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Featured Festival: Annual Biergarten Festival, 2016

Have you noticed that everyone is visiting Germany this year? It’s wildly popular with Millennial travel bloggers in love with Berlin, and Colorado brewers looking to immerse themselves in the beer brewing traditions of the old country.

Biergarten Festival, Morrison, Colorado 2015. HeidiTown (14)

If you are anything like me, however, you can’t afford a plane ticket to Germany (today’s summer airfare from Denver to Frankfurt nonstop is $1600/person).

Thankfully, Coloradans don’t have to fly to Germany to experience German culture.

Ryan and I have been attending the Annual Biergarten Festival for the better part of a decade and our secret summer festival is no longer a secret. People love the Biergarten Festival for its beautiful setting, laid back ambiance, friendliness and authenticity.

Biergarten Festival, Morrison, Colorado 2015. HeidiTown (17)

Attending this festival really does feel like going to a summer party in the rolling green hills of Germany (without the travel price tag).

I’ve been writing about this festival for years and I always tell my readers about the wonderful German dancing, outstanding German beer (Paulaner, of course) and delicious German food. This year, I have a couple new items to tell you about.

Biergarten Festival 2015. HeidiTown.com

Festival organizers have added a Stein Hoisting Contest, so it’s time to start warming up those brawny arm muscles boys and girls. I hear that doing the Wood Chopper Dance is a great way to practice. This contest of strength takes place Saturday (7/9) at 4 p.m.

Another new event is the 1st Annual Dachshund Race on Sunday at 2 p.m. If you’ve never had the opportunity to watch a dachshund race, you’ve missed out. Come prepared to be amused. 

Want to sign up for the Stein Hoisting or Dachshund Race? Email jacobson@gacc-co.org.

Biergarten Festival, Morrison, Colorado 2015. HeidiTown (21)

Of course, all the usual suspects will be in attendance such as Rick Borger & the Average Band, Peter Kron, the Chalet Dancers, TEV Edelweiss Schuhplattlers and the Rhinelanders.

The beer continuously flows and the music never stops at Biergarten Festival, which is one reason I consider this to be one of the best summer festivals in Colorado. If you’ve been meaning to make it to Biergarten Festival, this is the year to make it happen.

Annual Biergarten Festival

July 8-10, 2016

July 8, 4 to 10 p.m. / July 9, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. / July 10, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

TEV Edelweiss Club

17832 Highway 8, Morrison, Colorado

$5/day adults

$3 children 12 & under (age 5 & under free)

Pets welcome

Biergartenfest.com

Join Biergarten Festival on Facebook

Follow Biergarten Festival on Twitter

The Mayor of HeidiTown at Biergarten Festival. Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer, writer, blogger, small business owner.

I hope to see you at the Annual Biergarten Festival this year! Prost!

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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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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

Top 10 Memories from the Mayor of HeidiTown, Colorado for 2012

It has been an AMAZING year here in HeidiTown…

and 2013 is going to be even better.

I have so many great memories from this past year, like emceeing a freezing/cold/snowy  Berthoud Oktoberfest, attending the Great American Beer Festival for the first time and speaking multiple times at Metropolitan State University. There were some real standout moments however, so without further ado, here are my Top 10 Memories from the Mayor of HeidiTown, Colorado for 2012 (in pictures):

March – MyHandleBar HeidiTown ride in Fort Collins, Colorado

 My Handle Bar Ride March 2012 HeidiTown.com

May – The HeidiTown banners are revealed

 HeidiTown Banners May 2012

June – Champagne in the gondola & dining at the top of Keystone Resort during TBEX

 Champagne on the gondola in Keystone for TBEX June 2012 HeidiTown.com

June – Being a judge at the kick-off of Loveland Loves BBQ , Bands & Brews

 Haivng a laugh with Lauren Hoff at kick off for Loveland Loves BBQ Brews & Bands June 2012 HeidiTown.com

July – Gorging ourselves on food cart delights & wine at Unwined Denver

 Cupcakes from Denver Cupcake Truck at Unwined Denver 2012

July – Enjoying a really big pretzel and German dancing with my main squeeze at the Biergarten Festival

 Biergarten festival big pretzel July 2012 HeidiTown.com

August – My first hot air balloon ride at Sweetheart Balloon Rally in Loveland

 Sweetheart Balloon Rally August 2012 HeidiTown.com

August – Ziplining at Copper Mountain & riding the chairlift with beers

 zip lining at Copper Mountain HeidiTown August 2012

October – Staying at  One Steamboat Place for the Governor’s Tourism Conference in Steamboat Springs (via Moving Mountains Chalet)

One Steamboat Place Diamond Peak

December – Laughing our butts off at the Cripple Creek Jail Museum & winning on Elvis at The Rush Casino

 The Rush Casino Cripple Creek December 2012 HeidiTown.com

   Thank you to everyone who has helped make this year so special & now? Bring on 2013!

