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.

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

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

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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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

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

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

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

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

 Sweetheart Balloon Rally August 2012

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

   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

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

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

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.

Celebrate all things German at the 15th Annual Biergarten Festival in Morrison, Colorado

Rippled silk effect German flag with sky backgroundI’m excited to tell my readers about this festival. This is not an Oktoberfest, but a celebration of German culture at a family-friendly event in Morrison, Colorado.

The 15th Annual Biergarten Festival is a yearly event hosted by the German American Chamber of Commerce of Colorado (GACC-CO).

The event is set up to resemble an authentic German beer garden atmosphere – the kind of place German families spend time together during the summer months. There will be German dancing, German music and other traditional German activities.

Authentic food and drinks, including beer, will be available for purchase, and those who RSVP and purchase tickets prior to July 8, will receive a free German pretzel at the event.

The 15th Annual Biergarten Festival will take place on from 2 to 10 p.m. on July 16, 2011. Tickets are $10, and children 12 and under are free. The festival is being held at the TEV Edelweiss Outdoor Pavilion on Hwy 8 between the Town of Morrison and The Fort restaurant. The event is open to the public but organizers ask that festival goers RSVP here.

As a huge supporter of the Colorado Rapids Soccer Club I am excited to reveal that several Rapids players and Rapids mascots are attending this event, and there will also be Colorado Rapids related giveaways! (NOTE: It sounds like Rapids players may not be in attendance.  See comment from Rapids Insider below).

The Mayor of HeidiTown will be attending this event – hope to see you there!

Prost! It’s time for über fun!

September is in full swing and so are Colorado Oktoberfest celebrations. Some have already occurred, but here are a few festivals where you can practice your chicken dance and drink beer from a giant mug. Don’t forget the lederhosen!

Oktoberfest Denver, September 17-19 and 24-26: This will be the 41st year for this Oktoberfest that was named one of the best festivals in the nation by USA Today. It also holds the record for being one of the largest Oktoberfests in the country. Thousands come out for this festival that is modeled after Munich, Germany’s famous Oktoberfest.

Like many cities across the United States Denver boasts a strong German heritage with many of the city’s first bars being open by German immigrants. Oktoberfest Denver includes live music, a 5K race, a Kid Carnival, Oktoberfest Olympics, a dog derby, costume contest and, of course, lots of beer. This year’s beer sponsor is Sam Adams. Admission to this event is free. For a full schedule visit

16th Annual Breckenridge Oktoberfest, September 17-19: Unlike some of the other Oktoberfest, this festival features authentic German Paulaner beer, one of my favorites. The festival is held on picturesque Main Street, with traditional costumes, German food, Oompa and polka music, Bavarian dancers, children’s activities, a keg-tapping ceremony, a 5K run and more. Admission to Breckenridge Oktoberfest cost $5. For more information visit

Greeley’s Oktoberfest 2010, September 24-25: I have it on good authority (an accordion player) that this is an awesome small town Oktoberfest. Greeley, Colorado is steeped in German heritage, and the town has been celebrating Oktoberfest since 1971.

The festival is held in historic Lincoln Park and features everything from polka music to a rye bread bakeoff. In addition there will be a brat toss, a beer barrel roll race, and even a life size beer pong tournament (this I have to see).

Admission is free to Greeley’s Oktoberfest. Bring the entire family and enjoy a day of the live music, dancing, beer and yummy German food. For a schedule visit downtown Greeley online.

If you need to brush up on your  Chicken Dance skills, here’s a little instructional video from the Lawrence Welk  Show:

Why is September so great? Oktoberfest

Coloradoans likes beer.   We have a lot of breweries.   In fact, we produce more beer here than in any other state.    Not surprisingly  towns across Colorado embrace Oktoberfest.

The real Oktoberfest is held each year in Munich, Germany, where Germans and tourist alike consume 1.5 million gallons of beer during the 16-day event. The event starts in September and usually last into the first part of October.

The tradition was started in 1810, to celebrate the October 12th marriage of a royal German couple. This festival was focused around a horse race, not beer.   Each year the anniversary of the original event was celebrated and each year it got a little bigger.  

Eventually the start date of the festival was moved forward to September in order to provide better weather for the partygoers.   The introduction of beer to the festival started sometime in the late 1800s when the city began allowing beer stands on festival grounds.   These small white tents under eventually evolved into the large white tents we associate with Oktoberfest in Munich today.

During the month of September, Coloradoans have quite a few Oktoberfest festivals to choose from.   The two largest are the Breckenridge Oktoberfest and Oktoberfest Denver.

The year’s Breckenridge Oktoberfest runs September 19-20. It’s the town’s 15th annual Oktoberfest.   The picturesque mountain  community shuts down Main Street for the event, which includes German food, polka music, dancing, and of course, lots and lots of beer.   For more information visit GoBreck.

Oktoberfest Denver occupies two weekends in September, 18-20 and 25-27.   It is one of the city’s longest running festivals, 40 years, and also one of the largest Oktoberfests in the country. To learn more visit

Many smaller communities  across the state are  also celebrating.

Greeley is celebrating their 38th Annual Oktoberfest on September 26, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. at Historic Lincoln Park.

Fort Collins will celebrate the same day, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Civic Center Park.

Longmont will celebrate September 11-13 at Roosevelt Park.

I’m sure there are many Oktoberfest around the state I haven’t mentioned.   If your town has an Oktoberfest, tell HeidiTown all about it!

And last, but not least, all these festivals are free!

"The Reader" – a mixed review


Rated R

Directed by Stephen Daldry

Starring Kate Winslet, Ralph Fiennes, David Kross, Hannah Herzprung, Karoline Herfurth

Heidi’s Illustrious Rating: 3

Word of Warning: Graphic sex scenes, this one is not for those who blush easily.  





I’ve been watching previews of this movie for month and I really wanted to like “The Reader.” It was recently nominated for an Oscar in the Best Picture category, and Winslet snagged a nomination for Best Actress, as well as a win at the Golden Globes. After the nominations, I thought I’d love it, but I have now seen “The Reader,” I have mixed feelings abou the movie.  

Read the rest of this review HERE.



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