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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
September 8-10, 2017
FREE (CarDango is ticketed)
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!
I’ll never forget the first time Ryan and I attended the Governor’s Art Show & Sale in Loveland, Colorado. We love art and art galleries and visit many during our travels and to say that we were impressed by this show would be an understatement. The collection of artwork curated for this juried show is truly a cut above.
Loveland, Colorado has been known for art since the 1970s when three bronze foundries called the town home. Over the years, the city’s reputation has grown beyond sculpture and many different types of artists have been drawn to this Northern Colorado community.
It’s appropriate that for the past quarter of a decade Loveland has hosted the largest juried art show to feature only Colorado artists. The 26th annual Governor’s Art Show will kick off on April 28 with a Preview Party and Gala and the show will run through May 28.
Hundreds entered, but only twenty percent of the artwork submitted, a total of 56 artists, were chosen for this year’s show and more than half of those artists are new to the Governor’s Art Show. Artworks of various mediums, techniques and styles will be represented. See list of selected artists here.
On May 20, the Plein Air Festival, in association with the Governor’s Art Show, will take place in various locations around Loveland. This event is your opportunity to see more the 50 painters from across Colorado at work in downtown Loveland, at Sweetheart City Wines and beyond. See a list of locations here. The festival is followed by an auction held at the Rialto Theater.
While exhibit admission to the Governor’s Art Show is just $5, there is free admission to the show during Loveland’s second Friday art walk, Night on the Town, Friday, March 12, 6 to 9 p.m. and the last day of the show, May 28.
If you go to one art show this year, this should be it. At just $5, you’ve got no excuse not to visit.
Governor’s Art Show & Sale
GALA – April 28, 2017
SHOW – April 29 to May 28, 2017
Admission $5 (tickets available at the door)
(show hours are museum gallery hours)
503 N. Lincoln Avenue
Loveland, CO 80537
The Governor’s Art Show is presented by Loveland and Thompson Valley Rotary Clubs, directed by Pam Osborn and endorsed by the Governor of Colorado. It requires year-round planning, a budget exceeding $100k and many hours of volunteerism. All proceeds will benefit Rotary-sponsored charitable projects and causes, including scholarships for local art students.
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!
If you’re in the market for a pair of shoes that cost more than my first car, Aspen is certainly the place to go. However, I was surprised to find a number of shops selling affordable items in this high-end town.
We visited Aspen in January during Wintersköl, their annual winter festival that features snow sculpting, a canine fashion show, on slope fun and more.
While in Aspen, I discovered that if you poke around, you can find some fun little shops scattered amongst the big fancy names we’re all familiar with from New York Fashion Week.
Here are some of my favorite Aspen shopping finds. I’d love to learn about your favorite Aspen stores in the comment section.
Do you think the old-fashion bookstore is a thing of the past? It’s alive and well in Aspen at Explore Booksellers. This the kind of place that welcomes the reader and encourages them to stay awhile. Continue reading
It has come to my attention that not all HeidiTown citizens love winter. Apparently sparkling snow doesn’t have a magical effect on some people and in fact, makes them long for hot summer days at the lake.
I don’t have a touchstone with this, as I love the snow and all things snow-related, but as a good Mayor, I shouldn’t ignore this segment of my town. And while I enjoy tromping through freshly fallen snow, I do, occasionally, go indoors during the winter.
Here are a few Colorado outings where it’s highly unlikely that you’ll get a snowball to the face or slip on unseen ice or get your tongue stuck to a frozen pole.
Denver is no cowtown. The Denver Art Museum gets the top shows in the country and I’m thrilled to have such a high caliber museum out my backdoor.
We’re planning to head down soon to see the new Star Wars exhibit at the Denver Art Museum. If you haven’t heard about this exhibit yet, I could accuse you of living under rock, but I won’t. Sometimes these things get past even me.
The Denver Art Museum is fun to visit year round, but we often find ourselves targeting this museum on snowy days. Continue reading
I can’t wait to write about our trip to Trinidad, Colorado. In the meantime, I’m going to share with you ten of my favorite photos from the festival that brought us to town. I was in town to cover ArtoCade, an art car extravaganza that was like nothing I’d ever experienced before.
Nothing could have prepared me for the creativity on display at ArtoCade. In it’s fourth year, ArtoCade brings people together from around the country to Southern Colorado – people who share the love of turning their cars into art pieces.
Without further ado, here are ten of my favorite photos from the ArtoCade, the parade that was held on Saturday, September 10, 2016, in downtown Trinidad, Colorado. There were 83 entries, so choosing only a few photos to share was very difficult.
Car #1 kicked things off. It’s, “Reincarnation” and was created by Fritz A. & Gail M. of Trinidad, Colorado. Continue reading
When I began writing about Colorado festivals on HeidiTown in 2010, I was inspired by small town festivals and unique events. ArtoCade, in Trinidad, fits both categories and that’s why I’m excited to be attending this year.
With a population of less than 10,000, Trinidad is definitely a small town. It’s also a bit remote, located approximately three hours south of Denver and three and a half hours north of Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Situated along the Sante Fe Trail, Trinidad has always been a place where travelers stopped to relax and refuel. Today, it remains a stop along Interstate 25 for many road trippers, so it seems rather appropriate that it’s now home to an award winning art car festival.
