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

Join Front Range Rally on Facebook

Follow Front Range Rally on Twitter



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

HeidiTown Gives Back: Wine Fest & Disabled Resource Services

WineFest_logo_new colorHeidiTown Gives Back took a hiatus for a few months, but it’s back. I started the HeidiTown Gives Campaign in 2012, because I wanted to use the HeidiTown platform to help organizations that help Coloradans.

The nonprofit I’m highlighting this month is a service that exists to help folks in their most desperate time of need. No one ever wants to believes that they will need an organization like Disabled Resource Services (DSR), but we never know. In the blink of an eye a person can become disabled, whether it’s through a traumatic accident or serious illness, and DRS is there to help.

DRS assists people of any age and any disability in Larimer County to live with as much independence as their disabilities allow. Many of the people who seek the services of DRS are living in poverty and a significant number are homeless. Read how DRS changes lives on their website,

A guide dog at Wine Fest. All photos courtesy of DRS.

A guide dog at Wine Fest. All photos courtesy of DRS.

DRS’s biggest fundraiser of the year is just around the corner, and that’s where I come in. I’m using this blog post to encourage you to attend Wine Fest, a Fort Collins’ tradition for 34 years.

What’s Wine Fest?

While it’s held in Fort Collins, Colorado, Wine Fest is not a locals-only event. Seventeen percent of last year’s attendee came from outside of Northern Colorado. In fact, ticket sales show that 12 different Colorado cities were represented at the event.

Wine Fest, Fort Collins.

And people aren’t just flocking to Wine Fest to support a good cause, they are coming for the more than 500 wines from more than 150 wineries. Not wine drinker, but want to support the cause? Being that the event is held in the Napa Valley of Craft Beer, several years ago the festival organizers added craft beer tasting to the event.

Like many nonprofit fundraisers there is an auction and raffle, but in addition to those standard fundraising activities, there’s a wine luge. Yes, your Rosé will be poured into the top of this ice sculpture and will race down a serpentine route to the bottom where it will splash into a your waiting wine glass.

wine luge ice sculpture at Wine Fest in Fort Collins, Colorado.

In addition to wine, there’s also food served at Wine Fest. Catered by more than 10 of Fort Collins’ best eateries, guests will not go hungry at Wine Fest.

Wine Fest will be held Friday, April 1, 2016 at the Fort Collins Marriott Hotel in the evening. Purchase your tickets at

HeidiTown Gives Back: Wolves Offered Life & Friendship (W.O.L.F.)

Wolf logo small-webWolves are wild animals, and should remain wild animals. Unfortunately, people have been interbreeding domestic dogs and wolves for years, even attempting to keep wolves as pets; a misguided idea that never turns out well, and that’s where W.O.L.F. comes in.

Founded in 1995, and located northwest of Fort Collins, Colorado, this organization works to improve the quality of life for all wolves and wolf dogs. They have a rescue program that saves captive bred wolves and wolf dogs whose caretakers are no longer able to provide for them. They provide permanent homes for these wolves and wolf dogs with consideration for the animal’s physical and emotional requirements. Lastly, they educate the public about wolves.

Odin relaxing at WOLF. From Wolf Sanctuary on Facebook.

Odin relaxing at WOLF. From Wolf Sanctuary on Facebook.

I chose Wolves Offered Life & Friendship Sanctuary, aka W.O.L.F., as this month’s recipient of the HeidiTown Gives Back Campaign because I agree wholeheartedly with their mission. W.O.L.F. has developed a series of educational presentations and they stress that wolves belong in the wild and should not be bred with dogs or kept as pets. Continue reading

HeidiTown Gives Back: Colorado Animal Rescue Express (C.A.R.E.)

Colorado Animal Rescue Express logoI started the HeidiTown Gives Back Campaign exactly one year ago. I wanted to highlight some great Colorado charities by giving them one month of free ad space on, plus a blog post about the charity. I was inspired to do this in part, because I get asked to promote so many nonprofit events during the year. I can’t help them all, so I developed this program  as a way to give back to the community I love.

golden retriever from CARE

All photos from

This month’s recipient of the HeidiTown Gives Back campaign is Colorado Animal Rescue Express, or C.A.R.E.

This organization came to my attention by a fellow member of my People with Compassion for Pets giving circle.

I researched C.A.R.E., called and spoke to the founder, and am convinced that they are a worthy recipient of HeidiTown Gives Back. Continue reading

HeidiTown Gives Back Campaign: Café 180 (Englewood, Colorado)

It’s the first Monday in December and that means it’s time to unveil the recipient of the HeidiTown Gives Back Campaign. This month’s organization came to my attention through a citizen of my little town, and I’m so glad that she shared the story with me.

