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A Weekend Itinerary for Longmont, Colorado

I like to keep things real here on HeidiTown and so I will start this blog post by telling you a personal story about Longmont. When Ryan and I decided to move out of Denver in the early 2000s, we looked into Longmont and decided it was a big nope. There just wasn’t much going on in the town.

Fast forward to today and I think we may have made the wrong decision.

A Weekend Itinerary for Longmont, Colorado, HeidiTown.com. bikes on main street

Longmont has blossomed into a beautiful and vibrant community. Downtown’s renovated sidewalks and artful alleyways make it a welcoming place. There’s always a festival or live music happening somewhere in town, and places like the Prospect neighborhood are cute little escapes with their own special vibe. There’s also a plethora of breweries, a cidery and several distilleries.
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SkyPilot Farm & Creamery, Home of Heidi the Sheep

Sometimes the universe has a funny way of working things out. This is one of those instances. As some of you already know, earlier this year, The Living Farm in Paonia, Colorado named one of their spring lambs after me.

SkyPilot Farm & Creamery, Chloe & Heidi the Sheep. HeidiTown.com

Chloe Johnson & Heidi the Sheep at SkyPilot Farm & Creamery in Longmont, Colorado.

Longtime readers should be familiar with The Living Farm as I’ve written about it here on HeidiTown.com.

I was very honored by this gesture and was able to meet Heidi during my visit to Delta County at the end of July. She was a big four month old by then, not really a lamb, but more of a sheep, however, she still sat on my lap as if she’d known me her entire life.

Heidi & Heidi the Sheep at The Living Farm. HeidiTown.com

My visit with my namesake, Heidi the Sheep, at The Living Farm.

Fast forward to two week ago when I got an email from Lynn Gillespie of The Living Farm, informing me that Heidi had been bought by a farm on the Front Range. As fate would have it, Heidi’s new home, SkyPilot Farm & Creamery is just 25 minutes from my home. It seemed written in the stars that Heidi and I should meet again. Continue reading

HeidiTown Gives Back: Cal-Wood Education Center (Boulder, Colorado)

Cal-Wood Education Center logo

Nature has always played a significant role in my life. I was born in a hospital that overlooked the Pacific Ocean, I grew up in a house in the woods and we spent family vacations at National Parks across the western United States. Through these experiences I developed a relationship with nature, and an intense respect for the natural world, but this isn’t the case for everyone.

Many people never have the opportunity to experience the great outdoors. There are children who are never exposed to a forest or wildlife, and this can result in apathy towards nature, or even fear of nature.

This month’s HeidiTown Gives Back Campaign recipient is Cal-Wood Education Center located on a 1,200 acre property northwest of Boulder, Colorado, and dedicated to teaching people about the environment since 1981. The mission of this nonprofit is to offer a unique outdoor educational experience to youth and adults.

Hummingbird at Cal-Wood Education Center this Spring 2012. Photo courtesy of the organization's Facebook page.

The goals of Cal-Wood Education Center:

  1. To help all who come to Cal-Wood to develop a greater appreciation for the natural world.
  2. To offer environmental education to those who would not otherwise experience it.
  3. To provide unique educational opportunities in a mountain setting.

I am happy to be donating one free month of ad space to this worthy organization. If you’d like to learn more about how Cal-Wood Education Center achieves their goals, visit them online at Calwood.org. You can also join them on Facebook here.

Learn about & win tickets to the 1940s WWII Era Ball in Boulder, Colorado

1940s WII Era Ball FB

Courtesy of the 1940s WWII Era Ball. Click the picture to join the ball on Facebook.

Put on your reddest lips and slip on your most comfortable dancing shoes, it’s time for one of Colorado’s most unique events, the 1940s WWII Era Ball.

I have been to the ball and it was a terrific experience. The Big Band Christmas Ball, produced by the same folks, has also become a tradition in my family. The popularity of these two events has resulted in a third ball being added in September, the Voodoo Island 1940s & 1950s Tiki Exotica Ball.

Being involved in these parties has even inspired Ryan and I to take swing lessons, so that we can cut a proper rug on the dance floor at these events. We’re usually the ones salsa dancing to big band music, which can be done, but just doesn’t look as good.