P.S. A special thank you to my husband, Ryan, the person I most enjoy taking adventures with – now and always!

Featured Festival: Denver Christkindl Market

A grand welcome to the market by Ms. Laura Kantwerk.

A grand welcome to the market by Ms. Laura Kantwerk. Photos by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer, all rights reserved.

It seems rather appropriate for the Mayor of a place called HeidiTown to have a connection to the German Chamber of Commerce – Colorado Chapter. Full disclosure: This organization has been advertising their events with HeidiTown for a while now and it’s a match made in heaven.

This organization puts together well-organized and top-notch events that I am more than happy to slap my endorsement on. Their Biergarten Festival is a summer party my husband and I look forward to every year.

The GACC-CO’s winter event is the Denver Christkindl Market. In operation for 12 years, this year there’s a new look, but the market hasn’t lost its intimate, European feel.

Christkindl markets have deep roots in Germany where the oldest recorded Christmas market dates back to 1310 in Munich. Held in front of churches, the markets were often part of a person’s church visit. Today, these markets are still held in town squares across Germany.

Tour the Denver Christkindl Market to find unique, handmade gifts for nearly everyone on your list. I found lots of knit hats and beautiful artisan jewelry that I’d love to find under the tree this Christmas.

Pastries at the Denver Christkindl Market

Pastries at the Denver Christkindl Market.

The best part of the market, in my illustrious opinion, is the food and the beer/entertainment tent. I’d recommend coming hungry, having some delicious European-style food and a beer or two and then going shopping.

While we were visiting the beer tent last weekend, the Chalet Dancers from Castle Rock were peforming and their authentic German dances impressed the crowd, me included. Under the tent you’ll find a full lineup of entertainment on the weekday evenings and weekends.

Sipping a beer or gluehwein (spiced wine), you’ll be transported to a different time and place, and this is what I love the most about the Denver Christkindl Market and the Biergarten Festival – it’s a chance to experience a little German culture right here in Colorado. Our state is rich with German heritage, but we don’t always get a chance to see it, taste it and feel it in action. I applaud the German Chamber of Commerce – Colorado Chapter for keeping this culture alive and well.

Keep in mind that the market is a wonderful event for children – from entertainment to delicious pastries, make the Denver Christkindl Market a part of their childhood memories this Christmas.

chalet dancers at Denver Christkindl Market

Chalet Dancers from Castle Rock, Colorado.

Denver Christkindl Market

Skyline Park (16th & Arapaho)

November 23 to December 22, 2012

Sunday – Wednesday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Thursday – Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Join the Denver Christkindl Market on Facebook

www.denverchristkindlmarket.com

Friday’s Featured Festival: Greeley Oktoberfest

Volkstanzgruppe Dancers at Oktoberfest in Greeley, Colorado

The Volkstanzgruppe Dancers entertained the crowd and gave free lessons. Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer.

This is not the first time I’ve mentioned the Greeley Oktoberfest on HeidiTown, and long before they became an advertiser here, I thought this was one of the best Oktoberfest in Colorado. One of the reasons this fest is so successful is that the entire Greeley community is invested and comes out to the party.

This year’s fest runs Friday, September 28 through Saturday, the 29th.

Greeley Oktoberfest is a signature event in Northern Colorado, and there are lots of reasons why. Admission is free and families can come and stay all day without anyone getting bored.

There’s a full lineup of entertainment for all ages, including the always popular beer pong with giant balls and buckets. It’s a hoot and Ryan and I totally got addicted to it when we played.

This is a huge festival and it takes up nearly all of Lincoln Park in the heart of historic, downtown Greeley.

The event kicks off Friday evening, September 28, at 5:30 p.m. with the Tom Allan Grengs Polka Band. From 7:30 to 10 p.m. BeatGrass, a bluegrass band with a twist, takes the stage.

On Saturday, September 29, the festival gets underway at 11 a.m. with the Children’s Chorale, followed by the Mayor’s Proclamation at 11:45 a.m.

The rest of the day’s entertainment includes UNC Jazz, Vokstanzgruppe, Kyle Redman and Ronnie Ekhart and the Dutch Hop Makers.

Greeley Oktoberfest commemorative tasting glass 2012

The 2012 commemorative tasting glass.Photo from Greeley Oktoberfest on Facebook.

New this year, a VIP Beer Tasting Tent open on Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. Visitors to the tent receive a commemorative tasting glass, get to sample reserve beers and meet and greet professional brewers.  Tickets are $30, and can be purchased on the day of the event.

