academy awards on KRFC 88.9 FM – What to do in Colorado Feb. 17-19, 2012 & Mardi Gras

Manitou Springs CarnivaleAs you probably now know, has a weekly radio show on  KRFC 88.9 FM  and  I post the transcript and upload the audio of each show here on the blog.  Depending on my editorial schedule for that particular week, these radio posts go up on Tuesday or Thursday.

To listen to the audio CLICK HERE, or read through the following transcripts.


Hi, my name is Heidi and I’m the Mayor of, a blog about events, festivals and travel around Colorado.

Here’s the lineup for February 17-19, 2012 and a little beyond for you planners.

Last week I mentioned the 53rd Annual Home & Garden Show is at the Colorado Convention Center, but I failed to say that it runs through February 19th, so if you have a green thumb, or want to get a head start on summer projects, you still have time to get down to this event.

Mardi Gras, also known as Fat Tuesday is February 21st. Mardi Gras celebrations are known as the feast before the fasts, and it’s traditionally the last day for Catholics to indulge before Ash Wednesday, which marks the start of Lent.

While that’s the real story behind Mardi Gras, most of us just think its just another good excuse for a party.

Manitou Springs plans to celebrate Mardi Gras with their 20th Annual Carnivale & Gumbo Chili Cookoff. Manitou Springs, just west of Colorado Springs is a Colorado town with it’s own unique flair and it’s one of our favorite places to spend a weekend. The people of Manitou are quirky, fun and friendly. Carnivale involves a big parade and town party that also includes a gumbo cook off with professional and amateur chefs. For more information visit

I found a couple Mardi Gras parties in the mountains, although some of the other resorts are probably planning festivities as well. Winter Park Resort will be handing out beads from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday. There will be bands and street performers at this event. There’s always something fun happening in Winter Park so visit to stay informed.

SolVista Basin at Grandby Ranch is also planning events. Join them for Hurricanes and Gumbo at the Seven Trails Grill on Saturday. And don’t forget about night skiing and tubing at SolVista Basin, learn more at

Ice Castles in Silverthorne 1

Photo courtesy of The Ice Castles at Silverthorne. All rights reserved.

Remember, there’s more to do in the Colorado Rockies than just skiing in the wintertime… and here’s a great example. The Ice Castles at Silverthorne just made it on to my radar and I’ve got to get up to see this for myself. This is a giant structure made entirely from ice with walkways, tunnels and arches. It’s also illuminated during the evening hours. This is apparently the only structure of its kind in Colorado and is open through April. The word on the street in HeidiTown is that this is well worth the trip. To check it out go to

Staying in the mountains there’s another wine festival taking place. Keystone Winter Wine Weekend at Warren Station is a two-day event featuring wine tasting and chef demos. More at

Back on the Front Range, the 27th Annual Mid Winter Bluegrass Festival runs February 17 through the 19th at the Northglenn Ramada Plaza located at 125 and 120th. Enjoy workshops, jams for beginners and experts, and lots of bands. For the entire lineup visit

For music lovers, here’s an ongoing event. It’s the Estes Park Music Festival Concert and it runs November through April at the Stanley Hotel. Every Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. guests enjoy national and international musicians performing in this magnificent setting. Go to for the lineup of performers.

Also in Estes, it’s another train show. The 15th Annual Rails in the Rockies is this Saturday at the Estes Park Conference Center. This model train show covers 16,000 square feet and has 40 model train layouts. This is the perfect event for families. Details can be found at

Oscar Party at the Kress

Oscar Party at the Kress 2011. Photo by Matthew Gale of @NominationStation.

For those of you like me, who plan ahead, it’s Oscar month and that means viewing parties will be held around Northern Colorado and the rest of the state on Sunday, February 26. I’ll be attending the Oscar Party at The Kress Cinema & Lounge in Greeley, and I hope to see you there!

