‘Tis the season for holiday-themed festivals and while craft shows and Christmas parades abound, here are a few unique events where you get to join in the fun.
Crowds of Santas Spotted in Breckenridge and Crested Butte, Colorado
There’s something particularly amusing about being surrounded by hundreds of Santas; boy Santas, girl Santas, tall Santas, short Santas, fat Santas, skinny Santas, pantless Santas (it happens). Here are two Colorado mountain festivals for folks who love Santa Claus and who like dressing up like the fat old fellow.
Race of the Santas, Breckenridge, Colorado
December 2, 2017
I’ve attended this event and can personally give it two white-gloved thumbs up. Race of the Santas is part of the Lighting of Breckenridge, a beautiful weekend tradition that involves the conversion of Breckenridge from a charming Victorian town to a charming Victorian town covered in holiday lights.
The Race of the Santas is seven blocks (0.75 miles) and contestants must dress like Santa. Some Santas who enter this race are serious runners while others, the Santa’s with a flask tucked into their black boot, are just there to have a good time.
You must register for this race by Friday, December 1, 2017. The race takes place on Saturday, December 2 at 4:30 p.m. Santa suits are for sale at the Breckenridge Welcome Center and Vertical Runner, a local running store. Contestants may also wear their own Santa costume.
Click here for more information on the Lighting of Breckenridge and Race of the Santas. If you’ve never visited Breckenridge during the holidays, it’s truly magical.
Santa Ski Crawl, Crested Butte, Colorado
December 9, 2017
Be part of history in Crested Butte this December and help break the World Record for the most skiing Santas at Crested Butte Mountain Resort. You can ski, snowboard or snowblade, but you must be dressed as Santa. This fifth annual event will attempt to break the record they set in 2015 which was 827 skiing Santas. Will YOU be number 828?
In addition to the event, this is a festive weekend to be in Crested Butte. There’s a Santa Pub Crawl for drinker Santas as well as $25 lift tickets for skier and riders decked out in full Santa suits (valid 12/9/17 only).
This is also the weekend of Crested Butte Mountain Resort’s Light up the Night and annual Christmas Tree lighting, so it’s a good time to be in town. Register for the race here.
Santa Stampede, Littleton, Colorado
December 16, 2017
Okay, so this is less of a fest and more of a race, but I thought I’d throw it on this list for good measure.
This 5K and 10K winds along the banks of the South Platte River in Littleton, Colorado, just southwest of Denver. The entire family is encouraged to join in this Colorado Runner Events race. All runners get a Santa hat with registration, but participants are encouraged to dress up as well.
The race’s start and finish grounds are located at Hudson Gardens and will feature more than 20 vendors. There will be a festive, holiday atmosphere. To register for this family-friendly fun run go here.
While most Friday festival posts are sponsored, this is not a sponsored post.
The following is the transcript from HeidiTown’s weekly radio segment on KRFC 88.9 FM in Fort Collins, Colorado. Covering the weekend of January 6-8, 2012.
Listen to the audio —> HERE.
Hi, my name is Heidi and I’m the mayor of HeidiTown.com, a blog about events, festivals and road trips around Colorado.
It’s looking like January is a rather quiet month in Northern Colorado, so if you know of an event or festival in the area please, please email me about it! You can reach me at TheMayor@HeidiTown.com.
Here in Fort Collins it’s First Friday Featuring Gallery Walk. Nineteen business participate from 6 to 9 p.m. It will be a great night to be in downtown. For more information and a list of all participating businesses and sponsors go to DowntownFortCollins.com.
This Friday at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds in Golden, Colorado, it’s the 38th Annual Cherrleyn Postage Stamp Show from 12 to 5 p.m. There will be 29 dealers and millions of stamps, postcards and postal history. This event is open to the public.
On Saturday, at the same venue it’s the Intermountain Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society’s 14th annual model railroading and memorabilia vendor extravaganza. The event runs from 9 to 4 with early bird entry at 7:15. Visit Jeffco.us/fair for all events taking place at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds.
This Saturday visit the Agricultural Heritage Center in Longmont on St. Vrain Road. Open from 10 to 5, the center is a place to learn about the rich agricultural history of Boulder County. This site focuses on 1900 to 1925 and the farm includes a farmhouse built in 1909 and furnished from that area, two barns, an outhouse, a milkhouse, a blacksmith shop and there are animals on the site seasonally. Tours start at 11 a.m. For more information visit BoulderCounty.org.
