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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

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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

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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

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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

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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: Glenn Miller Swing Fest, August 17-19, 2017

I think swing music is happy music, and that’s why I love the Glenn Miller Swing Festival in Fort Morgan, Colorado. This is a happy event that celebrates one of this town’s favorite sons, Glenn Miller.

World famous big band musician, Glenn Miller, went to high school in Fort Morgan. The story goes, in addition to football, as a high schooler, Miller loved music and skipped his own graduation ceremony to head to Laramie, Wyoming to play in a band. His mother had to pick up his diploma for him.

While Miller’s life story didn’t have a happy ending — he was lost in a plane disappearance during WWII at the age of 40 — the Eastern Colorado town of Fort Morgan annually honors his memory with festivities.

The Grand Plan

A true Americana kind of town, Fort Morgan is an idyllic place to celebrate this style of music, and for three days the town comes alive with the sound of brass and drums.

Featured Festival Glenn Miller Swing Fest. Photo by Jon A Yamamoto

Photo by Jon A Yamamoto, courtesy of Morgan County Tourism.

Part community festival, part music festival, Glenn Miller Swing Fest welcomes swing music aficionados from around the country to partake in the event.

This is a sort of “pick and choose your adventure” sort of festival with a variety of events starting on Thursday evening and ending on Saturday night. The schedule includes history presentations about Glenn Miller, a community barbeque, social cocktail gatherings, Glenn Miller movies, a street dance and more. Nearly all of these events include live music.

See the FULL Glenn Miller Swing Fest Schedule Here

A Swingin’ Kind of Town

Only an hour from Denver, Fort Morgan, located in Morgan County, is where the “prairie meets the sky,” and I’m here to tell you that it’s a beautiful and somewhat under appreciated area of Colorado.

Featured Festival Glenn Miller Swing Fest. Photo by Jon A Yamamoto 1

Photo by Jon A Yamamoto, courtesy of Morgan County Tourism.

One of my favorite Thai restaurants is located in Fort Morgan, Little Bamboo, and one of the state’s most fantastic Italian restaurants, O’ Sole Mio Trattoria Italiana is also in town.

This isn’t the big city and the sidewalks roll up at night, but that’s part of Fort Morgan’s charm. It’s a true throwback, the kind of place that still has an old-fashioned movie theater on Main Street.

Featured Festival Glenn Miller Swing Fest. Photo by Jon A Yamamoto 2

Photo by Jon A Yamamoto, courtesy of Morgan County Tourism.

Whether you go for the day or the weekend, Glenn Miller Swing Fest in Fort Morgan is a toe tappin’ good time. For more info on where to stay, where to eat and what to do in Morgan County, visit MorganCountyTourism.com.

Glenn Miller Swing Festival

August 17-19, 2017

Events take place around Fort Morgan, Colorado

*some events are ticketed (see festival website for details)

GlennMillerSwingFest.com

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Note from the Mayor: This event has a big heart as well as strong community roots and is one of the festivals that inspired me to focus on Colorado’s small town festivals back in 2010. I am delighted that individuals within Fort Morgan and Morgan County recognize the benefits of continuing this unique festival.

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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: Farm to Fiddle Summer Festival, August 11-12, 2017

There are many things to love about the North Fork Valley of Delta County and the Farm to Fiddle Summer Festival (August 11-12, 2017) is at the top of that list. This festival was brand new last year, and from the moment I heard the name, I knew they had a good thing going.

Farm to Fiddle Blue Logo

Farm to Fiddle Summer Festival takes place in the lovely village of Hotchkiss, Colorado, located about an hour southeast of Grand Junction in one of our state’s most bountiful growing areas.

It’s About Music

As the name suggests, this festival features lots of music and that’s easy to do in an area brimming with musicians.

Featured Festival Farm to Fiddle Summer Festival Jeneve Rose Mitchell courtesy photo HeidiTown.com

Courtesy photo, used with permission.

Friday’s musical guest is the North Fork Valley’s very own Jeneve Rose Mitchell who grew up in Crawford, just down the road from Hotchkiss. Now 17, at age 15, Mitchell appeared on American Idol where she stole hearts and the show. Performing since the age of 4, Mitchell is taking the country music world by storm and this is your chance to see her live.

Saturday’s musical feature is David Starr. His website describes him as a musician with “Arkansas roots and Colorado wings.” This past April, he released “The Head And Heart,” produced and arranged by John Oates. Also local, when he isn’t touring the country you’ll find Starr in his music store in Cedaredge, Colorado, about 30 minutes from Hotchkiss.

Featured Festival Farm to Fiddle Summer Festival David Starr courtesy photo. HeidiTown.com

Courtesy photo. Used with permission.

There are many other musicians scheduled to play throughout the two-day festival including another local favorite, the Solar Brothers. Check out the festival’s website for the entire musical lineup.

It’s About Farms

Farm to Fiddle Summer Festival plays hosts to a farmers’ market that will have you drooling. And this farmers’ market is your chance to meet local farmers who will be in attendance selling their fresh produce.

FEATURED FESTIVAL Farm to Fiddle Festival, Hotchkiss, Colorado. Veggies. HeidiTown.com

Veggies at the Hotchkiss Saturday Farmers’ Market.

It’s About Art

Hotchkiss is a highly active art community. In fact, their Creamery Arts Center is a major feature of the town and a can’t-be-missed attraction when you visit. The park next to the center is where much of the festival’s activity will take place. There will be arts and crafts on display throughout the festival.

It’s About the Great Outdoors

In addition to farm fun, musical performances and art and food, the Farm to Fiddle Summer Festival will play host to the Western Colorado Outdoor Expo, a show that showcases the outdoor adventures available in Delta County and Western Colorado. From the Black Canyon of the Gunnison to the Grand Mesa, this area is jam-packed with recreational opportunities for everyone. And a bonus about doing outdoor activities here is that unlike Colorado’s Front Range, these beautiful parks and open lands are crowd free.

