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Featured Festival: Loveland Oktoberfest 2017

Call me an Oktoberfest snob, but I believe it takes more than beer and pretzels to make a great Oktoberfest. This year, Loveland Oktoberfest, held at Grimm Brothers Brewhouse, has many of the right ingredients to be called the best Oktoberfest in Northern Colorado.

Featured Festival Loveland Oktoberfest 2017 Neue Polka Colorado 1

Neue Polka Colorado

Of course, it’s about the bier

First of all, Oktoberfest is about good beer and Loveland’s festival will feature six of the city’s award winning breweries, and for fun, they’ve invited Wibby from down the road in Longmont. In addition to Grimm and Wibby, breweries in attendance are Verboten, Loveland Aleworks, Crow Hop, Big Beaver, Buckhorn Brewers and Big Thompson.

Loveland Oktoberfest

That’s me! At Loveland Oktoberfest 2015.

New this year is the Baron Berliner Bar, which will feature Grimm’s traditional Berlinerweisse called The Baron, with multiple flavored syrups available for festival goers to create their own Berliner experience.

It’s about the music 

Second of all, Oktoberfest is about German music. I am super excited that this year, not only will Loveland Oktoberfest feature two authentic polka bands, Neue Polka Colorado and Polka Folka, but also DJ KAAOS.

Featured Festival Loveland Oktoberfest 2017 Neue Polka Colorado

Neue Polka Colorado

Just like at Oktoberfest at Munich, DJ KAAOS will spin all sorts of German music including Die Fantastischen Vier, Rammstein, Jurgen Birlinger and much more. This is one of the most unique things happening at Loveland Oktoberfest and I can’t wait.

It’s about the food

This year’s Loveland Oktoberfest will feature pretzels from Styria Bakery (these are the real deal, folks), pastries from Sweet European Treats (Mayor approved) and the Colorado Candy Company is making something special just for the fest. In addition, authentic German cuisine will be catered for the event. No one will go hungry at Loveland Oktoberfest.

Featured Festival Loveland Oktoberfest 2017 ribbon candy from Colorado Candy Company

Ribbon candy made especially for Loveland Oktoberfest 2017.

It’s about the games & ambiance

Come in your best German garb and participate in the Best Dressed Costume contest on Saturday at 2 p.m. Other contests will be held during the fest including a Stein Hoisting event and a Hammerschlagen tournament to benefit Kiwanis (the champion wins free beer for a year).

Featured Festival Loveland Oktoberfest hammerschlagan pic

Hammerschlagan is fun, just ask John Metcalf!

Several local university German Clubs will be on hand to help you practice a little Deutsch, the official language of Germany and Austria, and one of the three official languages of Switzerland.

Barbarian Dinner Banner Ad

Party like a barbarian on Thursday

The kick off to Loveland Oktoberfest is the Barbarian Dinner on Thursday, September 14. This is like no other beer dinner you’ve ever attended (I guarantee). While Loveland Oktoberfest is free to attend, Barbarian Dinner is a ticketed event. Learn more & purchase tickets here.

Loveland Oktoberfest 2017

Loveland Oktoberfest is 100% family-friendly. There will be activities for the bigs and littles, so grab grandma and the kiddos and make your way to Loveland, Colorado this September.

Loveland Oktoberfest

FREE ADMISSION

Grimm Brothers Brewhouse (click for map)

Friday, September 15 | 4 to 9 p.m.

Saturday, September 16 | 12 to 9 p.m.

LovelandOktoberfest.org

Join this event on Facebook

Follow Grimm on Twitter

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Featured Festivals spots on HeidiTown are paid advertisements. If you’d like to have your festival or event considered for a feature contact TheMayor@HeidiTown.com. Thank you!

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FEATURED FESTIVAL: Front Range Rally, a Craft Beer & Food Truck Festival

If you like craft beer and food, you won’t want to miss Front Range Rally, one of Northern Colorado’s biggest and best beer festivals. I’ve been attending this event for a number of years and it’s one of our favorite Colorado beer festivals. 