At the Plains Conservation Center in Aurora, families can learn about farm chores this Saturday starting at 9 a.m. Take a wagon ride to Wells Crossing and discover how pioneers survivied on the prairie help feed farm animals. More at PlainsCenter.org.
This is a good time of year to visit your local museum, and there are quite a lot of good ones all across Colorado. I’ve written about several of my person favorites on HeidiTown.com under the Museum tab.
Here’s a fun activity happening at SolVista Basin at Granby Ranch. From January 7 to April 7, from 5 to 8 p.m. every Saturday enjoying night skiing and tubing under the lights. Visit GranbyRanch.com for details.
On Sunday, January 8, it’s the start of a 48 year tradition in Breckenridge, Colorado. Ullr Fest takes place through January 14 and during this wacky week viking hats are the fashion accessory of choice in Breck. Ooler, is spelled Ullr and in Norse mythology he is the son of Sif and the stepson of Thor, the God of Thunder. Ullr loves the cold and loves to party and so does Breckenridge. This crazy festival includes Ullrlympics, where the Ullrympions fling frying pans for prizes, and it also includes a parade that entices 12,000 revelers to the streets of Breckenridge. Visit GoBreck.com for more details.
Thanks for listening!
Looking for something to do this weekend in Colorado?
It’s October and that means haunted houses and ghost tours, but there’s a lot of other stuff going on too.
From Durango to Fort Collins, it’s another exciting weekend to be living in Colorado.
For those of you who subscribe, you have to head over to HeidiTown.com to watch the video.
There’s so much going on at this time of year it’s impossible to cover it all. The best calendar of events for the State of Colorado is at the Denver Post online. They offer a comprehensive list of events that you can browse several different ways, including by type of event and date.
Today I’m going to share with you a few of my favorite Christmas events around Colorado.
Denver Botanic Gardens Trail of Lights – I have fond memories of strolling through the gardens on the arm of my then-boyfriend, now husband. A light snow was falling and the light displays around us seemed magical. We sipped on hot cider and purchased a bag of hot, freshly made kettle corn. Every time I eat kettle corn I think of this enchanted evening.
For times, and prices visit www.botanicgardens.org. I recommend taking your honey. You’ll look like a true romantic!
Denver Zoo Lights – I adore the Denver Zoo, but I didn’t think Zoo Lights would be very interesting. I was wrong. Several years ago we went to Zoo Lights with our friends and their three year old. You don’t see many real animals, but you’ll see lots of brightly lit replicas. This year the zoo features more than 150 animated animal sculptures across their 38 acres. Seriously, this is fun and not just for the kiddos!
For info visit www.denverzoo.org/zoolights.
Georgetown Loop Railroad & Georgetown Christmas Market – This is one of my favorite Colorado mountain towns and it’s only 45 minutes west of Denver. I’ve previously written about my experiences in Georgetown, and to read it click here. I have not had the chance to attend the Georgetown Christmas Market, but this event looks absolutely marvelous. It’s fashioned after an outdoor European marketplace and features entertainment, horse-drawn carriage rides, Santa Claus, and more. They even have hot roasted chestnuts! Admission is free to this event that runs December 4, 5, 11 and 12. For all the info visit www.historicgeorgetown.org.
While you are in town be sure to take a ride on the Georgetown Loop Railroad. During the holidays the train ride is themed Santa’s North Pole Adventure and Santa Claus is actually aboard the train! This will be a trip your child will remember for a lifetime. Visit www.georgetownlooprr.com for all the details.
Shopping Historic Downtown – During the holidays I like to do Christmas shopping in historic downtowns. This isn’t to say I don’t make an appearance at the mall, but it’s so much more enjoyable strolling the decorated streets of one of our charming towns. With unique shops and beautiful lighting displays, these are a few of my personal favorite Colorado downtowns during the holiday season.
Fort Collins: www.downtownfortcollins.com
Berthoud: With lots of road and sidewalk improvements finished over the summer, and the town lit of for the holidays, if you haven’t been to Berthoud lately, you’ve got to go. Check out Christmas in Berthoud here: http://christmasinberthoud.org/
Manitou Springs: www.manitousprings.org
Old Colorado City: www.shopoldcoloradocity.com
I’m quite sure there’s a downtown near you, and I encourage you to explore it this holiday season.
