Viking Helmets Never Had Horns & Other Things You’ll Learn at the New Vikings Exhibit in Denver

Note from the Mayor: This exhibit is in its final weeks at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. The Vikings sail away for good on August 13 (final day of the exhibit).

So you think you know about the Vikings, but did you know that the word “viking” isn’t a noun? That’s right, it’s actually a verb. You’ll learn tidbits like this and a lot more at the new Vikings: Beyond the Legend exhibition at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.

Viking Helmets Never Had Horns & Other Things You'll Learn at the New Vikings Exhibit in Denver, 1

This guy appears to have lost his entire crew. Photo:

My husband was ecstatic about this exhibit because he’s a history nerd and loves anything to do with Vikings, Barbarians, Romans, etc. If they carried swords, he’s into it. So we set up a tour of the new exhibit with curator Steve Nash. When you’d visit, I’d encourage you to pick up the audio guide before going through this exhibit. This is akin to a tour with a curator.

I’m not going to tell you all the things we learned while going through this exhibit, because I need to leave a few mysteries for you to discover for yourself. However, one fascinating tidbit is the meaning of the word “viking.” While it’s frequently used to define a group of people as in, “the Vikings.” In actuality, the people we call Vikings would “go on a viking.” It’s a verb used to describe the act of going on a journey (most likely a raid). Continue reading

HeidiTown on the radio – the Colorado museum edition

DMNS Pompeii

Visitors interact with the historical enactors that dress in period clothing and portray characters from Ancient Rome inside A Day in Pompeii at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. (Photo credit: Chris Schneider)

This week’s radio segment on KRFC 88.9 FM is full of history and culture. Think you can handle that?

Have you ever wanted to party like a Italian in AD 79? Well, find out when and where you can.

Wondering about the new Fort Collins Museum of Discovery? Find out the schedule for the opening of this state-of-the-art facility.

Are you a bird lover like me? Find out where you can see birds portrayed by 60 different artists.

And more Colorado cultural stuff that will tickle your curiosity and enrich your mind.

It’s all in this week’s radio segment, so LISTEN HERE.

Yves St. Laurent & the Brown Palace: A Weekend of Luxury in Denver, Colorado

Denver Art Museum sign on lamp post

This is the only United States venue for this exhibit that is on display through July 8, 2012. Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer, all rights reserved.

My husband and I just celebrated 10 years of marriage in style. We spent a high-end Denver weekend with a trip to the Yves St. Laurent exhibit at the Denver Art Museum and a stay at the Brown Palace Hotel.

Yves Saint Laurent: The Retrospective at the Denver Art Museum

I sport a rather laidback Colorado style, so folks may be surprised that as a little girl I filled binders with clothing designs; everything from medieval princess dresses to ready-to-wear business suits.

By the time I entered my teenage years, grunge had become popular and living in the Pacific Northwest, I was at the epicenter of the flannel and ripped jeans trend. I bought my first pair of Birkenstocks and didn’t look back.

I never lost my love of haute couture, however, and you can often catch me watching shows like “America’s Next Top Model” and “Project Runway,” albeit wearing a comfy pair of flannel pants and a t-shirt.

When I heard the Yves St. Laurent exhibit was coming to the Denver Art Museum, I had to see it. Thankfully, my husband is an artist and will always happily tag along to any art-oriented event that I want to attend.

We visited the exhibit on a Saturday and it was packed with well-dressed women. We counted exactly four men in the crowded lobby. That being said, while my husband’s response to my ooohs and awwws throughout the exhibit was always “that’s cute,” he actually found St. Laurent’s story inspirational from an art perspective.

On busy days you may have a wait because they stagger entry times into the exhibit. Our wait was less than ten minutes, and I was happy to see that the museum staff was handing out portable tour guides. I’ve only seen these useful devices at large English museums. They look like one of those huge, old cell phones from the eighties. Each is equipped with a key pad and when you punch in the numbers corresponding with the various exhibits a nice voice tells you all about it – no reading required. It makes for a very quiet trip through the exhibit, despite the crowds.

