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Featured Festival: Loveland Fire & Ice Festival, Feb. 10-12, 2017

This fest has fireworks and fire arts, ice sculptures and light shows, bands and singers and so much more. No wonder Loveland Fire & Ice Festival won the Downtown Colorado, Inc. Governor’s Best Festival Award 2016.

Featured Festival Loveland Fire & Ice Festival, courtesy photo

Courtesy of Loveland Fire & Ice Festival

The amount of things to do at the Loveland Fire & Ice Festival will make your head spin. It truly has a little something for everyone. Whether you like live music or are looking for entertainment for the kids — toddler or teens — this festival has got you covered.

In addition to the festival’s fireworks show that occurs every evening throughout the three day festival, and ice sculptures that dot the downtown landscape, there is a new event happening at this year’s Loveland Fire & Ice Festival.

It’s the brand new Brewing & Distilling Arts event. In addition to a carved ice bar that will be on display, local craft beers, ciders, wines, sangria and specialty moonshine will be available to taste via a token system.

The Brewing & Distillery Arts events, which happens daily throughout the event, is sure to liven up this already joyous festival. Check here for specific times and token sale information.

At its core, Loveland Fire & Ice is a family festival. Children will enjoy a carousel and carnival games. There are also carriage rides available to both families and sweethearts.  

Featured Festival Loveland Fire & Ice Festival, ice sculpture, courtesy photo

Photo courtesy of Loveland Fire & Ice Festival

If you love live music, you won’t want to miss this festival.

The musical lineup on the event’s Main Stage is filled with bands that will keep festival attendees dancing in the streets of Loveland to the sounds of classic rock, blues and pop.

There will be three more places to listen to music over the weekend including the Cleveland Performance Stage, Lincoln Performance Stage and Jefferson Performance Stage. The festival’s website has a complete lineup of performers on each stage on their Attractions page.

Visitors can also shop at Loveland Fire & Ice Festival in the event’s Marketplace featuring multiple vendors and exhibitors.

Loveland Fire & Ice Festival 2015. HeidiTown.com (9)

Should all this excitement make you hungry, visit the Food Truck Food Court which will host 13 different vendors selling everything from coffee to waffles.

Loveland Fire & Ice Festival is an extravaganza of fun and an affordable way to entertain the entire family.

Featured Festival Loveland Fire & Ice Festival, fire performer, courtesy photo

Photo courtesy of Loveland Fire & Ice Festival

Loveland is located just 52 miles north of Denver, 58 miles south of Cheyenne, Wyoming, and is just minutes from Fort Collins. It’s easy to join in the free fun in downtown Loveland this February.

 

Loveland Fire & Ice Festival

February 10-12, 2017

Loveland, Colorado (downtown)

Admission: FREE

(with the exception of some ticketed events)

LovelandFireandIce.com

Loveland Fire & Ice on Facebook

Follow Loveland Fire & Ice on Facebook

#LoveFireIce2017

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Featured Festival spots on HeidiTown.com are paid advertisements. Interested in having your festival or event considered for a feature? Email TheMayor@HeidiTown.com.

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Why You Should Visit Ouray, Colorado this Winter

There’s big news in Ouray. The 80-year-old hot springs pool is getting a major facelift and this is incredibly exciting. Unfortunately, this means the pool is closed this winter and it’s a big draw to Ouray at any time of year.

Why Visit Ouray, Colorado this Winter. Downtown Ouray in December. HeidiTown.com

However, the pool closure is no reason to postpone or cancel a trip to Ouray. No way! Not only are there other places to soak, there is so much to do and see in this charming mountain village. Here are just a few suggestions from someone who has been to Ouray multiple times during the winter months – me.

Ouray Ice Park

Even if you don’t ice climb, the Ouray Ice Park is worth visiting. It’s surreal in its beauty and if you happen to be lucky enough to watch someone climbing there, it’s impressive.

Courtesy of the Ouray Chamber Resort Association and Michael G. Seamans

Courtesy of the Ouray Chamber Resort Association and Michael G. Seamans

It’s easy to give ice climbing a try in Ouray, especially during several winter events. The Ouray Ice Festival, which occurs January 19-22, is an excellent way to become acquainted with the sport. This festival isn’t just for experts. There are presentations and clinics for every level, live music and more. It’s a party with ice climbing as the highlight. Continue reading

Featured Festival: Fall Back Beer Fest 2016 in Estes Park

Destination beer festivals are just plain fun, and that’s one thing that sets Fall Back Beer Fest apart. This event is an opportunity to drink good beer in the fantastic Town of Estes Park.

fall-back-beer-festival-logo

The other thing that sets Fall Back Beer Fest apart is that it’s about more than drinking beer – this festival encourages attendees to learn about beer – the beer making process, hops, tasting and more.

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A workshop on beer by Lauren Hoff at last year’s Fall Back Beer Fest.

Plus, this festival always takes place on the day that Daylight Saving Time ends, so you get an extra hour to recover, or to keep partying.

Want to Learn How to Homebrewing?

