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.
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
Have you noticed that everyone is visiting Germany this year? It’s wildly popular with Millennial travel bloggers in love with Berlin, and Colorado brewers looking to immerse themselves in the beer brewing traditions of the old country.
If you are anything like me, however, you can’t afford a plane ticket to Germany (today’s summer airfare from Denver to Frankfurt nonstop is $1600/person).
Thankfully, Coloradans don’t have to fly to Germany to experience German culture.
Ryan and I have been attending the Annual Biergarten Festival for the better part of a decade and our secret summer festival is no longer a secret. People love the Biergarten Festival for its beautiful setting, laid back ambiance, friendliness and authenticity.
Attending this festival really does feel like going to a summer party in the rolling green hills of Germany (without the travel price tag).
I’ve been writing about this festival for years and I always tell my readers about the wonderful German dancing, outstanding German beer (Paulaner, of course) and delicious German food. This year, I have a couple new items to tell you about.
Festival organizers have added a Stein Hoisting Contest, so it’s time to start warming up those brawny arm muscles boys and girls. I hear that doing the Wood Chopper Dance is a great way to practice. This contest of strength takes place Saturday (7/9) at 4 p.m.
Another new event is the 1st Annual Dachshund Race on Sunday at 2 p.m. If you’ve never had the opportunity to watch a dachshund race, you’ve missed out. Come prepared to be amused.
Want to sign up for the Stein Hoisting or Dachshund Race? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Of course, all the usual suspects will be in attendance such as Rick Borger & the Average Band, Peter Kron, the Chalet Dancers, TEV Edelweiss Schuhplattlers and the Rhinelanders.
The beer continuously flows and the music never stops at Biergarten Festival, which is one reason I consider this to be one of the best summer festivals in Colorado. If you’ve been meaning to make it to Biergarten Festival, this is the year to make it happen.
Annual Biergarten Festival
July 8-10, 2016
July 8, 4 to 10 p.m. / July 9, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. / July 10, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
TEV Edelweiss Club
$3 children 12 & under (age 5 & under free)
Featured Festival spots on HeidiTown.com are paid advertisements. Interested in having your festival or event considered for a feature?EmailTheMayor@HeidiTown.com.
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.
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.
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.”
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!”
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.
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.
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.
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
This is the third time that National Mill Dog Rescue has been a recipient of HeidiTown Gives Back and that’s because every July there’s an NMDR fundraiser held in Berthoud, Colorado that I help out with. Therefore, I choose to give NMDR the July “Gives Back” ad space so that I can also give some love to Hops & Harley.
As a NMDR benefit, 100% of the proceeds of Hops & Harley go to NMDR. Last year’s festival raised an impressive $11,740 dollars.
Hops & Harley is hosted by the good folks at City Star Brewery. I’ve known City Star owners John and Whitney Way since before they opened the brewery doors and I have an enormous amount of respect for both of them. The work they’ve put into making Hops & Harley a success it truly amazing. Plus, they make outstanding beer.
The 3rd Annual Hops & Harley is July 11 and takes place Fickel Park in Berthoud. This is the perfect location for this fun-filled, dog-filled, family-filled festival that includes City Star beer (try the Bandit Brown, it’s my favorite), music by the Franklin Taggart Trio and the Aaron McCloskey Band, food trucks, kids activities, dog events, a silent auction and a chance to meet Harley.
Who is Harley? Harley is a NMDR rescue dog, a spokesdog against puppy mills and an online celebrity. He even has his own Facebook page.
National Mill Dog Rescue is a Colorado Springs based nonprofit that that has pledged to put an end to the cruelty of the commercial dog breeding industry, more commonly known as puppy milling. They rescue dogs and work to educate the public on the horrors of puppy mills.
Volunteers with NMDR have rescued and placed nearly 10,000 dogs since their founding in 2007, not to mention that they have educated hundreds of thousands of people on what puppy mills are all about. I am thrilled and honored each July to do my small part in shedding light on this amazing organization.