There are so many placed to take the kids trick-or-treating in Colorado, I’m not going to list any here. Please check your local paper or online entertainment calendar to find a place near you.
Fort Collins, CO – Old Fashion Halloween Party
Friday (that’s tonight!), 6 to 10 p.m. above the Fort Collins’ Rio Grande Restaurant
$20 for individuals, $10 for 17 and under, $50 for a family
This is an old fashion Halloween party, the kind you remember from childhood. Bring the kids in costume and enjoy games, entertainment and more. Appetizers and drinks provided by the Rio. Special prize for best WWII costume. Visit www.teresafunke.com for all the details on this family fun event.
Littleton, CO – Scare on the Square
Friday (that’s tonight!), 6 to 10 p.m.
Free with cash bar and food for purchase.
This is an adult Halloween party that includes music and entertainment. Dress in costume and enjoy a night of Frankenstein on the big screen and a performance of Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Learn more HERE.
Lafayette, CO – Dead Artist Ball
Friday (that’s tonight!), 7 to 10 p.m. at the Lafayette Library
$20 in advance, $25 at the door
Come dressed as your favorite musician or artist, thespian or poet and dance the night away at this adults-only affair. The evening includes wine, appetizers, costume contest and dancing to Halloween music provided by DJ Iron Feather. For more check out the Web site HERE.
Manitou Springs, CO – Emma Crawford Coffin Races
Saturday, parade at 12 p.m., the race follows
This is the 16th year of this creepy coffin race that races the length of Manitou Springs’ Front Street. I love this town, and I think you will too. If you’d like some free laughs, this is the event for you. For photos and details, find the race HERE on Facebook.
Colorado Springs, CO – Monster Brews Ball
Saturday, 5 to 9:30 p.m. at Historic City Auditorium
$25 at the door
This is exactly what it sounds like – a costume party with beer tasting. The evening also includes live music, a costume contest and prizes. Leave the kids at home and get your monster brew on! Learn more at www.monsterbrewsball.com.
It seems fall is a very busy season in Colorado, and there has been no lack of things for the Mayor to write about.
Here are just a few of the many events going on around this beautiful state. Have fun!
Arvada, CO – Festival of Scarecrows
Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., in Arvada’s Old Town (FREE)
Here’s a festival that is sure to put you in the mood for fall. In addition to dozens of scarecrows all over town, this festival has hayrides, a kids-in-costume parade, community booths, face painting, balloon tying and so much more. From age 1 to 101, this is fall fun for everyone! Check out more at www.ArvadaFestivals.com
Also in Arvada this weekend is the 100th Anniversary of the Arvada Water Town on Saturday, October 9. The celebration will take place at the foot of the Tower, beginning at 2 p.m. The Downtown Arvada Partnership will be providing free hayrides from the Scarecrow Festival to the Water Tower.
Denver, CO – One Sky One World International Kite Event
Sunday, at 10 a.m. at Stapleton’s Central Park (FREE)
Let’s go fly a kite! This is the 25th anniversary of this event that takes place in hundreds of locations worldwide each year on the second Sunday In October. The event features performances by iQuad, a stunt-flying team that performs choreographed kite routines and Alan Sparling, who flies hundred-foot kites. I think this sounds like a phenomenal event for the entire family and you can’t beat the price! Check it out online at www.oneskyoneworld.org.
Aurora, CO – Jack-O-Launch at PumpkinFest
Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at DeLaney Farm located at 170 S. Chambers Road (FREE)
Nothing is more satisfying than the sound of a splattering gourd. At least that’s what participants of this annual event think! Pumpkin launching devices are designed, tested and tweaked for this annual event that features a Jack-O-Launch contest complete with prizes. In addition to the intense competition this fall festival features hayrides, scarecrow making, music, a pumpkin patch and more. For more information go to the City of Aurora.
Littleton, CO – Pumpkin Festival
Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Denver Botanical Gardens at Chatfield, 8500 Deer Creek Canyon Road, Littleton
Cost: $6 for adults, $4 children, free for children 3 and under
This is a huge festival that includes free amusement rides, pony rides, entertainment stages, arts, crafts, cider, face painting, antique tractors and educational activities such as birds of prey from HawkQuest. There will also be ghost tours give at the historical homestead located at Chatfield. Of course, there will also be thousands of pumpkins. Bring the kids and let them pick out their own jack-o-lantern. For an additional fee visitors can visit the onsite corn maze.
