Save

Featured Festival: Fall Back Beer Fest 2017 in Estes Park

I’ve attended this festival a number of times and it always makes my list of best mountain destination beer festivals. Find out why in today’s Featured Festival post.

Featured Festival Fall Back Beer Fest 2017 in Estes Park, Photo Credit Brewtography Project

Photo Credit: Brewtography Project

Location, Location, Location

First, let’s talk about the location of Fall Back Beer Fest. Estes Park is a short drive from Denver, but oh so far away. When is the last time you saw an elk cross Larimer Street?

Featured Festival Fall Back Beer Fest 2017, elk crossing the road in Estes Park, photo by My Big Day, LLC

Elk crossing the road near YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, Colorado. Please yield to the wildlife! Photo Credit: My Big Day, LLC

On our last Fall Back Festival weekend in Estes Park, a herd of elk walked through the yard at Rustic Acres where we were staying. That’s not something you see every day. The elk are out in droves in Estes Park in the fall (please give them room to roam).

While Estes Park can be a bit crowded in the summer, the crowds taper off in November, making it a great destination for a weekend getaway that’s close to home for a lot of us.

Education, Education Education

I’m always preaching (often from the pulpit at a conference) that festivals need to work to set themselves apart, especially beer festivals because there are a lot of them.

Featured Festival Fall Back Beer Fest 2017 in Estes Park 2, Photo Courtesy of FBBF

Homebrewers at FBBF 2016. Photo courtesy of the fest.

From the beginning, Fall Back Beer Fest organizers realized that they needed a component that would make them different and that’s why there are always fun educational experiences at this beer festival.

In addition to presentations and workshops (and yoga this year), Fall Back Beer Fest is the official site for the American Homebrewers Association’s National Learn to Homebrew Day. Each year, sanctioned clubs set up demos at Fall Back Beer Fest and chat with festival attendees about the process of homebrewing.

Beer, Beer, Beer

Of course, the most important aspect of any beer festival is the beer. Fall Back Beer Festival excels here in part because many of the brewers attend and pour at this event.

With so many beer festivals through Colorado during the year, it’s getting harder and harder to find beer festivals where the brewers are actually present, but many of them come to Fall Back Beer Fest. They too like being in Estes Park for a weekend.

Featured Festival Fall Back Beer Fest 2017 in Estes Park 3, Photo Credit Brewtography Project

Photo Credit: Brewtography Project

For a list of breweries at Fall Back Beer Fest go here.

Music, Music, Music

Music isn’t always a big deal at beer festivals, but at Fall Back Beer Fest it is and that’s because each year the festival invites the winners of the 2017 Rockygrass Band Competition to play at their Rocky Mountain festival.

FBBF Band Meadow Mountain 2017

This year, Fall Back Beer Fest will feature Meadow Mountain, the winners of 2017 Rockygrass and the 2017 UllrGrass band competition and third place finalists in this year’s Telluride Bluegrass Festival band competition.

Please note that Hwy 34 from Loveland to Estes Park is closed due to construction until Memorial Day 2018. If you are driving from Northern Colorado or Wyoming to FBBF, take the route through Lyons via HWY 66.

Fall Back Beer Festival

Estes Park, Colorado | Estes Park Events Complex (map here)

Saturday, November 4, 2017

GA $35 | VIP $55 | DD $15 | Beer Yoga $15

Purchase tickets at:

FallBackBeerFest.com

Join this fest on Facebook

Follow this fest 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.

 

The Mayor Goes Shopping in the Choice City, Fort Collins, Colorado

Fort Collins is best known for craft beer, bikes and Horsetooth Reservoir, but downtown boasts a healthy variety of retail stores and whether you’re shopping for the holidays or for yourself, there’s a store here to fit every need (or want).

The Mayor Goes Shopping, FNB, The Perennial Gardener

The Perennial Gardener

This past week I went on a little shopping outing in downtown Fort Collins with my friend Karen, and our first stop was at a store that’s been a longtime tradition in downtown Fort Collins. The Cupboard just celebrated its 45th anniversary this summer, and while this milestone is fantastic, what makes this store even more special is that it’s been in the same family for all that time. Continue reading

HeidiTown’s Ten-Year-Anniversary: Ten Things You Didn’t Know About HeidiTown

It’s apropos that I’m posting this anniversary blog post on October 10, my birthday, because I have always considered ten to be my lucky number.

Thank YOU for taking this road trip with me and please don’t get out of the car now, the fun has just begun.

HeidiTown's Ten-Year-Anniversary Ten Things You Didn't Know About HeidiTown. Buttercup the camper at Delicious Orchards

Hanging out with Buttercup the camper rental from Rescued Relics at Delicious Orchards in the North Fork Valley during Mountain Harvest Festival earlier this fall.