Fall Back Beer Fest is an excellent beer festival for anyone interested in homebrewing. The festival coincides with the American Homebrewers Association’s “Learn to Homebrew Day.”

Since the beginning, Fall Back Beer Fest has partnered with AHA to be an official Learn to Homebrew Day event location. Local AHA clubs come to Fall Back Beer Fest and brew onsite during the event. This is your opportunity to talk with them, learn about the club and learn about the brewing process.

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Each year, the AHA and the festival give away several homebrewing starter kits to random guests. The idea is to get people excited about all aspects of beer, which seems to be the unwritten mission of Fall Back Beer Fest.

The Rest of the Fest

Fall Back Beer Fest is hosting forty craft breweries this year including some new-to-this-fest brewers such as Wonderland Brewing Co. from Broomfield.

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This was a new-to-me brewery that showed up at FBBF last year.

In the past, a lot of brewers show up at this event – they like destination beer festivals too. This is nice for festival goers because they can meet and chat with the brewers, a rarer and rarer opportunity in the beer festival world, especially during the summer when breweries are stretched thin by the sheer number of festivals occurring on any given weekend.

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In addition to the beer, The Wooks, a Kentucky rhythm and bluegrass band and 2016 RockyGrass band contest winners, will be providing entertainment at Fall Back Beer Fest. Festival food will be supplied by a variety of food trucks, including Umami Mobile Eatery from Fort Collins.

Estes Park for the Win

Estes Park is a wonderful place to visit in the fall. Last year, for Fall Back Beer Fest, we stayed at The Rustic Acre. Their vacation homes are perfect to share with friends and are within easy walking distance of the fest. Read about our getaway here.

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A large held of elk, including babies, walk through Rustic Acres last year when we stayed during Fall Back Beer Fest.

Visit this page, for a list of Estes Park hotels that are offering weekend discounts for folks attending Fall Back Beer Fest 2016.

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Last year, the fine ladies from Feisty Spirits showed up with their bier schnapps. You just never know who you’ll run into at FBBF.

I’ve attended Fall Back Beer Festival for a number of years now and count it among my favorite beer festivals in Colorado. Hope to see you there!

Please note that Hwy 34 from Loveland to Estes Park is closed due to construction this fall and winter. Those driving from Cheyenne and Northern Colorado to FBBF will need to take the route through Lyons via Hwy 66.

Fall Back Beer Fest

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Estes Park, Colorado

Estes Park Events Complex

*shuttles available from downtown

VIP Presale $60 / at the gate $70

GA Presale $35 / at the gate $40

DD Presale $10 / at the gate $10

Purchase Tickets Here

FallBackBeerFest.com

Join this fest on Facebook

Follow this fest on Twitter

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Featured Festival spots on HeidiTown.com are paid advertisements. Interested in having your festival or event considered for a feature? Email TheMayor@HeidiTown.com.

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Telluride Blues & Brews in Review & Gondola Stories

I don’t always write a festival recap, but after returning from an outrageously fun weekend at Telluride Blues & Brews, I thought a review was in order, especially since I know some of my readers have contemplated attending this event, but haven’t done so yet.

Telluride Blues & Brews in Review & Gondola Stories

Ryan and I sailed into Telluride at 4 p.m. on Friday. We checked into Peaks Resort & Spa, my favorite hotel in Telluride, and boarded the gondola. Since we were staying in Mountain Village and Telluride Blues & Brews is in town park, we rode the gondola a lot during our 3-night stay, which resulted in a few stories.

Telluride Gondola Stories

The free gondola runs between Mountain Village and the town of Telluride, and I’m well acquainted with it. I love this gondola ride because 9 out of 10 times, I engage in a fun conversation with other riders. I think this gondola inspires conversation because at 15 minutes in length, it’s just long enough that people start to feel comfortable with the strangers around them. 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

CityStarBrewing.com/hops-and-harley

#HopsandHarley

brewery dogs at Hops & Harley 2016

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Featured Festival spots on HeidiTown.com are paid advertisements. Interested in having your festival or event considered for a feature? EmailTheMayor@HeidiTown.com.

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Featured Festival: Front Range Rally, May 28, 2016

Coloradans have lots of choices when it comes to beer festivals. On any given summer weekend there are three or more beer festivals taking place across the state. So how do you make a choice about which beer festival deserves your hard earned money? That’s where I come in. I attend a lot of beer festivals and while some are struggling to remain relevant, other are thriving.

Front Range Rally is thriving

Front Range Rally rainbow shot

Photos by Emily Sierra Photography. Used with permission.

Front Range Rally is not just another beer festival. The FRR team works tirelessly to make sure attendees have a great experience each and every year. I’ve sat in on FRR committee meetings and this team really does care. Plus, the festival raises money for a worthy cause and that helps keep this festival at the top of its game.

Upslope at Front Range Rally

Front Range Rally is a craft beer and food truck festival that takes place annually on the last Saturday in May in Loveland, Colorado.  More than sixty breweries will be represented at the festival this year and ten food trucks have already signed up. In addition to breweries, several cideries and distilleries will be at the fest.

