There are many things to love about the North Fork Valley of Delta County and the Farm to Fiddle Summer Festival (August 11-12, 2017) is at the top of that list. This festival was brand new last year, and from the moment I heard the name, I knew they had a good thing going.
Farm to Fiddle Summer Festival takes place in the lovely village of Hotchkiss, Colorado, located about an hour southeast of Grand Junction in one of our state’s most bountiful growing areas.
It’s About Music
As the name suggests, this festival features lots of music and that’s easy to do in an area brimming with musicians.
Friday’s musical guest is the North Fork Valley’s very own Jeneve Rose Mitchell who grew up in Crawford, just down the road from Hotchkiss. Now 17, at age 15, Mitchell appeared on American Idol where she stole hearts and the show. Performing since the age of 4, Mitchell is taking the country music world by storm and this is your chance to see her live.
Saturday’s musical feature is David Starr. His website describes him as a musician with “Arkansas roots and Colorado wings.” This past April, he released “The Head And Heart,” produced and arranged by John Oates. Also local, when he isn’t touring the country you’ll find Starr in his music store in Cedaredge, Colorado, about 30 minutes from Hotchkiss.
There are many other musicians scheduled to play throughout the two-day festival including another local favorite, the Solar Brothers. Check out the festival’s website for the entire musical lineup.
It’s About Farms
Farm to Fiddle Summer Festival plays hosts to a farmers’ market that will have you drooling. And this farmers’ market is your chance to meet local farmers who will be in attendance selling their fresh produce.
It’s About Art
Hotchkiss is a highly active art community. In fact, their Creamery Arts Center is a major feature of the town and a can’t-be-missed attraction when you visit. The park next to the center is where much of the festival’s activity will take place. There will be arts and crafts on display throughout the festival.
It’s About the Great Outdoors
In addition to farm fun, musical performances and art and food, the Farm to Fiddle Summer Festival will play host to the Western Colorado Outdoor Expo, a show that showcases the outdoor adventures available in Delta County and Western Colorado. From the Black Canyon of the Gunnison to the Grand Mesa, this area is jam-packed with recreational opportunities for everyone. And a bonus about doing outdoor activities here is that unlike Colorado’s Front Range, these beautiful parks and open lands are crowd free.
This expo features speakers, demos, vendors and more.
Farm to Fiddle Summer Festival takes place at the same time as the Delta County Fair, which is also held in Hotchkiss, so it’s an exciting time to visit the town.
Farm to Fiddle Summer Festival
August 11-12, 2017
Downtown Hotchkiss, Colorado
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No matter your musical tastes, Colorado has got you covered this weekend; from bluegrass to jazz, from country to reggae, there’s a little something for everyone. First up, the 38th Annual Rocky Grass in Lyons, July 23-25, 2010.
This festival is held at Planet Bluegrass Ranch, 500 W. Main, along the banks of the St. Vrain River, and features top-notch bluegrass acts. Doc Watson, Patty Loveless, and Tony Rice, along with dozens of other acts will hit the stage in this three-day festival.
Along with the music, Rocky Grass features workshops in the Wildflower Pavilion, as well as contests. Grownups spend their weekend listening to music and drinking beer, while the kiddos cool off in the river. Rocky Grass is touted as a festival for the entire family and camping is encouraged. For camping information and tickets, visit www.bluegrass.com/rockygrass.
Want to beat the summertime heat? Head to the mountains for the Winter Park Jazz Festival this Saturday and Sunday, July 24-25, 2010. This is the 28th year for this famed Colorado festival that brings in regional and national recognized jazz acts.
In addition to such as musical acts as Chaka Khan, Hazel Miller, Craig Chaquico, Boney James and more, Winter Park will be filled to the brim with other festivities. There are merchandise and food vendors, beer garden and lots of fun for the whole family. Go to www.playwinterpark.com for all the details and tickets.
Also located in the mountains is the Collegiate Peaks Music Festival (July 23-24, 2010). This is the 5th annual year for this growing music festival in scenic Buena Vista, Colorado. Headlining this year’s event is the funk band Fort Knox Five from Washington, D.C.
In the shadow of the Collegiate Peaks, at McPhelemy Park, the entire town gets out for this event featuring funk and reggae, dancing, vendors and more. At only $10 for the two-day festival you can afford to bring the kids and the dog. Learn more at www.collegiatepeaksmusicfestival.com or find them on Facebook and get ready to party Buena Vista style.
If country music is more your thing, than don’t fear, Cheyenne Frontier Days starts Friday. Held annually since 1897, this event claims to be one of the largest festivals of its kind in the world. Featuring a world-class rodeo and outstanding country music artists, if you have a hankering to dust off your cowboy hat, Cheyenne Frontier Days starts Friday (July 23) and last until August 1, 2010.
This year’s musical acts features country music legends Alan Jackson, Brooks & Dunn and so many more. Although country is king at Frontier Days, this year’s event is being kicked off with an opening day appearance by the legendary rock-n-roll band KISS. For more information about Cheyenne Frontier Days visit www.cfdrodeo.com.
*Article also appearing in the Berthoud Weekly Surveyor.
Old Town Square will be filled with the sound of music every Tuesday and Thursday this summer.
Directed by Scott Cooper
Starring Jeff Bridges, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Colin Farrell, Robert Duvall, Beth Grant
Heidi’s Illustrious Rating: 3.75/5
Word of Warning: It’s helpful if you already like country music, because this story unfolds like a country song. Also, the R-rating is mostly about language and adult-themes, such as alcoholism. In my opinion, this one hardly merits the R-rating.
Hollywood’s gone country in this all-too familiar story of one man’s hard fall from fame. The story isn’t new, in fact we saw another version of it just a year ago in “The Wrestler.”
Despite the clichÃ© storyline “Crazy Heart” is above average because of the music and a solid performance by Jeff Bridges. Bridges plays Bad Blake, a drunk, washed up country music star who has gone from playing the big stages to playing the bowling alley. Country music has changed, but Bad Blake hasn’t and he also hasn’t written a new song in three years.
After being interviewed by a young music reporter named Jean (Maggie Gyllenhaal), the two began a romantic affair (which is more than a little unsettling because she looks about thirty years his junior). The relationship helps Blake find his long lost inspiration, but doesn’t inspire him to put down the bottle.
“Crazy Heart” is based on a novel written in 1987, by Thomas Cobb. The film was originally slated to go direct-to-DVD, but it was picked up by Fox Searchlight Pictures and opened in limited release in December 2009.
The small film has been making big waves, due in part to Bridges picking up the best actor Golden Globe for his performance as Bad Black, and scoring a best actor Oscar nomination. Bridges has never won an Oscar, despite four previous nominations.
Gyllenhaal has also been nominated for an Oscar for her role, but I wasn’t all that impressed with her performance in this film. Truthfully, I think almost any actress could have pulled off the role. The film’s song, “The Weary Kind,” has also been nominated for best original score.
Many of the actors sing in the movie, including Jeff Bridges. In fact, Bridges is quite an accomplished singer/songwriter and guitarist. Even more surprising is Colin Farrell, who has a small role in “Crazy Heart” as big time country star. The Irish bad boy happens to have a great singing voice.
With sweeping scenes of the southwest and a toe-tapping soundtrack “Crazy Heart” is definitely worth the price of admission.