The nitty gritty details

There are currently 44 breweries signed up to attend Front Range Rally in Loveland, Colorado. There are also nine vendors featuring other beverages such as cider, mead and spirits.

Most of Loveland’s local breweries will be in attendance, as well as a few Denver and out-of-state breweries including Melvin Brewing out of Jackson, Wyoming, who won a GABF gold medal for their IPA.

Front Range Rally beer shot Grimm

Loveland’s own Grimm Brothers Brewhouse at Front Range Rally. Photo by Emily Sierra Photography.

This event also features ten food trucks with offerings varying from barbecue to pizza to cheese curds and deviled eggs. Please note that food is not included in the price of your ticket and must be purchased separately.

I recently indulged in the deviled eggs from Yolk’n Around and I can tell you that they are delicious. I recommend the bacon/avocado. I also love, love, love the bacon wrapped jalapenos from Bedrock BBQ (you’d better bring them, Lance!), and you can never go wrong with wings from the Wing Shack.

Front Range Rally Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer, Mayor of HeidiTown

Hey, that’s me! Chowing down on wings at Front Range Rally. Photo by Emily Sierra Photography.

In addition to the beer and food, Front Range Rally always welcomes great musicians to their festival stage.

It’s good to be a VIP at Front Range Rally

Tap & Handle is catering the VIP section at Front Range Rally this year and they will provide four beer and food pairings. This means that while general admission tickets do not come with food, VIPs tickets do.

Front Range Rally VIP area

VIPs getting exclusive tastings at Front Range Rally. Photo by Emily Sierra Photography.

VIPs also get an hour extra at the festival (early entry at 1:30), access to the VIP Lounge which features exclusive beer varieties, complimentary hors d’oeuvres, shaded seating and my favorite, access to a private VIP only restroom.

I believe that splurging for VIP tickets at this festivals is well worth it. Plus, your money goes to a good cause.

Drink for a good cause

One hundred percent of the net proceeds from Front Range Rally go to the Food Bank for Larimer County. That’s right folks, this event, which takes a small army to organize and produce – is entirely run by volunteers.

The Food Bank for Larimer County distributed 9.2 million pounds of food in 2016 to low-income residents throughout the county.

By buying a ticket to Front Range Rally, you are helping support this great, local nonprofit.

Front Range Rally

May 20, 2017

2:30 to 7 p.m. (GA) / 1:30 to 7 p.m. (VIP)

2600 N. Lincoln Avenue in Loveland, Colorado

General Admission $40 / VIP $65 / DD $10

Purchase Tickets Here

FrontRangeRally.org

Join Front Range Rally on Facebook

Follow Front Range Rally on Twitter

#FrontRangeRally

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Featured Festivals spots on HeidiTown are paid advertisements. If you’d like to have your festival or event considered for a feature contact TheMayor@HeidiTown.com. Learn more about marketing with HeidiTown here. Thank you!

Featured Festival: Governor’s Art Show, Loveland, Colorado

I’ll never forget the first time Ryan and I attended the Governor’s Art Show & Sale in Loveland, Colorado. We love art and art galleries and visit many during our travels and to say that we were impressed by this show would be an understatement. The collection of artwork curated for this juried show is truly a cut above.

Governor's Art Show & Sale 2016 2

All photos courtesy of Governor’s Art Show & Sale.

Loveland, Colorado has been known for art since the 1970s when three bronze foundries called the town home. Over the years, the city’s reputation has grown beyond sculpture and many different types of artists have been drawn to this Northern Colorado community.

It’s appropriate that for the past quarter of a decade Loveland has hosted the largest juried art show to feature only Colorado artists. The 26th annual Governor’s Art Show will kick off on April 28 with a Preview Party and Gala and the show will run through May 28. 

Governor's Art Show & Sale 2016

Hundreds entered, but only twenty percent of the artwork submitted, a total of 56 artists, were chosen for this year’s show and more than half of those artists are new to the Governor’s Art Show. Artworks of various mediums, techniques and styles will be represented. See list of selected artists here.