Hops & Harley
Saturday, July 11, 2015 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Fickel Park, Berthoud, Colorado (get directions)
Colorado high country beer festivals
Two weeks ago I wrote a post entitled, “Colorado wine festivals not to miss,” so I decided I’d better follow that up with some love for craft beer.
During the summer there are two to four beer festivals happening every weekend here in Colorado and I can’t list them all, therefore, I am going to highlight the ones I am most looking forward to this summer.
Colorado Brewers Rendezvous, Salida, July 11, 2015
This is the beer festivals that brewers look forward to. Unfortunately, I have not attended, but I have it on very good authority from a handful of brewers that if you make one beer festival this July, this should be the one.
Hosted by the Colorado Brewers Guild on the banks of the Arkansas River, festival goers will enjoy unlimited beer tasting from more than 70 Colorado breweries. In addition there will be live music and food vendors.
Need a place to stay? Check out my write-up on the Mountain Goat Lodge in Salida.
Winter Park Beer Festival, Winter Park, August 8, 2015
This was my favorite beer festival last summer and I’m planning to be there again this year.
Located in Hideaway Park, Winter Park Beer Festival is one of the few fests that I heartily encourage you to purchase the VIP package. If you buy early it’s only $70 to go VIP and that includes a catered lunch, VIP tent with private seating area and access to limited edition beers, plus a full size glass tasting mug. It’s awesome!
This festival also includes more than 30 breweries (many I hadn’t seen at festivals before) and a great musical lineup on a big stage. This year’s headliner is Trout Steak Revival.
San Juan Brewfest, Durango, August 29, 2015
I am trying very hard to work this event into my schedule this year because 1) I love Durango and 2) the beer lineup is fantastic. There are a number of breweries that will attend this event that do not come to beer festivals on Colorado’s Front Range such as Western Slope breweries and a few from Utah and New Mexico.
I would encourage you to check out this VIP package as well, however, it’s already sold out.
In addition to the 51 breweries in attendance this year, a few new regional distilleries will be on hand as well. There’s also music and of course, you’ll be in Durango, one of my favorite spots on the planet.
Need lodging? Visit Durango.org.
CONTEST NOW CLOSED
It’s summertime and that means the Colorado Renaissance Festival in Larkspur is in full swing. Ladies, lords, swordsman, wenches and peasants are gathering under the trees to celebrate all things medieval at one of Colorado’s best and longest produced festivals. It’s the 39th season of Colorado Renaissance Festival, an event that employs hundreds of talented folks who are there to make sure that YOU have the best experience possible while visiting the realm.
There are eight themed weekends planned, three of which are already in the history books. Upcoming weekends include Children’s Weekend (July 4-5), Wine Revelry (July 11-12), Love & Romance (July 18-19), Music & Dance Festival (July 25-26) and Fare Thee Well & Mardi Gras Style Carnivale (August 1-2). Continue reading
It’s that time again, time to polka with me at Biergarten Festival in Morrison, Colorado.
I’ve written about and attended Biergarten since 2011, and have become very well acquainted with this event. I know it well enough to say that it is probably my favorite event of the summer. There, I’ve said it. FAVORITE! As the Mayor of HeidiTown I’m not supposed to play favorites, but I just did. That’s how much I love Biergarten Festival.
In last year’s feature about Biergarten Festival I shared with you the top four things I look forward to the most about this festival. They were music, beer, food and ambiance.
This year I’m going to share with you the Four Fantastic P’s of Biergarten Festival.
PRETZELS, salty deliciousness
This year’s pretzels will be provided by Styria Bakery from Frederick, Colorado. This family-run company also serves their pretzels at the Denver Christkindl Market and you don’t get better or more authentic German pretzels than these.
PAULANER, it’s German for beer
I have to give Biergarten Festival mad props for sticking to their German roots and serving up Paulaner beer year after year. In a state that’s overflowing with microbreweries, it probably hasn’t been easy to stay the course, but Biergarten does not waver. This event is a German summer party and that means German beer. And nothing tastes as good with a pretzel as a Paulaner. Nothing!
