Featured Festival: Hops & Harley 2017, Berthoud, Colorado

As many of you know, I’m a passionate dog-lover. I believe strongly in the dog/human bond and that’s why it’s inconceivable to me that some people abuse these wonderful animals. Puppy mills are a form of abuse. If you have any doubts, read the story of the little puppy mill rescue dog that inspired Hops & Harley.

Hops & Harley 2016 (4)

Five years ago, the first Hops & Harley occurred in the taproom of City Star Brewing in Berthoud. Today, the event is held at Fickel Park and has grown into a festival that attracts dog and beer lovers from around the country; after all, Harley, who passed away last year, is quite famous. His work as a spokesdog against puppy mills eventually resulted in him becoming the 2015 American Hero Dog.

Featured Festival Hops & Harley photo by Emily Sierra


City Star Brewing is the host of Hops & Harley and 100 percent of the proceeds from the event go to Harley’s Dream, a nonprofit dedicated to raising awareness and educating the public about the commercial dog breeding industry (aka puppy mills).

Hops & Harley 2016 (3)

While puppy mill tales are sad, Hops & Harley is a celebration. This year’s event features live music from Bonnie & the Clydes and Woodbelly Bluegrass Band. Food trucks will be in attendance, along with activities for children and for dogs. In addition, attendees will enjoy a photo booth, doggy doppelgänger contest, Painting & Pints, and they’ll have a chance to learn about puppy mills.

Hops & Harley 2016 (2)

Of course, no Hops & Harley is complete without beer. City Star will be pouring a variety of their craft beers including Harley’s Wheat, and a personal favorite of mine, Spirit Hound Distillers from Lyons, will provide cocktails.

Hops & Harley is kid-friendly, dog-friendly and free, so pack up the entire family and head to Berthoud on Saturday, June 24.

Hops & Harley

June 24, 2017 | 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Fickel Park, Berthoud, CO

Admission: FREE

Visit Hops & Harley’s online

Like Harley on Facebook

Like City Star Brewing on Facebook



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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.

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

Featured Festival: Hops & Harley, 2016

Hops-and-Harley-website-379x400I’ve been lucky enough to be involved with Hops & Harley from the beginning. This festival is not just a fun dog-friendly event, but it raises awareness for a cause that is close to my heart, National Mill Dog Rescue.

Who is Harley?

National Mill Dog Rescue saves commercial breeding dogs from puppy mills, and Harley, the festival’s namesake, was a spokesdog against puppy mills until he passed over the rainbow bridge earlier this year.

This pint-sized chihuahua spent the first ten years of his life in awful conditions as a breeding dog at a puppy mill in the Midwest.

Featured Festival Hops & Harley photo by Emily Sierra

This is Harley.

After Harley was rescued, he spent the last five years of his life saving puppy mill dogs and educating people about the horrors of puppy mills. Harley become the American Humane Association’s Hero Dog in 2015, making him a world famous celebrity dog. He touched hundreds of thousands of lives over the years and through Hops & Harley, his legacy lives on.

Hops & Harley

Featured Festival Hops & Harley photo by Emily Sierra - dancing

There will be dancing.

This festival takes place annually in Fickle Park in Berthoud, Colorado. Hosted by City Star Brewing, it’s a dog and beer lovers extravaganza. City Star serves up their award-winning craft brew while bands play on the main stage. There are food trucks, dog-centric vendors, childrens activities, a dog agility course and more.

Featured Festival Hops & Harley photo by Emily Sierra - dog agility

See if your dog has what it takes!

Well-behaved dogs are not only welcome at Hops & Harley, their presence is encouraged. A number of National Mill Dog Rescue rescue dogs show up at the festival (many NMDR rescue dog owners fly in or drive hundreds of miles to attend).

Brewery Dogs Beer Tasting Event

Brewery Dogs Beer Tasting at Hops & Harley is a new event this year. While the main festival is free, this is a ticket event.

Featured Festival Hops & Harley photo by Emily Sierra - CSB

There will be craft beer.

The Brewery Dogs Beer Tasting tent will feature 15 breweries pouring their dog-related brews such as City Star’s Harley’s Honey Wheat, Copper Kettle’s Charlie’s Golden Strong and High Hops’ Brown Dog IPA. A few of the dogs that inspired these tasty beers will also be under the Brewery Dog Beer Tasting tent.