Front Range Rally features a large variety of craft brews. Melvin Brewing from Jackson, Wyoming will be there, as will Perrin Brewing Company from Michigan. While Colorado’s craft breweries are awesome, I love having the opportunity to taste a few out-of-state beer at a festival.

Splurge on VIP

I don’t always promote purchasing VIP tickets to a beer event unless VIPs get treated well and FRR does a bang up job. VIP tickets include the usual – one hour early entry to the fest – but this VIP package also includes access to exclusive beers, a buffet of ribs and coleslaw, seating in the shade and best of all, a private restroom. No waiting in lines for VIPs.  

Front Range Rally VIP pic

Drink for a good cause

Front Range Rally benefits the Food Bank for Larimer County. One hundred percent of the net proceeds from the festival go directly to this nonprofit that distributed 8.9 million pounds of food to low-income residents throughout Larimer County in 2015.

I hope that you will join me in Loveland this May!

Front Range Rally

May 28, 2016

2600 N. Lincoln Avenue, Loveland, CO

General Admission 2:30 to 7 p.m. ($40)

VIP entry at 1:30 ($60)

Purchase tickets at FrontRangeRally.com

Join this festival on Facebook!

Front Range Rally cornhole pic

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Featured Festival spots on HeidiTown.com are paid advertisements. Interested in having your festival or event considered for a feature? Email TheMayor@HeidiTown.com.

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Five Things To Do In Pagosa Springs This Summer

Last week I was a speaker at a tourism conference in Pagosa Springs, and it was a good reminder of the total awesomeness of this Southwest Colorado town.

Pagosa Springs should be on your must-visit list this summer and here are five things you need to do once you get there.

1. Float the river in Pagosa Springs

The best way to take advantage of a river that runs directly through a town is to float it. The San Juan River is the source of all good stuff in Pagosa Springs and is a big summertime attraction.

five things to do in pagosa springs this summer. tube the san juan river. HeidiTown.com

The best time to float the river is in July and August when the water levels are lower. Bring your own tube or check out this Pagosa Springs’ website for how to go about floating the San Juan River. Continue reading

Beers In The Boat: Steamboat Springs’ Exploding Beer Scene

While on magazine assignment in Steamboat Springs earlier this spring, we got a taste of Steamboat’s growing beer scene and we liked it – a lot.

Beers in the Boat Steamboat Springs' exploding beer scene. a taster flight at Butcherknife Brewing Co. HeidiTown.com

It had been several years since we’d spent time in Steamboat and lots have changes have taken place in that short period of time. The town is now home to two breweries with a third on the way (Mountain Tap Brewery). And Yampa Valley Brewing Co. is now open in Hayden, just a short drive away.

There’s also a brand new beer bar that’s outstanding, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Continue reading

Win tickets to Fall Harvest Brewfest, annual fundraiser for Animal House

Fall Harvest Brewfest 2011 logoI am dog person. I can’t imagine coming home to a house without having an excited canine there to greet me.   While some people ooh and aww over babies, I’m the person who will get overly excited about a new puppy or newly adopted dog. Let’s face it, dogs are awesome and many of us couldn’t live without ours.

That being said, this week’s give away is a pair of tickets to Fall Harvest Brewfest, the annual fundraiser for Animal House, a no-kill dog shelter in Fort Collins, Colorado. Animal House specializes in second chances. They obtain dogs from other shelters; dogs that have been slated for euthanasia.

This is the 3rd Annual Fall Harvest Brewfest and it’s being held at Drake Center in Fort Collins on October 15, 2011. There will be over 20 craft breweries in attendance as well as several micro-distilleries (including my personal favorite, Dancing Pines Distillery, in Loveland).   To satisfy your growling tummy, there will be craft-beer inspired food pairings served throughout the evening.

Draco from Animal House

Draco is a 3-yr-old shepherd mix looking for his forever home. Learn more at www.animalhousehelp.org.

So here’s the deal folks, enter to win a pair of tickets to Fall Harvest Brewfest here by telling me your best dog tale. I know it’s a little work, but it can be simple. For example, our German Shepherd likes to talk to the cat.   Here’s another, when our German Shepherd pees in snow she covers it up – true story! We have no idea why she does this, but we find it highly amusing.

I will pick a winner sometimes on Friday afternoon (October 7, 2011) – we have guests coming to town, so I can’t give you a specific time, because I won’t stick with it.   Just be sure to have your entry in by noon on Friday.

If you don’t win, I encourage you to buy a ticket to this event. Tickets can be purchased at www.fallharvestbrewfest.com. Tickets are $35 and include your night of fun and the warm fuzzy feeling that you drank for a great cause.   You can also join the Fall Harvest Brewfest and the Animal House on Facebook.

~ CONTEST CLOSED ~


Colorado loves beer, and we can prove it!

A volunteer serves up beer at the Colorado Brewers' Festival in Fort Collins, Colorado. Photo courtesy of the Downtown Business Association of Fort Collins.

The hills are alive with the smell of beer…

If you are a fan of the nectar of the gods, this is the weekend for you!

Find out what two Northern Colorado beer festivals are schedule for this weekend by clicking here.

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