Yves Saint Laurent- The Retrospective curated by Florence Muller,Pierre Berge

Installation view of Yves Saint Laurent: The Retrospective at the Denver Art Museum.

St. Yves Laurent was an influential clothing designer who lived from 1936 to 2008. He came to prominence in the French fashion world in the early 1960s, and started making waves right away. He was the first designer to introduce leather on the runway, shocking, not nearly as scandalous as his biggest contribution to the fashion world, the ladies pantsuit.

There was even a saying at the time: “If it’s pants, it’s Yves.”

Yves Saint Laurent_ Tuxedo with pants

Yves Saint Laurent, Tuxedo with pants, haute couture collection, Fall-Winter 1966. Black barathea and satin silk, white organdy blouse. © Foundation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent, Paris / Photo A. Guirkinger.

Walking through the exhibit one experiences St. Laurent’s evolution as a designer, although he never moved away from putting women in designs that had been previously cut for men, like square shoulders. It’s also a walk through pop culture history.

St. Laurent is credited with being the first French clothing designer to develop an entire ready-to-wear line. He was quoted as saying, “Down with the Ritz, up with the streets!” referring to his clothing line for the everyday woman.

If you enjoy art, fashion and history, you should see Yves Saint Laurent: The Retrospective at the Denver Art Museum. This is the only United States venue for this exhibit that is on display through July 8, 2012. During the last 10 days of the exhibit, the museum will have extended hours. To learn more and purchase tickets go to

Brown Palace Hotel & Spa

Bright and sparkly new hotels are fine, but historic hotels have always been my favorite. They are steeped in history, and none more than the Brown Palace in Denver, Colorado. Nearly every President has stayed at the hotel since Roosevelt, and stories from this place could fill a book, and probably do.

tea at the Brown Palace

Afternoon tea at the Brown Palace in Denver, Colorado. Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer, all rights reserved.

A stay at the Brown Palace isn’t cheap, but you get what you pay for and more. You are treated like an honored guest from the moment they hand you champagne at the front desk. Everyone is genuinely nice without being pretentious – this is, after all, Colorado.

We’ve stayed at the Brown Palace a number of times, including on our wedding night, so it has a special place in our hearts. We always have a drink at Ship’s Tavern and sometimes indulge in breakfast at Ellington’s.

The rooms are comfortable with historic touches combined with modern conveniences like flat screen televisions. I would encourage you to check out the “specials and packages“ section on their website. I always book one of these options.

Currently, you can reserve the Designer Package which gets you two VIP passes to the Yves St. Laurent exhibit, plus a delicious chocolate surprise in your room. Visit the hotel online at



What’s happening in Colorado, May 18-20, 2012 (HeidiTown’s Radio Show)

It’s time for another segment on KRFC 88.9 FM, and this weekend is full of Colorado festivals you won’t want to miss. In fact, you may want to clone yourself – and if you figure out how to do that, please share, because I am in desperate need of a clone or two this summer!

If you’d rather listen to the audio from my radio show, just click HERE, but if you prefer to utilize your reading skills, the transcripts are below.  ENJOY!  And don’t forget to let me know about that cloning idea.


Heidi & Ryan 3

Ryan & Heidi at a Colorado Rapids game.

Hi, my name is Heidi and I’m the Mayor of, a blog about festivals, events and destinations around Colorado. That’s right, if you’ve been listening for awhile, you might have noticed the change to my tagline. I’ve replaced travel with the word destinations, and now new banners have been made – look for them at a festival near you this summer!

I thought I’d take a minute this week to tell you a little about myself. I’m a freelance writer and small business owner here in Colorado. Originally a West Coast girl from the Pacific Northwest, I’ve lived in Colorado for 13 years. On May 18, 2002, I married a guy who grew up in Littleton. Yes, we celebrate 10 years of marriage this weekend – happy anniversary, Ryan!

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Ryan & Heidi at Rocky Mountain Irish Festival.