Lincoln Park provides the ideal setting for the event, and the best part of Greeley Oktoberfest is the ambiance. I write a lot about what makes a good festival and this Oktoberfest ticks all the boxes.

Head out to Greeley next weekend for a beer, a brat and a little polka – you won’t be disappointed.

To keep tabs on everything happening in downtown Greeley, go to www.GreeleyDowntown.com and be sure to join the Greeley Oktoberfest on Facebook.

Biergarten Festival in Morrison, Colorado gets it right

Biergarten Festival 2012 LOGOThe 16th Annual Biergarten Festival – July 13 & 14, 2012  

Last year I was interviewed by Kama, from 99.9 FM in Fort Collins, Colorado. She asked me, “What makes a great festival?” I answered that setting is a huge part of what makes a festival special and authenticity is huge.

There are three parts to creating great ambiance at an event and that’s setting, authenticity and layout. The Annual Biergarten Festival is a shining example of getting all three things right.

This event takes place at the TEV Edelweiss Outdoor Pavilion just outside of Morrison, Colorado at the edge of Mt. Glennon Park. The setting is spectacular. Surrounded by green rolling hills, you can almost believe that you are in Bavaria, Germany, especially with a cold Paulner beer in hand.

boys dancing at Biergarten Festival girl dancing with shadows at Biergarten Festival girl dancing at biergarten festival 2011

Authenticity is what Biergarten Festival is all about. It’s a typical German family-style summer party complete with traditional German food, beer and entertainment. German dance troupes, such as the talented Schuhplattlers, delight audiences with their fancy footwork and polka bands entice young and old to the wooden dance floor.

more dancing  at biergarten festival

A crowded dance floor at Biergarten Festival 2011. Photos by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer, all rights reserved.

The layout of the festival is intimate, allowing everyone to become friends at the long wooden tables under the pavilion. Last year, I sat next to a woman who was visiting from Germany, and she said the event was truly reminiscent of summer parties in her country.

The ambiance at Biergarten Festival is truly unique because they manage to create a cultural event without feeling forced or stilted. This isn’t Disney Germany – it’s as real as it gets in the foothills of Colorado.

green green rolling hills at biergarten festival in colorado

The view off the back of the TEV Edelweiss Pavilion. Biergarten Festival 2011.

This year’s band lineup includes Austrian Connection, Steve Rock (accordion), and Rick Borger and the Average German Band.

Chef Neuhold will provide the catering for this event. The menu includes schnitzel with fries, German sauerbraten with red cabbage and spätzle, beef goulash and spätzle, curry sausage with fries, German bratwurst with kraut, frankfurter with fries and cheese spätzle. Prices are $4 to $10. Pretzels and almonds will also be available.

On Saturday, there will be a bratwurst eating contest sponsored by Continental Sausage. They supplied the sausages for the eating contest at Denver Oktoberfest where Joey “Jaws” Chestnut consumed 38 bratwursts in eight minutes. Entry fee is $20 per participant, and you can enter the contest by emailing seeberg@gacc-co.org.

The Annual Biergarten Festival is a family event – bring the youngins and bring grandma. The shady children’s section has games and activities that will keep youngsters busy, and I’ve never met a kid who doesn’t love the chicken dance.

childrens area at biergarten festival colorado

The children's area at Biergarten Festival 2011.

Last, but certainly not least, Paulaner, a beer that has been around since 1634, is the “bier” of choice at this fest.

The 16th Annual Biergarten Festival is brought to you by the Colorado Chapter of the German-American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest. It runs Friday and Saturday, July 13 & 14. Admission is just $5 on Friday, $10 on Saturday, or $12 for a two-day pass. Children 12 and under are free. Festival organizers do ask that you RSVP to this event at BiergartenFest.com.

Celebrate the holidays in downtown Denver at the Christkindl Market

Christkindl Market LogoHere is an event that you should make part of your family tradition this holiday season.

The Denver Christkindl Market runs for nearly a month in downtown. You can make a day of it – attend the market for lunch and shopping, do a little ice skating and then try one of Denver’s fabulous restaurants for dinner – perhaps Euclid Hall or Cafe Berlin.

So without further ado, here’s all you need to know about the Denver Christkindl Market:

As you plan your holiday schedule, this is an event you must include on your list. It’s the 11th Annual Denver Christkindl Market at Skyline Park along the 16th Street Mall. Running November 25 through December 23, this event revives the old German traditions surrounding Christmas…  continue reading this article by clicking here.


Two topnotch Oktoberfests in Colorado

Greeley Oktoberfest Colorado

The Polka Nuts kept the crowds dancing at the Greeley Oktoberfest 2010. Photo by R.T. Schlaefer.

