Full disclosure: As a redhead with an Irish grandmother, I’m a big fan of St. Patrick’s Day. BIG.
Last year I finally attended the Lucky Joe’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Fort Collins, Colorado, and it’s a heck of a good time.
This is one of Fort Collins’ biggest parties of the year, with half the town coming out to witness the huge parade and after party in Old Town Square. Downtown Fort Collins literally becomes a sea of green, including the beer.
When we arrived in Fort Collins last St. Patty’s Day, Ryan and I were amazed to find the streets full of parade fans, and for good reason. It’s a premiere parade, with participates sticking with the theme of green, green, green. The streets get full, so get there early to find prime parade watching territory.
Families, college kids and leashed dogs all come together to celebrate one of my favorite holidays of the year.
The best part of this event, aside from the parade, are the bands that play in Old Town Square. Fort Collins keeps it authentic with Irish bands and pipe bands.
This year, stick around after the parade, stick around downtown to enjoy music with Irish bands such as Gobs O’Phun, The Commoners and TribU2, a U2 Tribute band. Guinness will be flowing along with Odells and green beer in Old Town Square. In addition you’ll find Irish food, green cotton candy, Bailey’s Irish Cream and Jameson Whiskey.
I’m not normally a fan of green beer, because it’s weird and not authentically Irish, however, last year we indulged and enjoyed our green beers.
This year the parade features over 80 floats and Colorado State University’s own Dr. Temple Grandin is the parade Grand Marshall.
Lucky Joe’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Fort Collins, Colorado
March 16, 2013
Parade route & more info can be found at
Several years ago I was walking through downtown Loveland, Colorado when I ran into a man carving a humongous ice block. We got to talking and I learned that he was helping bring a snow carving competition to Loveland.
I knew immediately that this would be the perfect fit for a city already internationally known for art and sculpture, and boasting one of the largest sculpture shows in the country every summer.
In a short amount of time I’ve watched Snow Sculpture in the Dark grow from a small snow carving festival into what is now a sanctioned snow sculpture event where the winners will go on to compete as Team Colorado in the U.S. National Snow Sculpting Competition.
Ten talented teams from across Colorado will converge on Loveland on February 5th to start working on their unique snow creations. They will work every day of the week, weather permitting, until 10 p.m.
While this event has become big time, the festival is a community party that has been embraced by the residents of Loveland. It starts with snow stomping at the beginning of the week. Local businesses put together teams of at least three people to stomp the snow in preparation for the sculptors. I’m very excited for this part of the week because this year I have a HeidiTown snow stomping team. If you’d like to put a team together go here to sign up.
The main event for the public gets underway on Friday, February 8, 2013. This is also the evening of Loveland’s monthly Night on the Town, art walk. In addition to art walk, downtown has put together lots of activities surrounding the snow sculpture event, such as a luminary walk, Valentine’s Day oriented fun at the Loveland Museum Gallery, entertainment at the Rialto Theater, an artisan show at The Majestic, horse-drawn carriage rides, and Loveland’s first-ever Still Parade.
What’s a Still Parade? Instead of the parade moving, the spectators move. The Still Parade, featuring floats, dance troupes, bands and more, will be held along Railroad Avenue from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 9, 2013 is going to be the perfect day to bring your kiddos to Loveland, Colorado to see the sculptures and participate in all sorts of family-friendly activities. There will be ice bowling, face painting, carriage rides, train rides, ice tick tack toe and more. You can also cast a vote for your favorite snow sculpture in the People’s Choice Awards. Awards will be presented at 3 p.m. on Saturday.
Insider’s tip: While in town, be sure to check out the 25 Ford Model A cars that will be parked in the lot north of 4th street and just east of Railroad Avenue.
I’m very excited to be a part of this unique Colorado event, and I hope that you will join me!
Snow Sculpture in the Dark
February 5-10, 2013
10 sculpture on 4th Street + a party in downtown
Please join Loveland Snow Sculpture on Facebook to win fun prizes!
