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August

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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Making New Traditions in the Familiar Town of Winter Park

Winter Park fits Ryan and I like an old glove. I think this is true for many Coloradans; especially Coloradans like Ryan who grew up skiing at Winter Park Resort.

I’ve been visiting for 16 years, and the town’s got a comfortable, familiar ambiance that I love.

Downtown Winter Park in the summer. HeidiTown.com

If you haven’t visited Winter Park, Colorado in the summer, the town pops with colorful flowers.

However, if you’re anything like us, when you get comfortable with a destination you tend to visit the same places on each visit. For instance, for us, a trip to Winter Park isn’t complete without a visit to Hernando’s Pizza Pub. That’s why, on our most recent trip to this well-loved Colorado resort town, we decided to mix things up a bit and add some new locations and activities to our agenda. Continue reading

Featured Festival: San Juan Brewfest 2016

As most of my regular readers already know, beer festivals are a dime-a-dozen here in Colorado. So how does one decide which festival is worthy of their patronage? Check with me! Today I’m here to tell you that San Juan Brewfest (August 27) rocks, and here’s why.

San Juan Brewfest 2016 logo

Durango rocks

Durango’s cool factor is off the charts. It’s brew-factor is also off the charts. There are six breweries and two distillers in this town of 16,000, making it an easy place to find a good drink.

Durango from Fort Lewis College. Featured Festival San Juan Brewfest 2016. HeidiTown (2)

Also, with restaurants such as El Moro Spirits & Tavern, Ken & Sue’s and Jean Pierre’s, Durango is winning the foodie game hands down. Very few towns of this size have this many gourmet food offerings.

Featured Festival San Juan Brewfest festival shot. HeidiTown (6)

In addition to food and drink, Durango offers an array of activities such as biking the Animas River Trail, floating the river, riding the Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and so much more.

The Animas River Trail. Highlights of a weekend in Durango, Featured Festival San Juan Brewfest. HeidiTown.com

San Juan Brewfest rocks

San Juan Brewfest is awesome because it’s an excuse to hang out for a day or two in Durango, but there’s more.

The best part, is that San Juan Brewfest is top-notch, and I can tell you from personal experience that its park venue is one of the best in Colorado for one big reason and that’s shade. August festivals get hot and shade becomes a major priority and festival bonus. 

Featured Festival San Juan Brewfest  HeidiTown (4)

Secondly, because Durango is in Southwest Colorado, the San Juan Brewfest attracts a number of breweries from New Mexico that you won’t see at most Front Range beer festivals. This year, there are breweries coming from as far as Oregon, California and Wisconsin. See the entire list here.

Featured Festival San Juan Brewfest elevated ipa.  HeidiTown (1)

In all, fifty-four breweries and distilleries will be at the event along with three bands (see band lineup here).

VIP rocks

Last year, we went to San Juan Brewfest as VIPs which rocked. This year’s VIP package includes access to a brewer party on Friday night at Steamworks Brewing Co., one-hour early entrance to the beer festival, VIP area with a catered lunch and private bathroom, and a festival t-shirt. This is a GREAT VIP package and there are a few VIP tickets left.

Featured Festival San Juan Beerfest. Cheers shot. HeidiTown.com

Durango has a laid-back vibe that I love and so does San Juan Brewfest. I’d encourage you to make this festival your last summer hurrah.

San Juan Brewfest

All proceeds of San Juan Brewfest benefit United Way of Southwest Colorado

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Buckley Park at 12th & Main in downtown Durango

VIP, 12 to 5 p.m. / Upgraded GA 12:30 to 5 p.m. / GA 1 to 5 p.m.

Tickets, $30 to $70

(this is a 21 & over event)

SanJuanBrewfest.com

San Juan Brewfest on Facebook

Join this fest on Instagram

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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.

FEATURED FESTIVAL: Farm to Fiddle Festival, Hotchkiss, Colorado

This brand new festival is happening in one of my favorite places in the state, Delta County, Colorado. This bountiful area boasts farms, wineries, orchards, ranches and more. And Farm to Fiddle Festival is a celebration of everything this region has to offer.

Farm to Fiddle Festival

The festival takes place in Hotchkiss, Colorado, a town that claims to be the friendliest town around and I’ve had no experiences to the contrary. Hotchkiss really is a friendly place to visit and Farm to Fiddle is a great excuse to do so.

FEATURED FESTIVAL: Farm to Fiddle Festival, Hotchkiss, Colorado

Traffic in downtown Hotchkiss, Colorado.

The festival is being held in downtown Hotchkiss during the last two days of the Delta County Fair & Rodeo, also held in Hotchkiss, and the two events are within walking distance of one another.

Farm to Fiddle will feature three parts; an arts and crafts corner, a farm block and an outdoor expo. Festival goers will be able to buy everything from art for their home to farm fresh fruits and vegetables. At the Outdoor Expo, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation will conduct a Safe Shoot starting Saturday at noon.