Bonus: Kids in costume get in free!
Golden, CO – Knock Your Boots Off Beer Tasting & Chili Cook-Off
Saturday, from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. in downtown Golden
It’s the third annual Knock Your Boots off celebration on Arapahoe Street between 12th and 13th in Golden, Colorado. Taste chili samples from both amateur and professional chefs and wash it all down with 60 different beers from Coors, Molson, Miller, New Belgium, Oskar Blues, Boulder Beer, Flying Dog, and more. For more information visit www.2HourVacation.com.
Here are a few more events that caught my eye:
Peak at the Arts Global Artist Exchange Festival, Colorado Springs, CO – This event runs Friday and Saturday. It’s a festival of dance, music and visual art. For location and tickets visit www.peakattearts.com.
International Food Festival, Fountain, CO – Fountain Valley Senior Center is hosting a food festival that will be fun for young and old alike. Adults are just $12, while children 12 and under are $6. Come and experience the foods of the world. Call (719) 520-6470 for tickets.
Culinary Arts Wine & Brew Fest, Glenwood Springs, CO – Wine, beer and delicious food all served up at one of my favorite venues , the grand and historic Hotel Colorado. Visit www.GlenwoodArts.org for all the delicious details.
Note from the Mayor: Don’t forget, it’s the last weekend for many Saturday markets including Lyons Outdoor Market located in lovely downtown Lyons. Running Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.. this market features art, food and music. Say goodbye to summer at the market. Visit www.lyonsoutdoormarket.com for more information.
Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer (The Elders at Loveland’s Foote Lagoon on July 9, 2009)
Celtic music is in my blood, literally. My Scottish and Irish genes co-mingled to make me an undeniable descendant of the Celts, complete with red hair and freckles and a propensity to sunburn. From childhood the tunes of the fiddle, drum and bagpipe have inspired me to move. Throughout my life I have loaded up on Celtic music CDs from Celtic Women to the Proclaimers, if the music was related in some way to Ireland or Scotland, I had to have it.
Over four years ago, at Loveland’s Foote Lagoon, I was introduced to a band called The Elders, and I am now a disciple. Since that fateful summer evening, my husband and I have seen the Elders perform over a ten times. We have bought all their CD’s and regularly give their CD’s as gifts (we are working to convert others to The Elders discipleship).
Hailing from Kansas City, Missouri, The Elders formed in 1998, and have gone on to become a successful and well loved band. Every summer they pull in over 3,000 people to Loveland’s Foote Lagoon, making them the most popular group by far to ever play the venue. This year, the band broke it’s own record by drawing over 4,000 people to the Northern Colorado venue.
The Elders live show is a must-have life experience. Their on-stage energy is truly infectious. Though the group calls their style “Arse-kickin’ music from the heartland,” front man Ian Byrne, from County Wicklow, Ireland gives the band an authentic Irish flare. The talent of the band members is mind blowing. Guitarist Steve Phillips, violinist Brent Hoad, bassists Norm Dahlor, drummer Tommy Sutherland, and keyboardists Joe Miquelon, always appear to be having as much fun as the audience. I especially love watching Brent Hoad; he flies through the notes on his fiddle at such a furious pace I expect to see smoke rising from the strings.
The audience at an Elders show is diverse and depending on the venue, there are often entire families in attendance. When the band visits the Loveland, a number of pint-size dancers collect at the edge of the lagoon and predictable end up in the murky waters.
The Elders are also gifted songwriters. From fish tales and pub tales to more somber themes such as the historical struggles of the Irish, each song tells a story and paints a picture. I particularly enjoy the fact that the words of each song are intelligible and singing along becomes inevitable.
There will be many chances this summer to see The Elders perform live. Last night the band played at the Foote Lagoon in Loveland and here’s where they will be over the next several days.
July 10, Cheyenne, Wyoming – on the Plaza – free, 5:30 p.m.
July 11-12, Littleton, Colorado – Colorado Irish Fest – both evenings
July 14, Aspen, Colorado – Belly Up – free show, starts at 10:00 p.m.
July 15 Crested Butte, Colorado – Wednesday night summer concert series- Red Lady Stage at 5:30pm
To see The Elders entire schedule, go to www.eldersmusic.com.