It’s time for another segment of HeidiTown on the radio. If your curious about when these air, you can hear me at noonish on Wednesdays and during your drive home on Fridays around 5:30 p.m. on KRFC 88.9 FM.
Some of the info in this week’s segment will seem like old news to my avid readers, because I’ve already written about Berthoud Oktoberfest on previous occasions, but it will be new information for my radio audience.
This radio show also has some advice on traveling in Colorado during the fall. Both my birthday and my husband’s birthday are in the fall, and we tend to do weekend getaways to celebrate, so we’ve learned a lot about traveling the state during this time of year.
Listen to this week’s segment HERE.
This week’s radio segment on KRFC 88.9 FM is full of history and culture. Think you can handle that?
Have you ever wanted to party like a Italian in AD 79? Well, find out when and where you can.
Wondering about the new Fort Collins Museum of Discovery? Find out the schedule for the opening of this state-of-the-art facility.
Are you a bird lover like me? Find out where you can see birds portrayed by 60 different artists.
And more Colorado cultural stuff that will tickle your curiosity and enrich your mind.
It’s all in this week’s radio segment, so LISTEN HERE.
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.
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.
It’s Monday, and that means this week’s segment from KRFC 88.9 FM is here!
By the way, September 14-22 is KRFC’s membership drive. This is a 100% community run radio station and it takes donations to keep the doors open. There are all sorts of membership levels to choose from so become a member today and help keep shows like HeidiTown on the air!
Now on to our regular scheduled blog post.
Last week I wrote about agritourism, and on this week’s radio show I share some upcoming agritourism-related events happening around Colorado including harvest festivals and a top-notch foodie event in Denver.
My parents were fairly strict about movies when I was a child, but the 1971 musical, “Fiddler on the Roof,” was allowed in our home, and it became a childhood favorite. As a child, I also saw the play, and was enamored with it as well, so as you can imagine, I was looking forward to Candlelight’s production
Candlelight Dinner Playhouse is in its fifth season, and the well-appointed theater is located in Johnstown, Colorado, just south of Loveland, near the famed Johnson’s Corner.
We saw “Fiddler” on a Thursday night, and much to my delight our drink server was Bren Eyestone Burron. I’m a big fan of Bren, who appeared in my favorite production of “Chicago” a number of years ago at Boulder’s Dinner Theater.
Bren convinced me to try the one of the show’s drink specials, but I failed to write down the name. It was a twist on a Cape Cod, and arrived with a garnish of freshly sliced apples. Candlelight’s specialty drinks are always a delight. Ryan ordered a margarita, and was disappointed that it arrived in a pint glass. However, the marg was quite tasty, despite the glass.
Candelight changes up their menu to complement the show, and for “Fiddler” they opted for stuffed cabbage rolls and roasted green peppers, in addition to a chicken and fish dish, as well as the upgrades.
The stuffed cabbage rolls were delicious, but the roasted green peppers with quinoa, tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms, feta cheese and onions, served with a potato latke and steamed vegetables is a real winner. It may be a vegetarian dish, but it’s so flavorful you won’t miss the meat. Ryan declared it was the tastiest meal he’d ever eaten at a dinner theater – high praise coming from a serious meat eater.
Once the show got underway, the audience was transported to Russia, where a tightknit Jewish community is faced with changing times. The most unique part of this production is the set. The set design was influenced by the work of artist Marc Chagall (1887-1985).
Chagall’s art has a childlike whimsy, and his most famous paintings were of Jewish villages. His work was bright and simple, filled with nostalgia and a slightly fantastical picture of his people and their ancient religion.
The Candlelight has brought this whimsical approach to the stage with a quirky set that serves as functional art. I’m not going to try to describe the set in this review, but it adds a wonderful sense of joy to this story.