Cafe 180 logo

Café 180 is the brainchild of Julie Mihevc and Cathy Matthews. Their original idea was to create transitional housing in Englewood, but fate had other plans. Instead, following the “pay it forward” concept pioneered by SAME Café in Denver, they decided to open their own café  with a “pay what you can” mentality. Continue reading

HeidiTown Gives Back Campaign: Denkai Animal Sanctuary

brother and sister puppies at Denkai

A brother & sister wait for forever homes at Denkai Animal Sanctuary. Photo from Denkai's Facebook page.

Each month I introduce my readers to a nonprofit of my choice and that organization receives free ad space on HeidiTown, plus Facebook posts and tweets about the nonprofit for the entire month.

November’s recipient of the HeidiTown Gives Back Campaign is Denkai Animal Sanctuary  with locations in Greeley and Grover, Colorado.

If you’ve been reading HeidiTown for any length of time, you know that I’m an animal-person. Years ago, I actually spent a little bit of time volunteering at Denkai – walking dogs and hanging out in the cat room. That’s how they first got on my radar, but more recently my People With Compassion for Pets giving circle donated to Denkai.

Denkai has a mission of providing a combination of service for animals, at-risk youth and raising environmental awareness. They are one of only a few no-kill shelters in Colorado, and they take in all sorts of animals including livestock.

Denkai logoSeveral years ago, I interviewed the founder of Denkai, Floss Blackburn, for a local newspaper, and her hard work, determination and dedication is truly remarkable. Everything she does is for the love of animals.

Running an organization like Denkai is no easy task. This animal sanctuary is always in need of volunteers, donations, foster families for animals and every day items like soap and hay.

Please take a moment and LIKE Denkai on Facebook:

Denkai on Facebook

And check out their website:

Denkai’s website Gives Back: The Gabriel Foundation

Alex at TGF

Alex needs a home! Click on his photo to learn more about this inquisitive Yellow-Naped Amazon.

As a reminder, once a month I introduce a Colorado nonprofit to my readers, and give that nonprofit one month of free ad space on HeidiTown. I’m very excited about this month’s recipient of HeidiTown Gives Back because I’ve known about them since I moved to Colorado in 2000.

When we lived in Littleton, there was a bird store just down the street from our apartment. We fell in love with two conures at this shop and we would stop by frequently to play with them. Conures are a small parrots that love to clown around and seem to enjoy making people laugh.

The owners of the shop told us about The Gabriel Foundation because it was an organization they worked with on a regular basis. I can’t recall the name of the bird store, but I believe they were reputable bird owners/sellers because they never even asked us to buy a bird. They simply told us all the responsibilities that came with owning one, and I realized quickly that bird ownership wasn’t for me.

Charlie african grey

Charlie, a Congo African Grey at The Gabriel Foundation. Click on his photo to go to TGF's Facebook page.

I am enamored with African Grays parrots; their intelligence amazes me. In captivity, however, this bird can live up to sixty years, and that’s a commitment I am unwilling to make. Unfortunately, many people buy parrots without considering how long the bird will live or the specific type of care and attention it needs. That’s where The Gabriel Foundation comes in.

You can read the organization’s entire purpose/mission HERE, but in a nut shell, they are a parrot welfare organization that provides for the parrots in their care and works to educate the public on parrot issues. They have a variety of programs and provide an assortment of services in the areas of adoption, boarding, conservation, long-term foster care, relinquishment, rescue/rehabilitation and sanctuary.

The gabriel foundation logoBy highlighting The Gabriel Foundation this month, I hope to help them in their goal of educating the public about parrots. The intelligence of these birds is truly unique in the animal kingdom. They really are smarter than the average bear, or fish, or deer, or cat. However, smart animals require additional stimulus or they go a little crazy. I’m familiar with this phenomenon because I own one of the smartest dog breeds – a German Shepherd. She used to get bored and cause trouble in puppy class because she’d learn the command the first time and got tired of going over and over the same thing.

The organization’s website,, is currently undergoing a major facelift and will be unveiled at the end of October. In the meantime, The Gabriel Foundation is very active on Facebook and they are always posting cute photos and funny videos. Please go and LIKE their page now.

The Gabriel Foundation has two Colorado locations, and tours can be arranged.

HeidiTown Gives Back: Cal-Wood Education Center (Boulder, Colorado)

Cal-Wood Education Center logo

Nature has always played a significant role in my life. I was born in a hospital that overlooked the Pacific Ocean, I grew up in a house in the woods and we spent family vacations at National Parks across the western United States. Through these experiences I developed a relationship with nature, and an intense respect for the natural world, but this isn’t the case for everyone.