I started in 2007, as a review blog, but in 2010, I found my niche was blogging about festivals and events. is not a calendar, but rather “stuff the Mayor likes” and I like small town festivals and unique events. Hundreds, if not thousands of events occur all over Colorado every weekend, especially during the summer – and I highlight the things that catch my attention.

So now – on to the show!

In past segments I’ve already previewed some of what is happening around Colorado this weekend, May 18 through the 20th, 2012. So I want to remind you that it’s Wild Wild West Days in Pueblo and Mike the Headless Chicken Festival is in Fruita this weekend.

Ryan & Heidi 1

Ryan & Heidi at Biergarten Festival.

On Saturday and Sunday, it’s the Strawberry Festival Antique Show in Longmont. Started almost forty years ago, as a way to raise money for the St. Vrain Historical Society, this event has developed into a popular and well-respected antique show drawing thousands of attendees. Enjoy freshly made strawberry shortcake while browsing antiques in the Exhibit Building at the Boulder County Fairgrounds on Nelson Road in Longmont. For hours and info on the Strawberry Festival Antique Show go to

A unique cultural event is happening at The Fort in Morrison, Colorado this weekend. It’s the 12th Annual Indian Market and Powwow presented by the Tesoro Cultural Center. Native American artists will display their wares and demonstrate their crafts. Dancers and drummers will share their heritage in competitions, and there will also be a powwow contest in the valley below The Fort. I am very familiar with this area, and it is a beautiful setting for this event. Learn more at That’s

Ryan & Heidi 4

Ryan & Heidi at the 1940s WWII Ball.

For those of you in Northern Colorado, here’s an event close to home. This weekend it’s Jazz Fest and Art Walk in downtown Estes Park. This event has grown over its twenty year existence into a two-day jazz extravaganza, featuring national and regional musicians. Eight jazz groups are scheduled to perform with two headliner acts. Go to for the lineup of performers.

Right here in Fort Collins, the downtown Farmers Market gets underway this weekend. The Larimer County Farmers’ Market is one of the oldest in Colorado. It runs Saturdays 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. from May 19 through October 27. So bike downtown and make a day of it!

Also, starting this Friday in Fort Collins, it’s the Ben & Jerry’s FAC Concert Series. Music runs from 7 to 9 p.m. on the Old Town Square Stage. Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy this event every Friday through August 17th. This week’s band is The Backline.

For more information on this and other Old Town events, go to

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Ryan & Heidi at the Bucksnort Saloon in Pine, CO.

The Butterfly Pavilions in Westminster, Colorado has been on my mind lately. This is a fun outing with the family, but as I’ve said before, it isn’t only for kids. This weekend it’s Bloomapalooza at the Butterfly Pavilions on Saturday from 10 to 5. It’s a celebration of Plant Conservation Day. There will be giveaways, workshops, planting projects, a kids play area and The Garden Center of Colorado will be taking all your old gardening trays, cell packs and pots to be recycled. For additional details on Bloomapalooza, go to

Lastly it’s Taste of Durango this Sunday. I love this region of Colorado because the scenery is breathtaking. This would be a great weekend to make Durango your Colorado destination. Learn more at

There are lots of other amazing events happening this weekend around Colorado, but you’ll have to tune into the blog and HeidiTown’s Facebook page for more. Be sure to join our block party at

If you are on Twitter, you can follow me @HeidiTown, or if you are a Google Plus fan, circle the town!

Thanks so much for listening. Until next week, I will see you online!

The Mayor visits a museum in Berthoud, Colorado

Visitors to The Little Thompson Valley Pioneer Museum in Berthoud can immerse themselves in the area's rich history.

Visitors to The Little Thompson Valley Pioneer Museum can immerse themselves in Northern Colorado's rich history. (Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer, all rights reserved)


In the first installment in The Mayor Visits a Museum series, the Mayor travels to the charming town of Berthoud, Colorado, where she takes a guided tour of   The Little Thompson Valley Pioneer Museum.

Find out more by reading the article here.

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