For those unfamiliar with “Fiddler on the Roof,” it is the story of Tevye, the dairyman, his wife, Golde and his five daughters. Tevye and Golde are played by real life husband and wife Patrick Sawyer and Melissa Swift-Sawyer. Their onstage connection is palpable, and their duets are the best in the show.
The music and dancing in this production had the audience tapping their toes, and at times, even singing along. After all, “If I Were A Rich Man” and “Sunrise, Sunset” are well-known and much-loved tunes.
As Tevye struggles to do what is right by his five daughters and by God, his good intentions are thwarted at every turn. His frustration comes out in song, and Patrick Sawyer’s portrayal of this exasperated father is truly moving.
I always talk about scene stealers when I write theater reviews, but Sawyer holds his own in this production of “Fiddler.” He is the star, and he lives up to the job. However, Barb Reeves as the matchmaker, Yente, has great comedic timing and managed to get the audience hooting with laughter on more than one occasion.
Despite being set in a Jewish community in Tsarist Russia, the 1964 musical, “Fiddler on the Roof,” is timeless. We can all related to Tevye struggles with a changing world, and his desire to do the right thing, even when the right thing proves to be the most difficult.
With an inspired set and standout performances “Fiddler on the Roof,” at Candlelight Dinner Playhouse, should be on your schedule this fall. It is playing now through October 28, 2012. Visit ColoradoCandlelight.com for show times and ticket information.
For those of you who may be new to HeidiTown, each week I have a radio segment on KRFC 88.9 FM in Fort Collins, Colorado. It’s a community-ran public radio station broadcasting around Northern Colorado and beyond. My HeidiTown segments run on Wednesday around 12:30 p.m. and Friday at 5:30 p.m.
This week I share about some fun things happening around Northern Colorado in September, including a car show this weekend and several community festivals. I also mention a favorite scenic fall drive, that I have blogged as well. Read “Scenic Autumn Drives in Colorado with a Destination” here.
Listen to this week’s show HERE.
As a reminder, I started the HeidiTown Gives Back Campaign in February 2012, as a way to highlight some great Colorado charities by giving them a blog post and free, one month ad space on HeidiTown.com. So far, five nonprofits have participated.
This month’s recipient of the HeidiTown.com Gives Back campaign is Larimer Animal-People Partnership.
This organization came to my attention several years ago because I write about events and LAPP holds the Doggie Olympics each September in Fort Collins. The 17th Annual Doggie Olympics is scheduled for Sunday, September 23, 2012.
I had the opportunity to researched LAPP last year while writing an article about working and therapy dogs for a local Northern Colorado magazine, and was truly moved by what this organization does.
The Larimer Animal-People Partnership was founded in 1990, and is affiliated with the Delta Society. Many of their members represent other animal-related or service organizations throughout the community.
What is the mission of Larimer Animal-People Partnership?
This is a group of people who believe in the power of the human-animal bond. Animals have healing abilities that are powerful and mysterious. I know this to be true because I’ve seen examples of it in my own life.
LAPP strives to encourage positive interactions between humans and animals. They work to increase public awareness of the significance of the human-animal bond by offering presentations and community service programs.
Community service programs including outreach at Crossroads Safehouse, a shelter for women and children experiencing domestic violence. Team members at LAPP also conduct library visits to read with children. Teams work with the counseling staff in the Teen Residential Treatment Center at Mountain Crest Psychiatric Hospital and routinely visit Oakbrook II, an independent living community for the elderly. LAPP teams are often involved in other community outreach programs involving animals.
I am happy to be donating free ad space to this worthy organization for the month of September, and I hope you will check out the Doggie Olympics on September 23 at Civic Center Park in Fort Collins, Colorado. This event is an opportunity for your dog to strut her stuff in a fun and safe environment. Learn all about the 17th Annual Doggie Olympics and register HERE.
To learn more about Larimer Animal-People Partnership go to COLAPP.org.