WWII ball tank

1940s WWII Era Ball, 2011. Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer, all rights reserved.

The 1940s WWII Era Ball is held annually at the Boulder Airport, an ideal location for an event that includes vintage airplanes, a 40s car show, military vehicles and re-enactors. The ball is taking place Father’s Day weekend and features a 1940s USO style show with Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra and the Andrews Sisters. The world famous Las Vegas Bob Hope impersonator, Bill Johnson, has been booked for the ball this year.

My favorite part of the ball is dancing the night away to the tunes of The Hot Tomatoes, the Rocky Mountain’s most sought after big band. It’s impossible not to get up and boogie when this band is on the stage.

The airport grounds are transformed into a festive atmosphere with food vendors and cocktail stands. I recommend getting to the ball early enough to tour the vintage cars and airplanes while it’s still light out so that you can take some photos.

The event is a salute to “The Greatest Generation,” and many of these men and women come to the ball. In fact, there is a vast array of ages and faces at this event, and everyone is friendly so be ready to make a few new friends.

The Mayor showing a little leg at the 1940s WWII Ball

The Mayor of HeidiTown showing a little leg at the1940s WWII Ball. Photo by Ryan Schlaefer, all rights reserved.

This year’s theme is Casablanca and the hanger at the airport will be transformed into Rick’s Café American, complete with belly dancers, Rick, Sam and a working roulette table.

This is truly a night to remember, and last year the ball sold out. This year, the 1940s WWII Era Ball will be held Saturday, June 16 at 6 p.m. Tickets are $30 in advance through the website and $35 at the door. Children under 12 are not permitted.

Now here’s your chance to win a pair of tickets to this fantastic event. Just leave a comment here telling me your favorite classic film. I know many of you love “Casablanca,” but my favorite is Hitchcock’s “Rear Window.”

The winner will be chosen using Random.org on Monday, June 4 at 3 p.m.

Good luck!

Mead Roubaix Festival will be fun for entire family

Little girl on pony.

Mead Roubaix Festival (Photo courtesy of the Mead Area Chamber of Commerce).

I really enjoy sharing events like the Mead Roubaix Festival with my readers. Small town festivals are at the heart of what this blog is all about. There is just something extra charming about festivals held in little communities around Colorado.

The first Mead Roubaix Festival was held last year, and it is a combination of bike race and community fest. The bike race attracted 600 participants who made their way to Mead, Colorado, a town of about 3,000 that is one mile west of I25 and approximately 36 miles north of Denver.

Not being a cyclist, I had to look up what the word roubaix meant. It turns out it is derived from the French word rubble and has come to refer to a bike race where the riders ride a route that has paved and unpaved sections. The Mead Roubaix bike race is a 12.5-mile loop on a mixture of hard packed dirt and paved roads around the town.

Because this festival occurs in conjunction with a bike race, even if you aren’t racing you should bring along your bike because a Longmont bike shop, Bike-N-Hike, will be giving free tune ups at this event.

The day starts out at 8 a.m. with a pancake breakfast, and at 9:30 there’s a “Who Let the Dogs Out” doggie dash being sponsored by the business where I board my dog, Happy Tails Dog Ranch in Berthoud, Colorado. The dash includes a two-mile walk with bandanas for the dogs and goodie bags and prizes for participants. You can find info on  the doggie dash here.

Mead Roubaix 2011 racers

Mead Roubaix race 2011. Courtesy photograph.

The festival has a large Kids’ Zone where children can play all day for just $5. There’s a bungee trampoline, bounce house, obstacle course, pony rides and more. And while the kids play, mom and dad can browse local vendors’ booths and partake in refreshments in the beer garden.

I think the Mead Roubaix Festival will be a great opportunity to get the family out and start working on those summer tan lines – mine usually involve stripy feet from wearing a variety of sandals.

The Mead Roubaix Festival takes place Sunday, April 22, 2012 at Mead Town Park, 441 Third Street, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Registration for the bike race is currently underway at CyclingEvents.com/MeadRoubaix.

 

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