Many people never have the opportunity to experience the great outdoors. There are children who are never exposed to a forest or wildlife, and this can result in apathy towards nature, or even fear of nature.

This month’s HeidiTown Gives Back Campaign recipient is Cal-Wood Education Center located on a 1,200 acre property northwest of Boulder, Colorado, and dedicated to teaching people about the environment since 1981. The mission of this nonprofit is to offer a unique outdoor educational experience to youth and adults.

Hummingbird at Cal-Wood Education Center this Spring 2012. Photo courtesy of the organization's Facebook page.

The goals of Cal-Wood Education Center:

  1. To help all who come to Cal-Wood to develop a greater appreciation for the natural world.
  2. To offer environmental education to those who would not otherwise experience it.
  3. To provide unique educational opportunities in a mountain setting.

I am happy to be donating one free month of ad space to this worthy organization. If you’d like to learn more about how Cal-Wood Education Center achieves their goals, visit them online at You can also join them on Facebook here. Gives Back: Change Gangs

Change Gangs LogoIt’s already the first Monday in May 2012, and I’m announcing this month’s recipient of the Gives Back Campaign. Each month, a charity of my choosing receives free ad space on the blog and a write-up on the first Monday of the month.

This month’s organization, Change Gangs, is close to my heart because I am good friends with the founder, and I am one of the founders of the first Change Gang, People with Compassion for Pets (PWCFP).

So what is a change gang? It’s a virtual giving circle, but those are just fancy words that may not mean anything to you, so I will expand. A giving circle is when ordinary people come together and pool their donations in order to raise a larger amount of funds to donate to a specific cause. Currently there are two Change Gangs, PWCFP and Poverty Busters. If neither one of those gangs fits your passion for giving,  you are welcome to form your own Change Gang – the formula is already set, so it’s relatively easy.

Detroit Dog Rescue

Mellow is the sole survivor of a shooting rampage that left two other dogs dead. Mellow has recovered MIRACULOUSLY from his gunshot wounds and has been adopted into a wonderfully loving forever home! ~Detroit Dog Rescue

Here’s how my Change Gang, PWCFP, works. Currently, we have 11 members from across the United States – and one currently serving overseas in the US Army.  Every month we each give $25 to our gang, and each quarter we give away the money we’ve been raising. How do we decide what organization gets the money? Members can nominate  a deserving animal-related charity, and then at our monthly meeting we vote on which charity will get that quarter’s funds.  A few charities that have received monies from our gang include Longhopes Donkey Shelter (Colorado), Detroit Dog Rescue (Michigan) and Companion Animal Advocates (New Jersey).

I like belonging to this gang because it allows me to help deserving organizations in a bigger way than I could as just one individual. Since our gang formed in March 2011, we’ve given almost $2000 to animal charities, an amount I never could have given on my own.

To learn more about Change Gangs, go to

This YouTube video gives a straightforward explanation of what a giving circle is: Gives Back: Rocky Mountain Raptor Program

Rocky Mountain Raptor Program LogoI’ve always been fascinated by raptors. I grew up in an area heavily populated with bald eagles, and despite seeing them hundreds of times over the years, my sense of awe never went away.

Currently, there’s a red-tail hawk that I see regularly out on my daily walks with the dog. He no longer flies away when we walk beneath his giant cottonwood, but rather watches us closely should we try anything tricky.

I was first introduced to the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program  more than a decade ago at the  Colorado  Renaissance  Festival in Larkspur. Since learning about them at the festival, I have visited the facility twice and have written several freelance articles about the program.

Golden Eagle FB

Click on this photo of a Golden Eagle to head over to the RMRP's Facebook page!

I’m happy to announce that the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program  (RMRP) is the April 2012 recipient of free ad space on HeidiTown through my Gives Back Campaign.

The RMRP is located in Fort Collins, but they service approximately 100,000 square miles, an area about the size of the state of Colorado. They take in raptors from north of Longmont, well into Wyoming and all along the northeastern plains.

RMRP averages about one admission and several injured raptor calls each day, and more than 70% of treatable raptors are released for A Second Chance At Freedom. Several days each week they provide education programs somewhere in the region.

The program started in 1979, as a student club rehabilitating injured raptors. It has grown to seven staff members and 200 volunteers who put in thousands of hours each year. On average they take in 275 birds every year, although some year the number is much, much higher.

I would encourage you to visit the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program online at and browse this comprehensive site. Learn about the educational programs they offer and when and where you can meet their birds. I believe in what they do at RMRP, and hope that you will check them out.


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