Featured Festival Hops & Harley photo by Emily Sierra - random dog

Your dog wants to go to Hops & Harley!

This event takes place from 2 to 6 p.m. during Hops & Harley and tickets may be purchased here.

And here’s what I think is the best part about this festival: One hundred percent of the proceeds of Hops & Harley, and the new beer tasting event, will go to National Mill Dog RescueNothing is more fun than festival-ling for a good cause!

Hops & Harley

Saturday, June 25, 2016

11 to 6 p.m. (free)

Brewery Dogs Beer Tasting 2 to 6 p.m. (ticketed, $20)

Fickle Park, Berthoud, Colorado


brewery dogs at Hops & Harley 2016


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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.

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

Featured Festival: Hot Cars & Cool Nights, June 4, 2016

Loveland, Colorado is a great place for a car show. After all, downtown is a bit of a throwback, which works perfectly as a setting for retro cars (pre-1976), terrific tunes, cold beer and pin-up girls.

Downtown Loveland during Hot Cars Cool Nights.

We made it to the first annual Hot Cars Cool Nights last year and had lots of fun checking out the cars. Eventually we parked ourselves on the patio at Mo’Betta Gumbo, ate po’boys and watched the crowds go by.

That’s what’s great about Hot Cars Cool Nights, you can simply take your time and enjoy the experience of being in downtown Loveland.

Hot Car Cool Nights, Featured Festival

The main event at this festival is the car show. I’m not sure how many cars were shown last year, but this year they’ve capped the amount of cars allowed at 300.

In 2015, I saw lots of different types of vehicles including traditional hot rods and some interesting custom rides.I’m a sucker for the old cars like the 1955 Chevy Bel Air, which make me think of road trips and drive-ins.

In addition to the car show there’s a Pin-Up Contest, because a car show just isn’t complete without a few pretty girls strutting their stuff. Contestants are encouraged to dress up in vintage clothes and wear retro hairstyles.

Hot Cars Cool Nights pinup girls

Photo provided by Visit Loveland.

And of course there’s live, rockabilly music, food and a beer garden featuring local craft beers.

Hot Cars Cool Nights Atomic Drifters band shot

Photo courtesy of Visit Loveland.

New this year is the Rockin’ Downtown Beer Tour. It’s just $5 to participate in this walking tour of local breweries from 6 to 9 p.m. on the evening of the festival.

This event is family-friendly and there will be activities for the kids. In fact, they will even be allowed to vote for their favorite car in the Children’s People’s Choice Award. Grown ups get to vote for the People’s Choice Award.

Falcon at Hot Cars Cool nights in Loveland, Colorado.

Whether you come for the cars, the girls or the beer, it’s sure to be a good time at Hot Cars Cool Nights in Loveland, Colorado.

This event is produced by The Forge, a longstanding and nationally recognized Loveland custom restoration shop.

Hot Cars Cool Nights

June 4, 2016

10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Downtown Loveland

West 4th Street & N. Railroad Avenue


To learn more, register your car or sign up for the pin-up contest visit:

Join this festival on Facebook

pinup poses inside a retro car at Hot Cars Cool Nights.


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Win 4 tickets to Colorado Renaissance Festival


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. Win tickets to Colorado Renaissance Festival 1 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

Colorado Father’s Day festivals

Father’s Day is June 21st, and I’m sure that your Colorado dad would love for you to celebrate with him by taking him to a festival. Here are several good ones that dad is sure to enjoy.


For the dad who loves his grill and loves all things barbeque, look no further than the Colorado BBQ Challenge in Frisco. This is the granddaddy of all Colorado’s barbeque fests. The three-day event kicks off on Thursday evening with an evening of live music. On Friday and Saturday approximately 70 competitors will barbeque their hearts out in order to win a variety of awards that are given out in categories such as pork, ribs, chicken, sauce, side dish and more. And the best part? You get to taste it all. For details and tickets go to Follow the 22nd Annual Colorado BBQ Challenge on Facebook here.

2012 Town of Frisco Barbecue Challenge, Frisco, Colorado

Colorado Barbecue Challenge in Frisco, Colorado. Photo by Todd Powell.