This expo features speakers, demos, vendors and more.

Hotchkiss from Delta County Tourism 4

A hoola hooper in Hotchkiss. (Courtesy of Delta County)

Farm to Fiddle Summer Festival takes place at the same time as the Delta County Fair, which is also held in Hotchkiss, so it’s an exciting time to visit the town.

Farm to Fiddle Summer Festival

August 11-12, 2017

Downtown Hotchkiss, Colorado

FarmtoFiddle.com

FREE ADMISSION

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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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Where to Watch the Solar Eclipse in Colorado

A Note from the Mayor: Sight is a precious thing (something I know all too well). Before you go trotting off to watch the eclipse this month, please take a moment to review these recommendations from NASA on how to safely view the eclipse.

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Have you heard about the upcoming solar eclipse? If not, you may be fairly surprised when the sun disappears behind the moon on August 21, 2017, starting around 10:30 a.m. We won’t experience a total eclipse here in Colorado, but we will see a partial eclipse and it will occur over a three hour period.

Where to Watch the Eclipse in Colorado

Photo courtesy of Colorado.com. Wildflower hike near Vail, Colorado. (Matt Inden, photographer)

Here’s a cool video of how this partial eclipse will appear in Colorado.

I’ve made it my mission to find eclipse parties happening in Colorado, and at the time of the writing of this post, there aren’t many being advertised online yet so I’ll try to update this article as they pop up.

Eclipse Parties in Colorado

Avon, Colorado

The first party that came on my radar is the Solar Eclipse Viewing Party being held at the Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa in Beaver Creek. Ryan and I have stayed at this fantastic property near Vail that features several restaurants, an incredible spa, an enormous pool, lovely salt water hot tubs, and large, comfy suite-style rooms.

Where to Watch the Solar Eclipse in Colorado - Westin Beaver Creek summer fire pits, credit the hotel

Westin Beaver Creek summer fire pits, courtesy of the resort.

The resort is partnering with Walking Mountain Science School, a non-profit science learning center, to offer a free party to the public that includes educational family activities and celestial crafts. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on the Westin’s patio.

The Rocky Mountain Eclipse Getaway (offered August 20-23, 2017) at The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa includes a studio suite, exclusive access to the resort’s educational event with Walking Mountains, solar eclipse viewing glasses and nightly s’mores at the resort’s fire pits. Rates start at $179.

Colorado Springs, Colorado

The Total Solar Eclipse Party is being held at the Space Foundation Discovery Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. It’s will be held on August 21 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

This will be an exciting day at the Discovery Center. They will have solar viewing telescopes, tubes and boxes for visitors to use and they will feature live feeds from other eclipse locations around the United States.

Where to Watch the Eclipse in Colorado, Colorado Springs Discovery Center

Visitors may purchase solar viewing glasses, while supplies last, for just $3 or two for $5. There will be craft events and a planetarium show in the center’s new inflatable planetarium.

This is a once-in-childhood experience for your science-minded children, so if you live in or near the Colorado Springs area, don’t miss it.

Visit the Total Solar Eclipse Party online HERE.

Denver, Colorado

The Denver Museum of Nature & Science will start their solar eclipse festivities at 9 a.m. on August 21. The museum will be buzzing with eclipse activities including events scheduled outside on Boettcher Plaza, in the Science Studios, on the south atrium, inside the Space Odyssey exhibit and at the Discovery Zone (the area for young learners ages 5 and under).

A solar-scope viewing will be held on Boettcher Plaza from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The museum will be providing safe viewing options for guests in the form of solar eclipse glasses and pinhole viewers. There will even be pop-up food available service outside during the event.

While the eclipse is happening in the sky outside, inside the museum visitors can enjoy stories, kinesthetic activities and crafts related to the eclipse. The eclipse-related activities end at 2 p.m., but the museum will remain open until 5 p.m. Don’t miss the Space Odyssey programming that will include eclipse-themed shows throughout the day.

Vail, Colorado

An exclusive solar hike for guests of the Sonnenalp Hotel in Vail is planned for August 21. This luxury hotel with a European twist is offering a hike on Shriner Ridge. The outing includes transportation, a guide, solar viewing glasses, water and a snack.

This two-mile hike/three-hour excursion will provide a fantastic view of the 2017 eclipse in one of Colorado’s most gorgeous settings. To book your hike contact Kara at 970-479-5448 or email kschmidt@sonnenalp.com.

Buena Vista, Colorado

Deerhammer, a distillery located in Buena Vista, is hosting an eclipse viewing party featuring $5 Barrel Aged Black Hole Sun (a coffee old-fashion), during the event. They will also have solar glasses available for guests.

Where to Watch the Eclipse in Colorado, Deerhammer in Buena Vista

Photo courtesy of Deerhammer.

Watch the Eclipse with a Cold One

Lots of breweries around Colorado have put together solar eclipse watch parties. From City Star Brewing in Berthoud to Goat Patch Brewing in Colorado Springs, you can watch the eclipse at your favorite brewery, purchase a pair of eclipse glasses on site and enjoy special beer releases.

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See a map of the eclipse in the United States here.

For information on Where to Watch the Eclipse in the West, visit The Heidi Guide at Mountain Living online.

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I’ve scoured the internet and even made some calls to find out if more parties are planned and nothing comes up… yet.

I am certain that more parties will pop up and I’ll try to keep this list updated. If you know of a party or your organization is putting something together for the public, please leave me a comment here or email me at TheMayor@HeidiTown.com with details. Thank you!

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