That’s all for this week. Inevitably I miss things, so keep up on all the last minute events and festivals I discover by joining on Facebook. You can also follow me on Twitter @HeidiTown or circle the town on Google Plus.

Until next week, I’ll see you online. Thanks for listening!

Win a pair of tickets to the Oscar Party at the Kress

Oscar party at the Kress outside pic

All photos by Matthew Gale of @NominationStation.

If you’ve been around HeidiTown for more than a couple years, you’ll remember that I used to write movie reviews here, and I’m a bit of a film buff. I absolutely LOVE the Oscars. I am one of “those people,” and I start watching as soon as the red carpet is rolled out and the limos start arriving.

Last year, I ran a similar contest here, and the winners documented their fantastic night at the Kress Oscar Party through the photographs I’m using for this post. This year, I expect to have a fabulous time at this event and here’s your chance to join me.

The Kress Cinema & Lounge in Greeley is holding their annual Oscar Party on Sunday, February 26, with doors opening at 5:30 p.m. The evening includes a red carpet entry, appetizer buffet, Oscar ballot (cash prize) and the 84th Academy Awards live on the big screen and in the Kress’ lounges.

appetizer buffet at Kress Oscar PartyGuests are encouraged to wear their best Oscar attire. I’m thinking of wearing something by Victoria Beckham, I hear her couture is going to be big this year.  I’m kidding, of course. This Mayor gig doesn’t pay that well!

Tickets to this event are $20/each, but this is your chance to be a VIP (with ME) at this glamour affair.  You don’t have to attend alongside me or anything like that, but I will be there so I’m hoping that we can at least shake hands for the cameras.

Watching the Main Event at the Kress Oscar Party

Just tell me your pick for Best Picture 2012, and you’ll be entered to win a pair of tickets to this event courtesy of Kress Cinema & Lounge.

The nominees for Best Picture are Hugo, Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, The Tree of Life, War Horse, The Artist, The Descendants, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close and The Help.

If you haven’t seen any of these films yet – shame on you – just tell me your favorite film of this past year.

A winner will be chosen at random this Saturday, February 18 at approximately 2 p.m.

Good luck!  I hope to see you on the red carpet!


Party like a celebrity – The Oscars 2011

If you’ve been a longtime resident of HeidiTown, you know that the Mayor likes movies. I don’t post movie reviews here anymore, but I still see a lot of movies, and I love the Oscars despite the fact that there are now ten best picture nominees (it’s hard enough finding 5 movies good enough to be best picture nominees).

The 83rd Academy Awards will be held on Sunday, February 27, 2011, and I will be glued to my television the moment the stars start to walk the red carpet. I may be a low-maintenance gal, but I’ve always love glamorous fashion and all the glitz surrounding this award ceremony.

If you’d like to throw an Oscar Party, here are a few tips.  If you’d like to attend an organized Oscar party, scroll to the bottom of this post for a couple recommendations.

Red carpet – If you can obtain a large red carpet the length of your driveway to your front door – so awesome and I want to see pictures. However a small one will suffice. Buy a red entry way or bathroom rug at Kohl’s or Target. This will be an amusing addition to your party decorations. You can have your guests get their “party photo” taken while standing on the rug. Here’s when a Polaroid come in handy!

Champagne – I’m not a huge fan of bubbly unless it’s in orange juice, but every Oscar party needs at least a couple bottles. Plus, it looks so pretty in a fluted glass, even if it’s only one of those fake plastic champagne glasses you can buy for a dollar at Target.

SWAG – When the stars attend the Academy Awards they get a SWAG bag. These goodie bags are filled with promotional items like perfumes, slippers, and even jewelry. For your guests fill up SWAG bags with candy, stuff from the Dollar Store, or items from those bins in the pharmacy section of grocery store. Who doesn’t need a small tube of toothpaste?

Oscar Ballots – has a printable ballot, get it here. Make sure you stock up on prizes for the winners. The prize for first place should be a fake Oscar (you can order them online) or just get a silly trophy from the thrift store. Other prize ideas?  Things from the dollar bins at Target.