For the dad who loves art, head to Art on the Green in Lyons. I’ve written a full blog post about this event here. If you’re dad is an art collector or art appreciator, this is the event for him. After browsing the show take him to Lyons Classic Pinball for a few games. And if he’s a child of the eighties, drop by the basement bar in Oskar Blues for a game of Tron or Donkey Kong at Lyons Classic Video.

Another event that an artsy dad will enjoy is a stop at the Loveland Museum Gallery in Loveland, Colorado for the Governor’s Art Show & Sale, a display of some of Colorado’s top artists.

Lyon's Classic Video inside Oskar Blues (downstairs).  Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer

Lyon’s Classic Video inside Oskar Blues (downstairs). Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer


For the dad who is musically inclined check out the Glenn Miller Swingfest in Fort Morgan. On Saturday, June 21, there’s a free line up of entertainment at the Glenn Miller Auditorium at Fort Morgan High School. That evening, the official Glenn Miller Swing Band takes the stage at Keith Bath Farms. This ticket event was a highlight for us last summer. The nostalgia was thick as folks danced the evening away to songs such as “Moonlight Serenade” and “In the Mood.” Buy tickets and learn more about the event at

Edited Glenn Miller Orchestra, action shot. Glenn Miller SwingFest, 2014. HeidiTown

The Glenn Miller Orchestra plays Glenn Miller Swingfest in Fort Morgan, Colorado.

Featured Festival: Art on the Green, Lyons, Colorado

Art on the Green is the perfect excuse to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and spend a weekend in the delightful town of Lyons, Colorado.

We love Lyons. Ryan and I like to drive out there on a lazy weekend afternoon, grab a beer at Oskar Blues, play a little pinball at Lyons Classic Pinball and walk hand-in-hand around downtown. It’s a refreshing getaway that’s surprisingly close to Denver metro.

Downtown Lyons Colorado 2 - by Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer

Art on the Green is only in its second year, but it has already managed to become one of Colorado’s premiere art festivals. As of today, nearly 80 artists are signed up and I think one of the things that makes this event so interesting is the variety of artists who take part in it.

There are artists who work in ceramics, fiber, glass, jewelry, metal works, mixed media, painting, photography, printmaking, wood and more. Walking through this festival is a feast for the eyes.

Curtright_Art on the Green Lyons, Colorado

Photo courtesy of Art on the Green.

People visit art festivals to find that special painting or sculpture that finishes a room or that unique piece of jewelry that they can’t live without. And while the art is the star at Art on the Green, there are other things to see, do and taste at this festival.

This year there will be wine and cider sponsored by Twin Peaks Living Colorado Real Estate and ran by What We Love Winery from Boulder (I love these guys. Be sure to taste their chardonnay if they have it on hand at the event). Festival goers may purchase a glass of wine and sip while they shop for art.

Shopper browsing art at Art on the Green in Lyons, Colorado.

Photo courtesy of Art on the Green.

If all this art browsing makes you hungry you can visit Food Truck Row where Em’s Ice Cream, Heirloom Food Truck, Midwestern Roots and one to-be-determined food truck will feed you fine food.

Don’t have a babysitter? Don’t worry. This festival is kid-friendly. There will be a children’s booth where your little one can try his or her hand at being an artist and he or she will be able to take their project home at the end of the experience.

Skanson & Hansen, Colorado’s virtuoso double finger style guitar duo will entertain the crowds at Art on the Green as well M Squared, an instrumental progressive jazz rock jam band out of Boulder.

This is an art festival with a little something for foodies, wine lovers and kids too. Bring out the entire family and enjoy Art on the Green this month in Lyons, Colorado.

Art on the Green

June 20-21, 2015

Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. & Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sandstone Park, Lyons, Colorado

Free admission

Join this fest on Facebook

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Art on the Green logo***

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Featured Festival: Snowmass Mammoth Festival 2015

What happens when you combine chili, beer and bands in one of the most beautiful places on earth? I believe it’s called magic, but I’m going to find out for myself this June. Snowmass Mammoth Festival is three days of fun for everyone on June 12-14, 2015.


Photo courtesy of Snowmass Mammoth Festival.