On May 20, the Plein Air Festival, in association with the Governor’s Art Show, will take place in various locations around Loveland. This event is your opportunity to see more the 50 painters from across Colorado at work in downtown Loveland, at Sweetheart City Wines and beyond. See a list of locations here. The festival is followed by an auction held at the Rialto Theater.  

Governor's Art Show & Sale Plein Air Festival

While exhibit admission to the Governor’s Art Show is just $5, there is free admission to the show during Loveland’s second Friday art walk, Night on the Town, Friday, March 12, 6 to 9 p.m. and the last day of the show, May 28.

If you go to one art show this year, this should be it. At just $5, you’ve got no excuse not to visit.

Governor’s Art Show & Sale

GovernorArtShow.org

GALA – April 28, 2017

Purchase Gala tickets here

SHOW – April 29 to May 28, 2017

Admission $5 (tickets available at the door)

Join the Governor’s Art Show on Facebook

Loveland Museum Gallery

(show hours are museum gallery hours)

503 N. Lincoln Avenue

Loveland, CO 80537

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The Governor’s Art Show is presented by Loveland and Thompson Valley Rotary Clubs, directed by Pam Osborn and endorsed by the Governor of Colorado. It requires year-round planning, a budget exceeding $100k and many hours of volunteerism. All proceeds will benefit Rotary-sponsored charitable projects and causes, including scholarships for local art students.

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Featured Festivals spots on HeidiTown are paid advertisements. If you’d like to have your festival or event considered for a feature contact TheMayor@HeidiTown.com. Thank you!

Three Comfy Colorado Cabin Getaways in the Mountains

When I was a kid, if my family wasn’t camping, we were staying in a cabin. Whether it was at a KOA in Ouray or a primitive cottage in Yellowstone, we were cabin people, and I still am.

Three Comfy Colorado Cabin Getaways in the Mountains, Fireside Inn Cabins, Pagosa Springs. HeidiTown.com

Fireside Inn Cabins, Pagosa Springs, Colorado.

Here are three very different Colorado cabin getaways in the mountains that I love.

A Cabin by the River

Fireside Inn Cabins, Pagosa Springs

FiresideCabins.com

We recently stayed in Cabin #7 at Fireside Inn Cabins in Pagosa Springs, Colorado during Winterfest. Open year round, these cabins are far from rustic. They offer all the conveniences of home including flat screen televisions and small kitchenettes.

During the summer, guests can bask in the sun on the banks of the San Juan River that flows next to the property. In the winter, there’s an enclosed hot tub for soaking weary muscles after a long day at Wolf Creek Ski Area, just 25 minutes away. Continue reading

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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Featured Festival: NoCo Mini Maker Faire 2016

Maker

Noun

1. A person or thing that makes or produces something

“A cabinetmaker”

          Synonyms; creator, manufacturer, constructor, builder, producer, fabricator, inventor, architect, designer

         “The makers of fine furniture”

2. God; the Creator

noco_mmf_logos_logo

I have a real affinity for makers. After all, my husband designs and builds furniture, so “making stuff” plays an important role in our lives.

A decade ago, the first Maker Faire was held in California. Since then, the movement has grown, and today there are maker faires across the world. A Maker Faire is a celebration of arts, crafts, engineering, science projects and the DIY mindset.

The 4th NoCo Mini Maker Faire, held in Loveland, Colorado, continues to grow, and with growth comes change. This year, the event is being held in a new location, inside the First National Bank Building at The Ranch Events Complex.

More than 100 Makers converge on Loveland for this event, which kicks off with an adults-only party on Friday, October 7, called Sparks & Spirits. Cocktails will be provided by local distillers and entertainers include Rubens Tube fire and music, interactive light art from Solid State Depot and Mystica body paint.

Featured Festival NoCo Mini Maker Faire Mystica body paint

One of my favorite gin makers, Golden Moon Distillery, will be there, along with a nice lineup of other Colorado makers of fine spirits such as Syntax Spirits from Greeley. Distiller, Heather Bean, makes small-batch vodka, whiskey and rum from grain-to-glass using all Colorado ingredients.