Don’t want to throw you own party? Here are a couple of official Oscar parties in Colorado. If you know of any others, please leave a comment with event details.

The Kress Oscar Party, Greeley, Colorado


Time: 5:30 p.m. until it’s over

Tickets: $20

Attire: Classy

This party includes a red carpet entrance, an appetizer buffet, Oscar ballot with cash prizes, and the 83rd Academy Awards on the big screen and in the lounge.

Oscar Night America, Denver, Colorado

Event Website Here

Where: Exdo Event Center @ 5 p.m.

Tickets start at $80

Attire: Swanky

This is the annual fundraiser for the  Denver Film Society, a nonprofit organization working to promote film as an art form and civic forum.  Guests will walk the red carpet and pose for the paparazzi. There will be a cocktail reception and seated dinner. A silent auction will be conducted throughout the night while the 83rd Academy Awards is shown via a live feed. Oscar ballots will be provided  and guest can win big prizes. things to do in Denver

Learn more about the 83rd Academy Awards at

Best Picture is back in theaters across Colorado

The Hurt Locker

The 82nd Academy Awards winner for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Film Editing, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, is back in theaters.

“The Hurt Locker” now playing in select theaters across the country. This was the highest rated film at in 2009.  

Read review of “The Hurt Locker” by clicking here.

A HeidiTown favorite wins big at the Oscars

The Hurt LockerThe Mayor of HeidiTown would like to thank the Academy for recognizing “The Hurt Locker” as the best picture of 2009.

The war drama walked away with six Oscars, including both best director and best picture.   Kathryn Bigelow is the first female director to win the award.

The win proves that even though 3D blue people are big time money makers, a truly great movie  must be more than  just a collection of  spectacular special effects.

Congratulations to Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal and the rest of the cast and crew of “The Hurt Locker.”

Read  the  review of HeidiTown’s highest rated movie of 2009, “The Hurt Locker,” here.  

An American military movie wins big at the British Academy Awards

BAFTA 2010
The Orange British Academy Film Awards were held Sunday, February 21, 2010.

There are lots of reason to love the Brits, and here’s just one.   HeidiTown’s highest rated film of 2009, won big last night during the 2010 Orange British Academy Film Awards (aka BAFTA).  

Both “The Hurt Locker“ and “Avatar“ went into the awards with eight nominations each, with “The Hurt Locker” winning six, including Best Director and Best Film.   “Avatar” walked away with  two.

Interestingly, while “Avatar” has made a staggering $2 billion at the box office, “The Hurt Locker” has made about $17 million.

Another HeidiTown favorite, Carey Mulligan, won best actress for her work in “An Education.”

Time will tell if “The Hurt Locker” will bode as well in the United States. The Academy Awards are scheduled for Sunday, March 7, and  former husband and wife, Cameron and Bigalow will be up  against each other again.  Both “Avatar” and “The Hurt Locker”  have received 9 nominations, including best picture and best director.

I saw “The Hurt Locker” long before the hype. You can read my review by clicking  here.

Read my review of “An Education.”

Top 5 Movies of 2009

Carey Mulligan in An Education

Carey Mulligan as Jenny in "An Education," based on the memoir of by British journalist Lynn Barber.

This was a very hard list to compile. I contemplated making it a top 3 list, because that would have been much easier. In my opinion, a truly good movie has to be outstanding in multiple categories, including directing, acting, and storyline. That is why you will not find “Avatar” on my list.

“The Hurt Locker” – This movie, by Kathryn Bigalow, has an intense storyline, great acting and  flawless directing. It’s an incredible movie from top to bottom. I’d love see it win an Oscar, but I’m not holding my breath.

“An Education” – I simply adore everything about this movie. I adore Carey Mulligan, the breakout new actress from across the pond, I adore the setting, the time period and the story. I’d love to see Ms. Mulligan win an Oscar, but I don’t think this will be her year.

