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Santa Claus is Coming to Town: 3 Santa Festivals in Colorado

‘Tis the season for holiday-themed festivals and while craft shows and Christmas parades abound, here are a few unique events where you get to join in the fun.

Santa Claus is Coming to Town 3 Santa Festivals in Colorado Photo credit Crested Butte Mountain Resort Santa Ski Crawl

Photo Credit: Crested Butte Mountain Resort

Crowds of Santas Spotted in Breckenridge and Crested Butte, Colorado

There’s something particularly amusing about being surrounded by hundreds of Santas; boy Santas, girl Santas, tall Santas, short Santas, fat Santas, skinny Santas, pantless Santas (it happens). Here are two Colorado mountain festivals for folks who love Santa Claus and who like dressing up like the fat old fellow.

Race of the Santas, Breckenridge, Colorado

December 2, 2017

I’ve attended this event and can personally give it two white-gloved thumbs up. Race of the Santas is part of the Lighting of Breckenridge, a beautiful weekend tradition that involves the conversion of Breckenridge from a charming Victorian town to a charming Victorian town covered in holiday lights. 

Race of the Santas, Breckenridge

Photo courtesy of the Breckenridge Tourism Office

The Race of the Santas is seven blocks (0.75 miles) and contestants must dress like Santa. Some Santas who enter this race are serious runners while others, the Santa’s with a flask tucked into their black boot, are just there to have a good time.

You must register for this race by Friday, December 1, 2017. The race takes place on Saturday, December 2 at 4:30 p.m. Santa suits are for sale at the Breckenridge Welcome Center and Vertical Runner, a local running store. Contestants may also wear their own Santa costume.

Santa Claus is Coming to Town 3 Santa Festivals in Colorado Photo Credit Carl_Scofield_2015_Lighting_Santa-1

Photo Credit: Carl Scofield

Click here for more information on the Lighting of Breckenridge and Race of the Santas. If you’ve never visited Breckenridge during the holidays, it’s truly magical.

Santa Ski Crawl, Crested Butte, Colorado

December 9, 2017

Be part of history in Crested Butte this December and help break the World Record for the most skiing Santas at Crested Butte Mountain Resort. You can ski, snowboard or snowblade, but you must be dressed as Santa. This fifth annual event will attempt to break the record they set in 2015 which was 827 skiing Santas. Will YOU be number 828?

Santa Claus is Coming to Town 3 Santa Festivals in Colorado Photo Credit Crested Butte Mountain Resort

Photo Credit: Crested Butte Mountain Resort

In addition to the event, this is a festive weekend to be in Crested Butte. There’s a Santa Pub Crawl for drinker Santas as well as $25 lift tickets for skier and riders decked out in full Santa suits (valid 12/9/17 only).

This is also the weekend of Crested Butte Mountain Resort’s Light up the Night and annual Christmas Tree lighting, so it’s a good time to be in town. Register for the race here.

Santa Stampede, Littleton, Colorado

December 16, 2017

Okay, so this is less of a fest and more of a race, but I thought I’d throw it on this list for good measure.

Santa Claus is Coming to Town 3 Santa Festivals in Colorado Photo credit Colorado Runner Events, Santa Stampede

Tim Hancock, Photographer | Colorado Runner Events, Santa Stampede

This 5K and 10K winds along the banks of the South Platte River in Littleton, Colorado, just southwest of Denver. The entire family is encouraged to join in this Colorado Runner Events race. All runners get a Santa hat with registration, but participants are encouraged to dress up as well.

The race’s start and finish grounds are located at Hudson Gardens and will feature more than 20 vendors. There will be a festive, holiday atmosphere. To register for this family-friendly fun run go here.

While most Friday festival posts are sponsored, this is not a sponsored post.

Featured Festival: Winter Wonderlights 2017-2018, Loveland, Colorado

A brand new holiday event is coming to Loveland, Colorado and it is one that the organizers hope becomes a long-running Northern Colorado tradition.

Featured Festival: Winter Wonderlights 2017-2018, Loveland, Colorado

Photo credit: Joshua Hardin

Winter Wonderlights will be a light show like no other in the state. Have you seen videos of houses decked out with Christmas lights that are synchronized with music? That’s just a little taste of what’s in store for you at this event.

Rhythm EFX is producing the light show and it’s a lot of work. First of all, it will take ten people about a week to set up this light display at Chapungu Sculpture Park. This one-of-a-kind, 26-acre park is located in east Loveland at the Promenade Shops at Centerra.  