Featured Festival NoCo Mini Maker Faire Sparks & Spirits fire art

The Noco Mini Maker Faire is an family affair. On Saturday and Sunday, children are more than welcome and in fact, encouraged to attend. A maker faire is an excellent place for a inquisitive child. 

Featured Festival NoCo Mini Makers Faire is for children too

Attendees will be inspired, awed and intrigued. Some makers are students, while others are adults. Exhibits include everything from social robotics from Robauto to creative music makers, Serenity Forge. In addition, there will be several community art projects including a Chalkboard Art Car where guests can give voice to their creative expression. And fresh from Burning Man, no one will be able to miss the 30-foot DaVinci Flying Machine.

featured-festival-noco-mini-maker-faire-legos

Attendees can expect to spend hours strolling through the event, chatting with makers and getting hands on with various projects and games.

A maker event is where the left and right brain merge to create amazing, innovative and beautiful things.

NoCo Mini Maker Faire

October 8-9, 2016

Location: The Ranch Events Complex, Loveland, Colorado

Advanced ticket prices $10 adults, $6 child/student

Sparks & Spirits, Friday evening, October 7

Advanced ticket price $50

CLICK HERE to purchase tickets

MakerFaireNoCo.com

Join this event on Facebook

Follow @NocoMakerFaire 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.

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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Spend Valentine’s Day in Loveland, Colorado

Three years ago I got together for drinks with two good friends, Christine Forster, owner of My Big Day Events and Mechelle Martz-Mayfield, owner of NOCO Short Bus Tours. That’s when we developed My Big Date, the first-ever Valentine’s Day tour packages in Loveland, Colorado.

My Big Date, Valentines Day in Loveland, Brunch & Brew Tour Two. Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer (13)

My Big Date, Valentine’s Day tours in Loveland, Colorado.

This year, we’re at it again and the My Big Date tours are better than ever. We even have a hotel partner offering discounted rates to our attendees. This is especially important because it’s difficult to get a hotel room in Loveland on Valentine’s Day weekend – most hotels book up.

Our tours are so good that our VIP Brunch & Brew tour on 2/14/16 is already sold out, but there are still available tours on 2/13/16. Continue reading

A nature walk at Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch

Our second day at Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch  in Loveland, Colorado, we woke to the sounds of birds chirping cheerily in the trees outside our cabin. Trees play a large part in the history of Sylvan Dale, in fact, a lot of the trees around the cabins have dedications.

One tree is dedicated to a couple who met at the ranch many years ago; there has been more than one love affair that started at Sylvan Dale. Four generations later, the family that blossomed from that love still comes to the guest ranch every summer.

Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch in Loveland, Colorado. Nature Walk. HeidiTown.com

Be sure to ask the story of the Sylvan Dale’s apple trees when you visit.

Breakfast was French toast made from Sylvan Dale’s famous cinnamon bread.   While I’m more of a savory and spicy food person, Ryan’s favorite breakfast item is French toast and he gave these an A++. Chef Scott grilled them up fresh while we munched on fresh fruit and yogurt and fueled up on coffee.

We needed fuel for our day ahead which included a nature hike with Dr. David Armstrong, Susan’s husband, and a horseback ride. Continue reading

An escape to Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch

Want to get away from it all, but don’t want to drive far? Check out Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch in Loveland, Colorado. Just one hour north of Denver, once you arrive at Sylvan Dale you’ll feel a million miles from civilization. In fact, you may feel as though you’ve time traveled to another century.

Hello from Sylvan Dale guest Ranch in Loveland, Colorado. HeidiTown.com

Hello from Sylvan Dale guest Ranch in Loveland, Colorado.

We had the opportunity to spend a night at Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch during their “Swing into Spring” getaway weekend. Traditionally a guest ranch where guests stay for a week at a time, Sylvan Dale has recently added short-term stays to their offerings.

When we arrived, Susan Jessup gave Ryan and I a tour of the property. She knows the ranch really well; after all, she grew up there. Her father bought the ranch in 1947, and Jessup’s love for the place is palpable. And it’s easy to see why – after less than 24 hours on the property, we had fallen in love with Sylvan Dale too. Continue reading

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