“Moon” – With only one actor carrying nearly the entire film, this movie could have been boring, but it was mesmerizing. Sam Rockwell is terrific as Sam Bell, a tormented employee of Lunar Industries, stuck on a three-year mission on the Moon. If you enjoy a good sci-fi, Netflix this film today.

“Star Trek” – I admit it. I have a secretly hidden geek inside of me and occasionally she shows through. I grew up with Captain Kirk, Spock, Jean-Luc Picard, Dr. Crusher, Data and the rest of the Star Trek gang. Before the newest movie in the franchise hit theaters, I was skeptical, but this movie delivers and true fans, and even non-fans, will enjoy it.

“District 9″ – This was a good year for science fiction. I even enjoyed the campy “Surrogates.” This movie makes my top 5, because it was so surprisingly good. I am rarely surprised by a movie these days.

Honorable Mention:

“Up” – I don’t think I’ve ever cried in a cartoon until I saw this movie.

“Fantastic Mr. Fox – I didn’t write a review of this movie, but I did see it and really enjoyed this hysterical cast of crazy animals.

Worst Movie of 2009:

“Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” – Shamefully, stupid movie. So sad to see it was the 4th highest grossing film of 2009.

Disclaimer: There  were a few critically acclaimed movies released in 2009 that I haven’t seen yet, including “Precious” and “The Young Victoria.”

“Up in the Air” – a film grounded in reality

Up in the Air

George Clooney stars as Ryan Bingham in "Up in the Air" a film from Paramount Pictures.

Rated R

Directed by Jason Reitman

Starring George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick, Jason Bateman, Danny McBride

Heidi’s Illustrious Rating: 4/5

Word of Warning: Lots of product placement in this movie, sometimes distracting from what is otherwise a great film.

Before I expound on “Up in the Air” I want to make a statement. Apparently American Airlines paid a lot of money to be the featured airline in this film, however, you should beware the only airline that has ever official lost my luggage was AA. I’ve flown with them three times and all three times I experienced numerous delays. I was once stuck at the Salt Lake City airport for hours with no apology or explanation.   American Airlines sucks!

With that out of the way, I will give you my review. This movie reminded me of “Lost in Translation“ with a little more levity. Clooney usually plays a too-cool-for-school fast-talking guy, but his character in “Up in the Air” is a little more believable than some of those previous characters. In fact, Ryan Bingham is realistically average and even a little  dull.

Bingham, a forty-something suit, spends most of his time in the air. When he is on the ground, he is a corporate downsizing expert, meaning he fires people for a living. He travels over 300 days a year. His one goal in life is to reach 10 million frequent flier miles, something only six other people on AA have accomplished.

Unfortunately for Bingham, a bright young Cornell graduate has recently infiltrated his company, bringing with her new ideas on how they can streamline their firing practices. Natalie Keener, played by Anna Kendrick of “Twilight“ fame, has devised a plan for video conferencing firing – ground the experts and put them behind a computer screen with a video camera. No fuss, no mess.

Bingham is not happy about this plan and his boss (Jason Bateman) decides to let Bingham take Keener on his next round of firings so she  can see what  it is really all about. This trip turns into more than Bingham bargained for, forcing him take stock in his own mundane existence.

This movie is sad, funny and insightful. Anna Kendrick holds her own in the shadow of George Clooney. In fact, being a “Twilight“ alum, I wasn’t expecting much from Kendrick, but she surprised me with her exceptional acting ability.

“Up in the Air” has a well-constructed, solid storyline, is well acted and brings to life the lifeless world of airline travel and cookie-cutter chain hotel lodging. I highly recommend this movie and hope to see it do well at the Oscars. It is one of the best of 2009.

“The Road” – Please pass the Prozac

The Road

Rated R

Directed by John Hillcoat

Starring Viggo Mortensen, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Robert Duvall, Guy Pearce, Charlize Theron, Molly Parker

Heidi’s Illustrious Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Word of Warning: Dismal. Sad. Bleak. Gloomy. Severely depressing.