My first official HeidiTown blog post was posted on October 8, 2007, and that means HeidiTown is 10-years-old this month. At first, I thought I’d write a retrospective, but even the word “retrospective” sounds boring, so I decided to write a list. Lists are fun, lists are easy and I try not to do very many, so here you go.

1. The Who: My name is Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer. I was born in southern Oregon in a hospital that overlooked the Pacific Ocean. The ocean still calls, but the pull of Colorado sunshine is greater.

HeidiTown's Ten-Year-Anniversary Ten Things You Didn't Know About HeidiTown Oregon Coast pic

The Oregon Coast is one of the best spots in the world.

I grew up in a family that took road trips to most of the National Parks in the Western United States and who backpacked every summer into back country around Mt. Rainier. These trips instilled in me a strong love and respect for the natural world. Continue reading

Meet Me in Meeker, Part Two: Staying & Dining in Meeker, Colorado

Last week, I shared with you part one of my two-part “Meet Me in Meeker” series. In last week’s post, I wrote about the surprisingly vibrant downtown we encountered. Click here to read it. This week, I want to introduce you to where we ate, drank and stayed in this fun little northwest Colorado town.

Meet Me in Meeker, Part Two Staying & Dining in Meeker, Colorado (10)

As a reminder, we were in town for the Jammin’ Lamb Festival, a culinary event that’s part of the Meeker Classic Sheepdog Trials which I wrote about here. I’d been invited to town to be a judge for Jammin’ Lamb Festival.

After discovering all the neat stores in downtown Meeker, we drove the short distance to 8th Street to find our bed and breakfast. Festival organizers had booked us a room at the Bear Mountain Inn. Cheryl Houser welcomes guests into her home as if each one were a long-lost friend. Her husband Dale and son Toby are also very sociable and accommodating to guests. Continue reading

Featured Festival: Denver Maker Faire + Discounted Tickets

You need to attend a Maker Faire in order to truly understand the powerful nature of these events.

Featured Festival Denver Maker Faire 2017

Photos provided by Denver Maker Faire.

First and foremost, you will see children of all ages engaging with something other than a screen, and you’ll walk away with undeniable proof that children are curious beings.

I recently attended a maker sort of event in Boulder that proved to me that if you give a kid a cardboard box and some glue she will turn that box into a spaceship (even if it still looks like a box, it’s a spaceship in her mind).

“Maker Faire is the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth — a family-friendly festival of invention, creativity, and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement.” MakerFaire.com

Denver_MF_Logo

Maker faires inspire creativity and imagination, and if you aren’t familiar with the history of these events they launched in 2006. Makerfaire.com describes the events as “Part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new.” Maker Faires occur all over the country and are an all-ages gathering of “tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students, and commercial exhibitors.”

Denver Maker Faire is a chance for you to experience the Maker movement first hand. You’ll get the opportunity to become part of the Maker story because you will be invited to join in many activities. And there are so many activities happening at Denver Maker Faire.

Featured Festival Denver Maker Faire 2017 - 1

From combat bot competitions to a Maker Fashion Show, there’s a little something for everyone, including a life-sized interactive arcade experience that sounds super fun.

In addition, you’ll have the chance to meet makers like Zhenghua Yang (Z), founder of Serenity Forge, a video game development company. Z will talk about his studio’s approach to developing video games that are driven by strong values aimed at helping important areas in society such as education, business, culture, science, and art.

Denver Marker Faire 2017 logo

Let’s face it, the world needs more makers. We need people who are inspired to create things and there’s no better inspiration in Colorado than Denver Maker Faire. I hope to see you in Denver this October. Below find the details about the faire and a link to get 10% off your Denver Maker Faire tickets.

Denver Maker Faire

Saturday & Sunday, October 14 & 15, 2017

Denver Pavilion Building

451 E. 58th Avenue (map)

Denver.MakerFaire.com

10% off Denver Maker Faire

Click thru to get 10% off your tickets to Denver Maker Faire!

Join Denver Maker Faire on Facebook

Folllow @DenMakerFaire on Twitter

#DMF2017

Meet Me in Meeker, Part One: Shopping in Meeker, Colorado

As some of you know, I grew up in a small town in the Pacific Northwest and I have a real affinity for communities where the cows — or in Meeker’s case, the sheep — outnumber the people.

Meet Me in Meeker, Part One. Shopping downtown. HeidiTown.com

Meeker, Colorado

Meeker is located about one hour and 40 minutes north of Grand Junction and three hours and 45 minutes northwest of Denver. When they asked me to be a judge for this year’s Jammin’ Lamb Festival, I answered a resounding “yes” because I’d been looking for an excuse to visit the town ever since we stayed in Rangely, Meeker’s neighbor, and one of the friendliest Colorado towns that I’ve ever encountered.

