I don’t know if it’s been exactly 15-months since my last festival, but it has a nice ring to it. I know it’s been at least 15-months since I’ve officially been at a festival as the Mayor of HeidiTown.
When it comes to festivals, especially festivals in the Colorado mountains, it’s a weird world. It seems that everyone is in the mountains right now and the towns aren’t prepared for this onslaught of humanity. Help Wanted signs are at every restaurant, and occasionally, a restaurant has shut down altogether with no mention of whether the closure is temporary or permanent.
In 20-years of living in Colorado, I’ve never seen anything like it. Before the pandemic, Colorado was riding high on tourism. Now, as things open up after a year plus of closures, no one really seems to know how Colorado is going to move forward.
The fact is, people are out and about, especially Coloradans, and they are looking for things—like festivals—to do. So what does the future look like? I don’t know and I’m not sure anyone has answers.
I do know that we had a great deal of fun at Keystone’s Wine & Jazz Festival this weekend. The flowers around River Run Village were in full bloom and people were happy, and that’s not just because of wine.
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My friend Sharon and I ventured out the morning before the afternoon festival. We walked from our condo in River Run Village to Keystone Lake via the Snake River Rec Path. We saw a yellow-throated warbler, a chickadee, lots of crows and hummingbirds performing a mating dance. There are tons of hummingbirds at Keystone.
The walk also provides views of the Snake River and surrounding mountains. It’s a great way to burn a few hours and calories in the morning before an afternoon of wine drinking. Keystone Lake always has a collection of geese and ducks floating on its water, and the area is alive with flowers.
The festival is always a good time. What’s not to love about free-flowing wine and free-flowing jazz? I’ve gone for a handful of years and it is a highlight of every summer. I’d like to give a shout-out to the band, Dotsero. They always get the audience dancing, and this year, the audience danced even when it periodically rained. Nothing was going to keep these festival goers from having the best of times.
NOTE: Keystone has several more festivals lined up before the snow flies and they become a ski destination again.
And so it begins, for me at least. Festivals. I am not sure how this summer is going to go. Usually, I don’t have to do anything and organizers throw tickets at me. I got my start, after all, writing about festivals, long before there were 15 per weekend (and that’s just in the Denver area). However, with festivals selling out in record time, I don’t think this summer will be the same.
Thankfully, many festivals are free like Bohemian Lights Festival (formerly Bohemian Nights) in Fort Collins, but some, like Top Taco have an admission fee. For those events, I’ve been entering contests, and I won. Top Taco, here I come!
We recently went on a non-HeidiTown trip (yes, there is such a thing). A group of friends joined us for a weekend of tanking in North Platte, Nebraska, and it was more fun than should be legal. Seriously, the hilarity of tanking cannot be described, it must be experienced. This was our second time and the activity hasn’t lost any of its luster.
So that’s it from HeidiTown. The summer is plodding on, albeit not completely normal. I am looking forward to Taste of Vail. This year, it will be held in September because they postponed the event in April.
Things aren’t normal, just see how busy King Soopers is on a weekday now that it seems everyone is working from home. However, we’re slowly getting back to “normal” things like travel weekends with a big group of friends and festivals.
Thank you to Keystone Festivals for providing tickets to Wine & Jazz Festival.