It’s the end of the world as we know it, and the characters simply known as Father and Son are in a struggle for survival against terrible odds.

The movie is based on the critically acclaimed book by author Cormac McCarthy. McCarthy also wrote “No Country for Old Men.” That movie swept the Academy Awards in 2007, picking up a win in the Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor categories.

McCarthy enjoys exploring the dark side of the human condition, and “The Road” is no exception. Whereas, “No Country,” had some humor, there are no laughs to be found in “The Road.”

The living world has died. There are no animals, no insects, no living plants, nothing but fires, earthquakes and a few starving humans savaging the earth. The landscape is bleak and therefore every scene is filmed in shades of gray and brown. The movie offers no explanation as to what has caused the earth to die, we only know that it has.

Most of the humans left on earth seem to have lost all remnants of their previously civilized condition, yet the Father wants seeks to hold fast to his own humanity and longs to instill this in his son. Yet the Son, about 10-years-old, was born into this world and knows no other.

Father and Son are heading south to the sea, hoping to discover something other than what they have left behind. Perhaps “south” will be different. Better. Happy. Their journey is difficult and dangerous. There’s no food, and everyone they meet is a potential enemy. The Father carries a gun  with only  two bullets, but that might be all he needs.

We know very little about the two main characters, but ironically this story isn’t about the two main characters. It’s a story about their relationship, the bond between a father and son, not necessarily this father and son, but all fathers and sons. What will a father do to protect his only offspring? What won’t he do? And it explores this theme under the most brutal setting imaginable.

“The Road” will most likely be recognized by the Academy in several categories. With this year featuring ten Best Picture nominees, I won’t be surprised if it makes the cut. However, I believe if “The Road” walks away with any Oscars, it will be for Viggo Mortensen gut-wrenching performance as the Father, or Kodi Smit-McPhee for his touching portrayal of the Son.

Ultimately “The Road” is severely depressing, and I can’t honestly recommend it because I walked out of the theater wanting to wash the entire story from my mind as quickly as possible. Yet it is well acted, well directed and it has depth, and in the end, I must admit it is worthy of praise.    

HeidiTown Rant: Oh how Hollywood loves Hollywood

Hollywood Sign

Now that the Golden Globe nominees have been announced, I am inspired to blog about my disappointment in this year’s movie award season. I’ve never been a fan of the Golden Globes. I feel it’s the dumb kid brother to the more grown up and classy Academy Awards.

That being said, this year the Academy has decided to dumb down too. They’ve decided to amend the Best Picture category to include ten nominees instead of the standard five. Yes, ten. That’s 1-0. Ridiculous? Most definitely. Most years it is hard to find five movies good enough to qualify for the category.

So why is Hollywood doing this? Well, they do like to pat themselves on the back, just look at how many awards shows exist. There are the two most famous, the Academy Awards and Golden Globes, but then there Sundance, Cannes, the Independent Spirit Awards, the MTV Movie Awards, and a plethora of film festivals throughout the country. I know of no other industry who gives themselves such a vast array of parties and award ceremonies.

I believe there are two main reasons the Academy decided to expand the Best Picture category. First, they want to boost the ratings. If people hear that their favorite movie has been nominated they will be more likely to watch the Oscars to see if their favorite wins. So no doubt, with ten nominees, the Academy will be able to reach a much larger audience of potential viewers.

Secondly, the movie industry wants to make more money. Many of us will go a film if it has been nominated for Best Picture. My husband and I are fairly religious about doing this, and we usually manage to see all the Best Picture nominees in the theater. Now we go to a lot of movies, so getting to five specific films isn’t terribly difficult, but ten is going to be much harder. We have decided we aren’t even going to try.

So take that, you arrogant members of the Academy! We aren’t falling for your tricks.

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