ArtoCade is a celebration of the wild and wacky world of art cars. Like their website reads, “If you can’t drive it, it’s a float.” And their distinctive parade is for drivable vehicles only – you must be able to drive your art piece in the parade that occurs at noon on Saturday, September 10.
The two-day festival, starts Friday evening, September 9, in downtown Trinidad with Vehiculart (5 to 7 p.m.). This event is a tribute to art cars with art exhibits and presenters who focus their artistic abilities on artful transportation. The evening will be a spectacle for the eyes and an opportunity to learn about the fascinating art car world. Vehiculart is followed by the CarBash at Brix Sports Bar & Grill.
On Saturday, September 10, you can explore the historic town of Trinidad until the ArtoCade parade that starts at noon. Expect a colorful and unique extravaganza unlike anything you’ve seen before. There will be 80, yes, EIGHTY, art cars in this “cargantuan” art car parade.
Event organizer, Rodney Wood says, “It’s going to be absolutely carvelous!”
Afterward the parade, stick around downtown Trinidad to check out art cars and meet the “cartists” involved in creating these fantastic and whimsical vehicles.
From 7 to 9 p.m. that evening, adults are invited to attend CarDango, a revue/costume party/dance party/circus happening on Saturday night of the event. I’m really looking forward to this rowdy event – it should be fabulously peculiar – just like the rest of ArtoCade.
ArtoCade is an excellent event, but you don’t have to take my word for it. ArtoCade won the Governor’s Award for Best Festival in 2015. I hope to see you there!
September 9-10, 2016
Downtown festivities: FREE
CarDango is a ticketed event ($20)
Website includes lodging info, directions, art car entry forms and more.
Featured Festival spots on HeidiTown.com are paid advertisements. Interested in having your festival or event considered for a feature? Email TheMayor@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.
In the heart of Cherry Creek, you’ll find a hotel where they celebrate the finer things in life on a daily basis. Whether you’re looking for a weekend spa escape or a girls shopping weekend extraordinaire, JW Marriott Denver has got you covered.
This past weekend, Ryan and I needed a place to stay in Denver after Bru Frou, an amazing culinary and craft beer pairing event held annually at Wings over The Rockies Air & Space Museum. JW Marriott Denver, just 4.5 miles from the venue, graciously offered to host us.
This Denver hotel is the very definition of posh, but you don’t have to take my word for it. In 2014, it made Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice list as one of the “Best Hotels in the West.” Continue reading
My Facebook wall has been full of tropical vacation photos for several weeks. I even have a friend on a private yacht in the Caribbean. If this is the case for you too, it’s rather depressing, right? I mean, who doesn’t want to be on a yacht in the Caribbean?
If you’ve got cabin fever, I’ve got a solution and no, it’s not robbing a bank. It’s called a mini-vacation, and while I’m not promising that this outing will be as exciting as snorkeling in Grand Cayman or zip lining in Costa Rica, it will brighten your day.
1. Take a Walking Tour
Not every town has a guided walking tour, but you’d be surprised at how many towns have a printed version of a walking tour. They are usually available at your local visitor center, museum or at the chamber of commerce.
I once took a walking tour of Fort Collins, a town with which I am very familiar. It was a night walking tour, but it wasn’t about ghosts, but rather the town’s history. Despite having walked Fort Collins’ streets many times (even at night), during the tour I felt like I was in a brand new town. Continue reading
Last year this event was called Assemble, but the name has been changed to The Sculpture Games. The new event proved popular and this year’s games have been extended to two days. What are The Sculpture Games? Think Junkyard Wars meets the Loveland arts scene.
Loveland has long been a mecca for artists, especially sculptors. In order to highlight this aspect of Loveland’s culture, Megan Tracy of Studio Blue Bird, along with other local artists, invented a competition where artists would make something wonderful out of junk.
On July 12, ten teams of artists will set up work stations at the Loveland Feed & Grain building in downtown Loveland, Colorado. Uncle Benny’s Building Supply donates all the materials, and the artists will have approximately a day and a half to complete their “sculptures.” The artists will have no prior knowledge of what items will be available for use.
After the sculptures are complete, each will be judged by a select group of community members, and the public will have a chance to vote for their favorite in the People’s Choice Awards. The sculptures will then be auctioned off to help raise funds for the renovation of the feed and grain building.
You can read here what I wrote about this event last year.
The Sculpture Games has grown to be more than just a sculpture assembly competition. This year, there’s also a 2D art competition, yarn bombing, tours of the historic feed & grain building, live musical entertainment and a food truck. The Sculpture Games runs in conjunction with Loveland Loves BBQ, Bands & Brews, so it will be an awesome weekend to visit Loveland, Colorado.
Special Announcement: I just got an insider tip that there will be a special guest at The Games on Friday. Dan Jaspersen of Magician at Play. Watch for him!
The Sculpture Games
Loveland Feed & Grain at 130 W. 3rd Street
July 12-13, 2013
Friday, 1 to 9 p.m. and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Adults $5, Children under 12 are free
About our Featured Festival Sponsor: Mueller & Associates is a CPA firm focusing on tax and accounting solution for business owners, nonprofits and high-net worth families in Northern Colorado. Since they derive their revenues from the community at large, they feel they have a responsibility to support and enhance their community. They primarily support nonprofits that demonstrate good stewardship and work in a collaborative environment to leverage relationships and resources. Mueller & Associates are proud sponsors of The Sculpture Games, and proud sponsors of this Featured Festival. Visit them online at mueller-cpa.com.