For the past several weeks I’ve done a lot of chatting about Oktoberfests, and this is because I think, when done right, they are such fun and unique festivals.

There are two Oktoberfests fast approaching that I want to bring to your attention. You will not find an eighties cover band headlining these fests, because both work to provide authentic Oktoberfest experiences that embrace and emphasize Northern Colorado’s rich German heritage.

Last year I attended the Greeley Oktoberfest for the first time, and was impressed. It’s a large event, occurring over two days. This year, the festival runs this weekend,  September 23-24, 2011.

Read all about the Greeley Oktoberfest here.

The 1st Annual Berthoud Oktoberfest is being held October 1, in the darling town of Berthoud, Colorado. Located just 40 minutes from Denver and just 10 minutes south of Loveland, Berthoud is steeped in German heritage.

Read all about the Berthoud Oktoberfest here.

 

 


Oktoberfests in Colorado

Oktoberfest celebration in Colorado mug of beerGot a craving for a big beer and some polka music? You are in luck!

The Mayor of HeidiTown loves a good Oktoberfest, so I’ve created a list of all the festivals around Colorado.

From Durango to Berthoud, from Steamboat Springs to Lamar, all across the state Coloradoans will be celebrating German heritage with beer, brats and polka. Festivals run September though October.

Find out where to join in the fun by clicking here for the entire list. Prost!



What to do this weekend & where to do it in Colorado (October 2-3, 2010)

As promised here’s a list of weekend events that caught the Mayor’s eye. Again, this is not a calendar of event, just stuff the Mayor thought was worth mentioning.

I’m sure there are lots of other fun events happening this weekend. If you know of something, please share it in the comment section.

First Friday Art Walks –  An art walk is just the thing to light your creative fire. Both Fort Collins and Pueblo have art walks tonight (10/1/10).   For information on Fort Collins’ art walk go to www.fortcollinsarts.org, and for Pueblo visit www.pueblopag.org.

Estes Park, CO – Elk Fest

Sat. & Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Bond Park (FREE)

What: Wapiti is the Cree word for elk, and this festival is all about the majestic creature that is common in the Estes Park area at this time of year. From seminars to Native American dancing and storytelling, this two-day event is quite the extravaganza. It includes a Mountain Man Rendezvous, an elk bugling contest and even elk-viewing tours. There’s so much scheduled during the Elk Fest that I’d recommend visiting www.estesnet.com to check out the entire line up.

Lakewood, CO – Cider Days

Sat. & Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Lakewood’s Heritage Center in Belmar Park (Adults $6, Children, 3-12, $3)

What: Last weekend Morrison, Colorado celebrated cider and now Lakewood. This is the city’s 35th Annual Cider Days, and it’s one of those perfect family festivals. You can bring your own apples or purchase Colorado-grown apples at the event and watch them being made into cider using the Heritage Center’s vintage cider press. There is a laundry list of activities for the kids, including mule-drawn wagon rides, face painting and more. Adults will find shopping and historic demonstrations. There is also a petting zoo and tractor pull. For the entire lineup of events visit www.Lakewood.org.

Durango, CO – Cowboy Gathering

September 30 thru October 3 (Tickets Required)

What: Dust off your cowboy hat and polish up your boots. This is an event where cowboy poets and musicians gather to share their songs and stories. The Durango Cowboy Gathering, Inc. is a non-profit working to preserve and perpetuate the tradition of working ranch people in the American West. To learn more visit www.DurangoCowboyGathering.org.

Fort Collins, CO – Picture yourself with a Budweiser Clydesdale

Thursday thru Monday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Anheuser-Busch (FREE)

What: Have you ever wanted to get up close and personal with a Budweiser Clydesdale? If you live in Northern Colorado, it’s easy and it’s free. You can even get your picture taken with one of these amazing, celebrity animals. Free brewery tours are also available. Beermaster tours require a reservation and occur at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. each day. For more information visit www.budweisertours.com.

HeidiTown loves Oktoberfests!

If you haven’t made it out to a local Oktoberfest, you still have a chance to hit one this weekend.

Niwot, CO – Saturday from 2 to 9 p.m. in Cottonwood Square. This will be Niwot’s second annual Oktoberfest complete with German music, German dancing, German food and beer from Left Hand Brewery. Learn more about this small town Oktoberfest here.

Loveland, CO – Grimm Brothers Brewery, Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The brewery will be introducing their Oktoberfest beer, The Farmer’s Daughter. In addition there will be live music and BBQ from Bottlecap. For more information visit them here on Facebook.

Also celebrating Oktoberfest (click on the town name for more info):

Nederland, CO

La Veta, CO

Ouray, CO

Cañon City, CO

Broomfield, CO

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