the drive extra special by making your gal a mixed CD, or create a playlist on your iPod of her favorite songs so that you can listen to it in the car. Sometimes it’s the little things that make for a truly great date.
3. Go bowling – You think I’m joking? Perhaps you missed my post entitled “You’ve forgotten, you love to bowl.” Some of my most memorable date nights with my husband have been at the bowling ally.
Of course, this night should not include the dinner special at Applebees. Sorry Applebees, but you just aren’t Valentine’s Day material. Bowling may not sound like Valentine’s Day material either, but accompanied by a nice dinner at a local steakhouse it just might be the most fun you’ve had in years.
Tip: Rule the jukebox. Every bowling ally has one and guys, you need to load it up with her favorite songs. Throw in a couple of your favorites too, but make sure the night is full of tunes that will keep her dancing. She will love it, believe me – just do it.
4. Eat fondue – There’s nothing nothing sexier than dipping food into sauces and eating without a fork. Fondue, like dinner theater, is an entire evening of entertainment. There’s a strong possibility that most fondue restaurants are already booked for Valentine’s Day. If that’s the case, than pull out the fondue pot you got as a wedding present. You remember – it’s still sealed in the box, buried in the basement next to all that other stuff you put on your registry because that gun was just so fun to use. I hear fondue is very easy to make at home. I can’t say for sure because I’ve never used the one we got as a wedding present.
Tip: Don’t forget to pair your fondue with tons of wine. And when looking up fondue recipes, don’t forget dessert fondue.
5. Stay in – I’m usually trying to make you get off the couch and get out there and do stuff, but sometimes staying in can be romantic as long as it’s well executed. Be sure to leave the kids with an overnight sitter, otherwise it’s just another night. Order in or pick up her favorite take out. Think sushi, not pizza. Fire up the candles and her favorite romantic movie and don’t forget the wine and flowers.
Need help deciding on a romantic movie? Here are the Mayor’s suggestions:
“When Harry Met Sally”
“Sleepless in Seattle”
“EverAfter”Tip: If you are married already, any wedding movie will do. If you are not married and don’t intend to propose on that very night, a romantic wedding movie isn’t a good idea.
Have you experienced an outstanding Valentine’s Day date night? Please feel free to share it in the comment section.