Jammin’ Lamb Fest, a culinary competition, is part of the Meeker Classic Sheepdog Trials, which I previously wrote about here.

We pulled into town in early September and despite summer drawing to a close the town’s proximity to the White River had kept it green. The area surrounding the town of approximately 2,300 is really quite lovely. Continue reading

Two Restaurants in Grand Junction, Colorado that Foodies Can’t Miss

Let’s face it, many people who grew up on Colorado’s Front Range tend to think of Grand Junction as that far away cowtown town that’s practically in Utah. Of course, that reputation has slowly been changing thanks in part to the growing popularity of and interest in local food.

Eat All the Things in Grand Junction, Colorado. Farmers' Market. HeidiTown.com

Grand Junction Farmers’ Market

Colorado’s western slope is a place where local food has been a way of life long before it became trendy. It doesn’t hurt that food grows relatively easily here when compared to other parts of Colorado, so sourcing locally is a little less complicated for chefs.

On our trip earlier this summer, we had the delicious pleasure of dining at two of Grand Junction’s most foodie restaurants. These two eateries, 626 on Rood and Bin 707 Foodbar, have set the bar high for farm-to-table cuisine (and for cuisine in general). Continue reading

Dogs, Sheep & Meat Pie at the Meeker Sheepdog Trials

If you think sheepdog trials involve dogs chasing sheep around, you’d be a little right, but not entirely right. Sheepdog trials are much more involved than I ever realized and our weekend trip to Meeker, in Northwest Colorado, was an eye opening experience. I liked it so much that I’m hoping to sponsor a dog/handler team in 2018.

Dogs, Sheep & Meat Pies at the Meeker Sheepdog Trials (7)

When I set out on this trip, I didn’t really intend to write specifically about the sheepdog trials, after all, I was there to judge and help promote the Jammin’ Lamb Festival, a lamb cook off in downtown. However, after watching the competition, I really wanted to write about it.

So what are sheepdog trials? In a nutshell, it’s a competitive sport in which herding dogs, under the command of their handler, move sheep around a large field, through fences and gates and into enclosures. The sport is mimicking the work that many of these dogs do at home on the ranch, although some of these dogs spend most of their time competing. Continue reading

Featured Festival: Mountain Harvest Festival 2017, Paonia, Colorado

There’s a little spot on Colorado’s Western Slope that’s home to flocks of sheep, fields of vegetables and orchards of fruit. Things move a little slower here and that’s just the way the people of the North Fork Valley like it. There are no freeways and very few stop lights; it’s a bit like going back in time, but better.

Featured Festival Mountain Harvest Festival 2017, Paonia, Colorado, Chili Cookoff - photo credit Nyssa Yassa

Chili Cook Off, photo by Nyssa Yassa.

Mountain Harvest Festival is a celebration of the bounty of Paonia and the North Fork Valley, and you’re invited to participate in this annual event that’s a little earthy, kinda quirky, a bit country and entirely authentic.

This is a four-day festival that kicks off with food, which makes sense. There are Harvest to Table Dinners at Remedy and the Living Farm Cafe on Thursday night. These dinners feature locally grown, chemical and additive free food.

Featured Festival Mountain Harvest Festival 2017, Paonia, Colorado Farmers Market

Mountain Harvest Festival’s Farmers Market, photo by Darcie Rose.

This festival is hosting a lot of local talent including writers, artists and musicians, and Thursday night is no exception. Harvest of Voices showcases both rising stars and award-winning writers reading from their works.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Mountain Harvest Festival are chockablock with events; I won’t name them all here, but I do want to highlight Saturday Sundown Swing, a ticketed event that features five venues and nine bands. From acoustic to rock, there’s a little something for everyone on tap. Buy an all access ticket (or entry to just one venue) here.

Featured Festival Mountain Harvest Festival 2017, Paonia, Colorado. The Killer Bees - photo credit Ben Lehman

The Killer Bees, Photo by Darcie Rose.

In addition to loads of music, this festival has a farmers’ market, grape stomp, kids area, a Wine Makers Dinner, a chili cookoff, hula hoop contest, local brews, ciders and wines, farm tours and more.

Bike to farm tour in the North Fork Valley. Orchard Valley Farms. HeidiTown.com

I’d highly recommend renting a bike from Cirque Cyclery in downtown Paonia and participating in Saturday’s Farm & Wine Tours. We had a blast exploring the area’s farms by bike during our 2016 visit (read about it here).

Click Here for the Full Schedule of Events at Mountain Harvest Festival

Featured Festival Mountain Harvest Festival 2017, Paonia, Colorado Harvest Fest All Star Band

Harvest Fest All Star Band at Mountain Harvest Festival, photo by Ben Lehman.