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

Veggies at the Hotchkiss Saturday Farmers’ Market.

In addition there will be plenty of music throughout the event.. Performers include Miguel Dakota & the Differents, Charlie Ware the cowboy poet, Mike Gwinn & North Fork Flyers, Linda McVehil, among others.

The festival show stealer, however, may be local celebrity, 15-year-old Jeneve Rose Mitchell. Mitchell is from Crawford, which is just up the road from Hotchkiss, and was a contestant on American Idol. She’s been singing and playing fiddle since she was as toddler, and now she plays an array of stringed instruments.

Other events at Farm to Fiddle include a Saturday night dance at the Elk’s BPOE 1807, and a motorcycle poker run sponsored by Pat’s Bar & Grill. Don’t miss the wine and cheese tasting hosted by ShadeScapes from 5 to 8 p.m. on Saturday.

This festival is a wonderful opportunity for folks to get acquainted with the Delta County area of Colorado. It would be a fantastic time to pick up some fruit and with u-pick farms around every bend, visitors can go home with a trunk full of farm fresh produce. Wine lovers will want to visit  the many wineries in the area. Those who want a hands on farm experience can tour farms like The Living Farm.

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

Our haul from Delta County. Just imagine what you could come home with!

For area lodging information click here, but I can say from experience that Leroux Creek Inn & Vineyards is a fantastic bed and breakfast in Hotchkiss.

Farm to Fiddle Festival

August 12-13, 2016

Friday, 9 to 6 & Saturday, 10 to 6

Hotchkiss, Colorado

Admission: FREE

FarmtoFiddle.com

Farm to Fiddle on Facebook

Farm to Fiddle is presented by Outdoors Alive, Inc., an organization founded to promote safe enjoyment of recreation through educational programs and humanitarian services to all with an emphasis on youth, disabled, handicapped, underprivileged persons, and military personnel.

FEATURED FESTIVAL Farm to Fiddle Festival, Hotchkiss, Colorado. Avlanche Cheese Co. goat. HeidiTown.com

Farms like the Avalanche Cheese Co.’s goat farm allow visitors to tour.

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

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Nine & a Half Things to Do at Colorado Renaissance Festival

Haven’t made it to the Colorado Renaissance Festival this year? Well, what’s stopping you? It’s time to saddle up the pony and head out. While there, I highly recommend doing these nine and a half things.

1. Gnaw on a Turkey Leg

There’s something about gnawing on a turkey leg that’s highly satisfying. Vegetarians, you can gnaw on a roasted artichoke instead, although I guarantee that it’s not nearly as fun.

9 and a half things to do at colorado renaissance Festival. HeidiTown.com

2. Catch a Show

The Colorado Renaissance Show curates their shows carefully and they are all very good. This year, The Washing Well Wenches have moved to the big stage, formerly the home of Puke & Snot. This is a longtime favorite of mine it’s nice to see these funny, irreverent ladies rewarded for their hard work. Continue reading

Five new festivals in Colorado this summer

New festivals crop up every summer in Colorado and it’s hard to keep track of them all, but I try. Here are five new ones that will appeal to a variety of different tastes. 

Tequila & Tacos, Winter Park, July 9, 2016

Winter Park is a wonderful summer festival town and when Tequila & Tacos came across my radar, I immediately saved the date on my calendar.

Located in one of Colorado’s best festival venues, Hideaway Park, this new event is a celebration of one of my husband’s favorite things (tequila) and one of my favorite things (tacos) – so, yes, we have to go.

Five new festivals in Colorado this summer

As you might expect, Tequila & Tacos includes tequila tasting and taco tasting, plus, live music provided by The Rick Lewis Project.

Keystone River Run Village Art Festival, July 30-31, 2016

Keystone is another great summer festival town. River Run Village is well-laid out for fun fests such as Wine & Jazz Festival and the Mountain Town Music Festival. This art event is the newest festival in the Keystone Festivals summer lineup.

 

Five new festivals in Colorado this summer

There will be 80 artists at this juried, outdoor event. Admission is free.

Vertex Festival, Buena Vista, August 5-7, 2016

This new “camping” festival is located in one of the most beautiful areas of Colorado. The Vertex Festival website states, “Vertex merges the best of worlds to create a present-day frontier where anything is possible. Diverse music, exhilarating outdoor adventures and artful fun and games bring people together for an enduring shared experience.”

Five new festivals in Colorado this summer

Vertex includes lots of live music, field trips, art events and more. If you’re looking for an event that will inspire creativity in a fantastic destination, Vertex may be the festival for you.

Farm to Fiddle Festival, Hotchkiss, August 12-13, 2016

This festival makes me want to start singing, “these are a few of my favorite things!”

Five new festivals in Colorado this summer

Hotchkiss, Colorado is in Delta County, which is our state’s hidden gem. The region is bountiful and offers everything from vineyards to farm stays, and this festival is a celebration of those things, plus arts and crafts. Events include music, demonstrations and of course, wine, hard cider and lots of delicious, farm fresh food.