POLKA, grab a partner
Whether you like to dance or just like to watch they’ve got your covered at Biergarten Festival. One of my favorite dance troupes, The Chalet Dancers from Castle Rock, will be performing this year, but you can perform too. That’s right, dancing is a big part of this event and there’s ample opportunity to strut your stuff. Everyone gets into it; the bigs and the littles.
SCHNAPPS, it has two p’s
Okay, I realize schnapps doesn’t start with a P, but I’m adding it because at Biergarten Festival there are Schnapps Waitresses. That’s right, gals with schnapps shots on wooden trays and they’ll sell you one for just a couple bucks. A great aperitif after a strenuous round on the dance floor or a nice followup to your wiener shnitzel and red cabbage.
So there you have it – the Four Fantastic P’s of Biergarten Festival. I hope to indulge in all four this July.
July 10-12, 2015
Friday – 4 to 10 p.m., Saturday – 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Friday & Saturday, $5
Sunday, $3 with an early bird special of $1 from 10 a.m. to noon
Children 12 & under are free / free parking
This event is family-friendly!
New this year, CASH ONLY (ATMs onsite)
Join the fest on Facebook here
Featured Festival spots on HeidiTown.com are paid advertisements. Interested in having your festival or event considered for a feature? Email TheMayor@HeidiTown.com.
Colorado high country wine festivals
Colorado’s ski resorts come alive during the summer with festivals of all kinds; music, muddy races, biking extravaganzas, beer fests and more. However, for those who prefer the pursuit of wine tasting over running a race through the mud, Colorado’s resorts have got you covered too.
Here are three Colorado wine festivals that should be on your radar this summer.
Uncorked in the Village, Winter Park, July 4, 2015
I have fond memories of a girlfriend getaway to Uncorked in the Village back in 2013. It just doesn’t get better than wine and cheese and that’s what you’ll find under the tents during this Colorado wine festival at The Village at Winter Park.
There are also interactive Learning Tents that feature all sorts of classes and demos. In addition, vendors sell jewelry and beautiful art objects throughout The Village.
Keystone Wine & Jazz, July 18-19, 2015
Perfect for a girls’ getaway, Keystone Wine & Jazz is also surprisingly family-friendly. Last year, I took a girlfriend up to experience this high altitude Colorado wine event. We were delighted to find that we could look down on the festival’s music stage from the patio of our Buffalo Lodge condo.
Fun is not a strong enough word to describe our experience at Keystone Wine & Jazz. Wine and food booths are spread out throughout the village and so you walk and drink and eat, and walk and drink and eat. It’s fabulous. There are several music stages, so when you wanted to sit and sip, that was available too.
I say that this wine festival is family-friendly because Keystone Resort is very kid-friendly. Children activities such as panning for gold are spread throughout the village, not to mention Kidtopia, free and open daily. There’s a reason Keystone Resort is widely considered one of the most family-friendly ski resorts in Colorado.
Western Slope Uncorked, Powderhorn Ski Resort, August 1, 2015
I’m including this brand new slope side wine festival because they will be serving up Colorado-only wine. Wineries in attendance include Talon Winery, Grand River Winery, Gubbini Winery and many more. The admission price to this wine festival is extremely affordable if you buy your tickets now. Currently they are on sale for just $30, but if you wait to get them at the door they’ll be $50.
Country band Restless Heart will headline the new Colorado wine festival.
I learned recently that Colorado Parks & Wildlife is involved in many nature festivals throughout the state. From birding excursions to festivals celebrating elk, these events take place all year and in every corner of Colorado.
Here are a few events happening this summer and fall that I think should be on your radar. Make sure that you have updated your state’s park pass before going; you wouldn’t want to be left out.
Crested Butte Wildflower Festival, July 13-19, 2015
This event has been on my bucket list for a long time. I love photographing wildflowers and the array of flowers that can be found in the Colorado Rockies in the summertime is truly astounding.
This event has been occurring annually since 1986, and has become much, much longer than a week. Today, the entire summer is filled with CBWF events and more than 200 classes offered by instructors, tour guides and volunteers. Continue reading