Featured Festival: Winter Wonderlights 2017-2018, Loveland, Colorado

Photo credit: Joshua Hardin

A total of 46,000 lights will be part of Winter Wonderlights. Rhythm EFX calls the lights “mappable” as they are able to program the lights to be various colors. The centerpiece of this display will be a ginormous tree covered in mappable lights that will likely be visible from I-25 at night.

“We can even spell words across the tree,” explains Zach Klassen, owner of Rhythm EFX. “It becomes like a very, very low-resolution television.”

Photo credit: Joshua Hardin

The technology that takes place behind-the-scenes at an event like this is crucial to the production but it’s the end result that will be astounding to everyone who visits, and Winter Wonderlights isn’t just for kids. While families will want to make this part of their holiday excursions this year, this event will be awe-inspiring for adults too and would make an excellent destination for a date night. Don’t miss a great photo opt with Colorado’s largest inflatable igloo.

Featured Festival: Winter Wonderlights 2017-2018, Loveland, Colorado

Photo credit: Joshua Hardin

Winter Wonderlights will run every night from 5 to 9 p.m. from November 18, 2017 through January 7, 2018, and on weekends various entertainers will be on the park’s Great Lawn stage. There will be dance troupes, musical acts and more. Plus, retailers and food vendors will set up from 5 to 9 p.m. on Saturdays and 5 to 7 p.m. on Sundays.

Featured Festival: Winter Wonderlights 2017-2018, Loveland, Colorado

Photo credit: Joshua Hardin

Don’t Miss Opening Night

The kick-off of Winter Wonderlights will be Saturday, Nov. 18. There is a lot in store for opening night, but perhaps the coolest (no pun intended) thing is that it will be snowing at the event, even if there isn’t snow in the forecast. Be one of the first to see this fantastic light production in Northern Colorado.

Winter Wonderlights

Incredibly, Winter Wonderlights is FREE, but attendees are encouraged to bring canned food donations for the Larimer County Food Bank.

Winter Wonderlights

November 18, 2017 through January 7, 2018

5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Chapungu Sculpture Park (get map here)

Loveland, Colorado

Admission: FREE

Attendees are encouraged to bring a canned food donation for Larimer County Food Bank

visitlovelandco.org/winterwonderlights

Join Winter Wonderlights on Facebook

***

Featured Festival spots on HeidiTown.com are paid advertisements. Interested in having your festival or event considered for a feature? Email TheMayor@HeidiTown.com.

Featured Festival: Nitro Fest 2017, Longmont, Colorado

… and now for something completely different.

Featured Festival Nitro Fest 2017, Longmont, Colorado Photo Credit Eddie ClarkFeatured Festival Nitro Fest 2017, Longmont, Colorado Photo Credit Eddie Clark

This photo & all following photos by Eddie Clark.

I’m always encouraging festival organizers to do something that sets their event apart. This is an example of a festival that’s doing just that.

Nitro Fest is one of Longmont’s most anticipated beer events, because it’s not just about the beer, although that’s a big component. This will be the fourth year of this event that’s one-part circus, one-part dance party, and one-part beer festival.  

Featured-Festival-Nitro-Fest-2017-Longmont-Colorado-2-Photo-Credit-Eddie-Clark.jpg

First and foremost, Nitro Fest is all about beer. It’s the world’s only exclusively nitrogenized beer festival. This fact alone makes it unique. This year the festival will feature 100 nitro beers from all over the world with nitro beers from China to Ireland.

In addition to the beer, Nitro Fest is a feast for the eyes and the imagination with a Cirque de Soleil meets Steampunk ambiance. Circus acts will be conducted by Boulder Circus School, Lunar Fire, and Sven Jorgensen & the Fractal Tribe.

Featured Festival: Nitro Fest 2017, Longmont, Colorado

Music will be provided by LOTUS, a “jamtronics” band from right here in Colorado. Their energetic electric sound will have festival-goers dancing all night long.

Festival-goers are encouraged to come in costume and if you need a little inspiration, Left Hand Brewing has created this Pinterest page to help you out.

Featured Festival: Nitro Fest 2017, Longmont, Colorado

Nitro Fest is produced by Left Hand Brewing High Five Events and proceeds benefit the Left Hand Brewing Foundation. To date, Left Hand Brewing has raised over $582,000 for non-profits.