Breckenridge Wine Classic, September 15-18, 2016

A new wine event is coming to Breckenridge, Colorado. This festival brings together food artisans, wineries, breweries, distilleries, epicurean purveyors and locally made products. There will be cooking demonstrations, seminars and other opportunities for wine education. Events will take place at various venues around town.

Five new festivals in Colorado this summer

The Breckenridge Wine Classic is for discriminating wine aficionados and it is also for those who may be new to the wine world.

If you know of any new festivals in Colorado this summer that aren’t listed here, please leave me a note in the comment section. 

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Win tickets to Colorado Renaissance Festival 2016

This is my favorite HeidiTown giveaway because I love the Colorado Renaissance Festival. Ryan and I have been attended for nearly two decades together and Ryan’s been visiting since he was a kid. It’s a chance to escape reality for a day and enjoy a fantastical experience.

Colorado Renaissance Festival 2016 win tickets. the royal court. HeidiTown.com

The Royal Court, Colorado Renaissance Festival

We like to arrive at the festival grounds when the doors open so as to buzz through the stores before the mid-day throngs arrive. Plus, parking is easier earlier in the day.

Once the place gets busy with sword wielding outlaws and busty lassies pushing baby strollers, we order hard cider, our drink of choice at Ren Fest, and start the second part of our day – people watching (there is no better place for it). Continue reading

Highlights of a weekend in Durango

As a festival and travel writer, I try not to play favorites when it comes to the Colorado towns I visit, however, there’s something about Durango that makes it hard for me to leave.

Durango from Fort Lewis College. Highlights from a weekend in Durango. HeidiTown (2)

Durango from Fort Lewis College.

We visited town for just two nights in late August for San Juan Brewfest. We stayed at the Downtown Durango Inn, located on the banks of the Animas River and within two blocks of all the best downtown restaurants.

The food

On this trip we didn’t venture out to try very many new places. We stuck to our tried and true Durango favorites including Steamworks Brewing Co. To avoid the wait here head to the bar area where there are usually several seats open at the long bar.

The food is always awesome and there’s a strong possibility that Hugh Jackman’s doppelganger will be tending bar. Yes, Wolverine is a bartender at Steamworks in Durango. Seriously. Just go. You’ll see. Continue reading

Featured Festival: ArtoCade 2015, Trinidad, CO

When the  ArtoCade  folks approached me about featuring their fest, I was delighted. This is the type of festival that I love to share with my readers. ArtoCade puts the “u” in unique and with so many festivals all starting to look the same, it’s downright refreshing.

So what’s ArtoCade? It’s an art car parade and festival. And what’s an art car? According to Wikipedia it’s a vehicle that has had its appearance modified as an act of personal artistic expression. These art cars are frequently driven by their creators who are called “cartists.”

I saw my first art cars during Telluride Fire Festival  last winter and they were impressive.

ArtoCade in Trinidad, Colorado. fire breathing dragon car

This art car gets around. I saw it at Telluride Fire Fest and here it is at ArtoCade last year.

Not all the art cars in Trinidad will shoot fire, but the creativity of these vehicles will amaze you. The amount of work and talented that folks put into these creations is mind boggling and they do it, in part, for you, the crowd.

One intriguing fact about art cars is that their creators come from all walks of life and many are not trained artists; they simply want to express their imagination using their car as a canvas. And some crazy things come out of these brains.

crazy art car at ArtoCade in Trinidad, Colorado.

This three day event in Trinidad, just over 3 hours south of Denver, gets underway at 5 p.m. on Friday, September 11 in downtown Trinidad with Vehiculart. This event involves art exhibits and presentations that celebrate art cars.  CarBash  happens in the evening at  Brix Sports Bar & Grill on Main Street.

The main event, the ArtoCade Parade, gets underway on Saturday, September 12 at noon. Unless you’ve been to an art car event, this is unlike any other parade you’ve seen. As the ArtoCade website says, “if you can’t drive it, it’s a float.” Festival booths will be open before and after the parade along Main Street.

art car at ArtoCade in Trinidad, Colorado

After the parade it’s time for Ogle, Look & Play & Traffic Jam from 2 to 5 p.mm. This is your chance to get up close and personal with the art cars and their creators.

Make sure you bring the kids along to ArtoCade. They will love ArtoKid, a booth where they can make little art cars, paint on a full-sized automobile and draw on a chalkboard covered car.

In the evening join the CarDango, a dance and circus featuring internationally acclaimed magicians the Dream Masterz, Dragon Aerialists and lots more. This is the only ticketed event during ArtoCade. CarDango will be held at Sebastiani Gym from 7 to midnight. Tickets are $18.

On Sunday send off the “cartists” during BrickFest from 8 to 10 a.m. Everyone is invited.

ArtoCade

September 11-13, 2015

Trinidad, Colorado

With the exception of the Saturday night gala, ArtoCade is a FREE event!

HistoricTrinidad.com/ArtoCade

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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.

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