The event kicks off with “Free Friday” on June 12. Bring the kids and bring your appetite to the festival’s “Chili Showcase Day” that includes a chili competition, live music and entertainment. Free chili and salsa tastings take place between 5 and 9 p.m. A cash bar is also available. Fort Collins’ band Whitewater Ramble, a personal favorite, is headlining this free Friday event – don’t miss them!

The rest of the weekend is part concert and part beer fest. More than 25 breweries will participate in the Grand Tasting on Saturday (June 13) from 2 to 5 p.m. Both Saturday and Sunday will be filled with music. Fifteen bands will play during Snowmass Mammoth Festival and headliners include Wheels of Soul tour featuring Tedeschi Trucks Band, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings and Doyle Bramhall II. See the entire band lineup here.

Tedeschi Trucks Band

Tedeschi Trucks Band, courtesy photo.

The party doesn’t end when the music stops in Town Park on Saturday night. A late-late party will take place at Base Camp Bar & Grill with two floors of music featuring The Barr Brothers and Tallgrass. This is a ticketed evening and tickets can be purchased here.

There are lots of ticket options for Snowmass Mammoth Festival. You can buy everything from a one-day pass to a festival+camping pass to a two-day VIP package that includes access to an open bar, catered food, a champagne lite brunch on Sunday, private restrooms and VIP parking, access to onsite-massage therapy and so much more. If you’ve ever considered going VIP, this would be the festival to do it.

Snowmass Mammoth Festival

June 12-14, 2015

Snowmass Town Park, 2835 Brush Creek Road

Tickets range from free to VIP packages – click here to view

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Snowmass Mammoth Festival poster 2015

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Featured Festival: Colorado Medieval Festival in Loveland

Calling all Lords & Ladies,
Hear ye, hear ye! The Colorado Medieval Festival is back and better than ever.
Presented by The Savage Woods, the event will be held under the trees in west Loveland, Colorado.
The minstrels will sing, the bees will buzz happily around the mead and beer and the sound of sword play will echo throughout the Northern Colorado’s forests and glades.
Merriment will be had by all.

Colorado Medieval Festival LOGO

While this event has struggled to gain a foothold in Northern Colorado in the past, this year, the new event managers, The Savage Woods, LLC, has brought together a cornucopia of vendors and entertainers for a three-day medieval extravaganza.

More than 40 vendors have signed up to take part in the event, and Kitty Wild, owner of The Savage Woods, has worked hard to the vendor lineup relevant to the festival’s theme. There will be jewelry makers, wood craftsman, soap makers, Renaissance style clothing and so much more.

Kevin Weekley Magician. Colorado Medieval Festival.

In addition to the “village market,” guest at the Colorado Medieval Festival are welcomed to enjoy adult beverages; the kind that would have been served in the Middle Ages. Hunters Moon Meadery of Severance, Colorado, will provide a variety of meads while Buckhorn Brewers will provide the ale. And the day will not be complete without a turkey leg from Blind Peasant Productions.

Blind Peasant, food vendor at the Colorado Medieval Festival in Loveland, Colorado.

Once you’ve got your drink and meat, it’s time for entertainment, and the Colorado Medieval Festival has a little something for everyone. Of course, music will play a big part in the weekend’s festivities, but so too will swordplay.

The Society for Create Anachronisms will be represented at the festival. This is an organization dedicated to researching and re-creating the arts and skills of pre-17th-century Europe including clothing, dancing and more.

Scottish Highland Games athletes will also be attendance, displaying their superb skills at throwing and tossing large and very heavy objects.

In addition, Castle Wall Productions, a theatrical combat troop specializing in live-steel entertainment, will be on hand to exhibit their skills as swordsman and swordswomen.

Hunters Moon Meadery, Colorado Medieval Festival

With this incredible lineup of entertainment and delightful shopping experience, the Colorado Medieval Festival is sure to be a memorable weekend of fun for the entire family. And at just $8 per person (children 5 and under free) it’s a fantastically affordable festival – huzzah!

Colorado Medieval Festival

June 5-7, 2015

Friday, 12 to 6 p.m.

Saturday & Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

1750 Savage Road, Loveland, Colorado 80538

Tickets   – $8, available at the door (children 5   & under free)

Join the fest on Facebook here


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