Nitro Fest is going to be a special night and I hope to see you there!

Nitro Fest

Roosevelt Park, 700 Longs Peak Avenue (map here)

Longmont, Colorado

November 11, 2017

Tickets available at:

LeftHandNitro.com/nitro-fest/

Roundtrip bus transportation from Denver available on the ticket information page.

Join Left Hand Brewing on Facebook

Follow Left Hand Brewing on Twitter

***

This Featured Festival was brought to you by First National Bank as part of their #WeGrowAsOne campaign.

“At First National Bank, we know that growth in the community starts with growth in the local economy. That’s why along with our commitment to the communities we serve, we strive to be the best bank possible for our business customers. Join us in supporting the community and the people behind the businesses in our community.”  

~UnforgettableFirsts.com

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

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***

Featured Festival spots on HeidiTown.com are paid advertisements. Interested in having your festival or event considered for a feature? Email TheMayor@HeidiTown.com.

 

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

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

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!

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Featured Festival: ArtoCade 2017, Sept. 8-10

Creative, ingenious, colorful, crafty, artistic and kooky are all words I would use to describe ArtoCade in Trinidad, Colorado. Squish all those words together and you’ve got one very entertaining festival in a truly fantastic town.

Featured Festival ArtoCade 2017, Sept. 8-10 (6)

We were lucky enough to make it to ArtoCade last September, and since then, I’ve written about our Trinidad experience a number of times including “Trinidad, Colorado, It’s Not What You Think,” which has garnered quite a few comments over the months.

Trinidad is a town undergoing a renaissance and that is bound to stir up emotional responses. From my viewpoint, the climate on the streets of Trinidad is generally positive; I get a sense that the city is moving in a good direction and ArtoCade is part of that.

The Truth About the Towns on Colorado's Worst Places to Live List

Trinidad, Colorado

So What is ArtoCade?

This festival is one part car event, one part art event, and entirely nuts. There’s a reason it won the Governor’s Award for Best Small Town Festival in 2016.

The highlight of the event is the parade on Saturday. Last year, more than 80 art cars rolled down Trinidad’s main street and the crowds were thoroughly entertained. With art cars with names like ChewBaru and Stink Bug, you can probably figure out why.  See photos from last year’s parade here.

More than 100 art cars have signed up for the parade this year including 35 first-timers.

Featured Festival ArtoCade 2017, Sept. 8-10 (2)

The Lowdown on ArtoCade

ArtoCade kicks off on Friday evening with a Vehiculart, a downtown art exhibit like you’ve never seen before, followed by CarBash at BRIX Sports Bar & Grill.

After the parade on Saturday, the art cars park downtown so that festival goers can get up close and personal with them and their owners. There are food stands and other vendors too – it’s a real, colorful street party. If you decided to show up here dressed as a Star Wars character or a big furry rabbit, no one would blink an eye. Weird is encouraged on ArtoCade weekend.

Featured Festival ArtoCade 2017, Sept. 8-10 (5)

Saturday night’s event is CarDango, which ArtoCade organizers describe as “part revue, part costume gala, part dance and part circus.” We attended last year and that’s a fairly accurate description Our favorite part was the samba dancer. While most of ArtoCade is free, CarDango is a ticketed event and it is taking place this year at the brand new Bizarre Car Garage in Trinidad.

Featured Festival ArtoCade 2017, Sept. 8-10 (1)

Awards are presented at CarDango and a fantastic time is had by all. Even if you don’t know anyone, CarDango is a welcoming affair, but leave the kids at home — this party is just for the grown-ups.

Featured Festival ArtoCade 2017, Sept. 8-10 (9)

Sunday morning there’s a cartist send off breakfast held at the Trinidad History Museum, which, by the way, you should tour when you’re in town. Everyone is invited to attend this breakfast which is a good example of how this is an inclusive, not exclusive event. I can tell you from personal experience that the cartists are a really great group of fun people.

Featured Festival ArtoCade 2017, Sept. 8-10 (3)

So Why Go to ArtoCade?

Without a doubt, ArtoCade was the most memorable event we attended last year, and we attended a lot of events. It’s worth the drive to Trinidad. 

ArtoCade

Trinidad, Colorado

September 8-10, 2017

FREE (CarDango is ticketed)

ArtoCade.com

Join this festival on Facebook

***

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!

 

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