I am delighted to be attending the festival this year, because, despite the fact that I try not to play favorites, the North Fork Valley is one of my favorite spots in Colorado. I hope to see you there!

Mountain Harvest Festival

September 21-24, 2017

Paonia, Colorado

Free & ticketed events

MountainHarvestFestival.org

Follow this festival on Facebook

Follow this festival on Instagram

***

Featured Festivals spots on HeidiTown are paid advertisements. If you’d like to have your festival or event considered for a feature contact TheMayor@HeidiTown.com. Thank you!

Featured Festival: Loveland Oktoberfest 2017

Call me an Oktoberfest snob, but I believe it takes more than beer and pretzels to make a great Oktoberfest. This year, Loveland Oktoberfest, held at Grimm Brothers Brewhouse, has many of the right ingredients to be called the best Oktoberfest in Northern Colorado.

Featured Festival Loveland Oktoberfest 2017 Neue Polka Colorado 1

Neue Polka Colorado

Of course, it’s about the bier

First of all, Oktoberfest is about good beer and Loveland’s festival will feature six of the city’s award winning breweries, and for fun, they’ve invited Wibby from down the road in Longmont. In addition to Grimm and Wibby, breweries in attendance are Verboten, Loveland Aleworks, Crow Hop, Big Beaver, Buckhorn Brewers and Big Thompson.

Loveland Oktoberfest

That’s me! At Loveland Oktoberfest 2015.

New this year is the Baron Berliner Bar, which will feature Grimm’s traditional Berlinerweisse called The Baron, with multiple flavored syrups available for festival goers to create their own Berliner experience.

It’s about the music 

Second of all, Oktoberfest is about German music. I am super excited that this year, not only will Loveland Oktoberfest feature two authentic polka bands, Neue Polka Colorado and Polka Folka, but also DJ KAAOS.

Featured Festival Loveland Oktoberfest 2017 Neue Polka Colorado

Neue Polka Colorado

Just like at Oktoberfest at Munich, DJ KAAOS will spin all sorts of German music including Die Fantastischen Vier, Rammstein, Jurgen Birlinger and much more. This is one of the most unique things happening at Loveland Oktoberfest and I can’t wait.

It’s about the food

This year’s Loveland Oktoberfest will feature pretzels from Styria Bakery (these are the real deal, folks), pastries from Sweet European Treats (Mayor approved) and the Colorado Candy Company is making something special just for the fest. In addition, authentic German cuisine will be catered for the event. No one will go hungry at Loveland Oktoberfest.

Featured Festival Loveland Oktoberfest 2017 ribbon candy from Colorado Candy Company

Ribbon candy made especially for Loveland Oktoberfest 2017.

It’s about the games & ambiance

Come in your best German garb and participate in the Best Dressed Costume contest on Saturday at 2 p.m. Other contests will be held during the fest including a Stein Hoisting event and a Hammerschlagen tournament to benefit Kiwanis (the champion wins free beer for a year).

Featured Festival Loveland Oktoberfest hammerschlagan pic

Hammerschlagan is fun, just ask John Metcalf!

Several local university German Clubs will be on hand to help you practice a little Deutsch, the official language of Germany and Austria, and one of the three official languages of Switzerland.

Barbarian Dinner Banner Ad

Party like a barbarian on Thursday

The kick off to Loveland Oktoberfest is the Barbarian Dinner on Thursday, September 14. This is like no other beer dinner you’ve ever attended (I guarantee). While Loveland Oktoberfest is free to attend, Barbarian Dinner is a ticketed event. Learn more & purchase tickets here.

Loveland Oktoberfest 2017

Loveland Oktoberfest is 100% family-friendly. There will be activities for the bigs and littles, so grab grandma and the kiddos and make your way to Loveland, Colorado this September.

Loveland Oktoberfest

FREE ADMISSION

Grimm Brothers Brewhouse (click for map)

Friday, September 15 | 4 to 9 p.m.

Saturday, September 16 | 12 to 9 p.m.

LovelandOktoberfest.org

Join this event on Facebook

Follow Grimm on Twitter

***

Featured Festivals spots on HeidiTown are paid advertisements. If you’d like to have your festival or event considered for a feature contact TheMayor@HeidiTown.com. Thank you!

Save

Save

1 2 3 119
RSS
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
Instagram

Subscribe to HeidiTown.com!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Fall Back Beer Festival 2017

Nitro Fest 2017

Winter Wonderlights

The-Heidi-Guide2

Check out my travel column in Mountain Living magazine online

Latest Pins on Pinterest

  • Follow Me on Pinterest