I think swing music is happy music, and that’s why I love the Glenn Miller Swing Festival in Fort Morgan, Colorado. This is a happy event that celebrates one of this town’s favorite sons, Glenn Miller.
World famous big band musician, Glenn Miller, went to high school in Fort Morgan. The story goes, in addition to football, as a high schooler, Miller loved music and skipped his own graduation ceremony to head to Laramie, Wyoming to play in a band. His mother had to pick up his diploma for him.
While Miller’s life story didn’t have a happy ending — he was lost in a plane disappearance during WWII at the age of 40 — the Eastern Colorado town of Fort Morgan annually honors his memory with festivities.
The Grand Plan
A true Americana kind of town, Fort Morgan is an idyllic place to celebrate this style of music, and for three days the town comes alive with the sound of brass and drums.
Part community festival, part music festival, Glenn Miller Swing Fest welcomes swing music aficionados from around the country to partake in the event.
This is a sort of “pick and choose your adventure” sort of festival with a variety of events starting on Thursday evening and ending on Saturday night. The schedule includes history presentations about Glenn Miller, a community barbeque, social cocktail gatherings, Glenn Miller movies, a street dance and more. Nearly all of these events include live music.
A Swingin’ Kind of Town
Only an hour from Denver, Fort Morgan, located in Morgan County, is where the “prairie meets the sky,” and I’m here to tell you that it’s a beautiful and somewhat under appreciated area of Colorado.
One of my favorite Thai restaurants is located in Fort Morgan, Little Bamboo, and one of the state’s most fantastic Italian restaurants, O’ Sole Mio Trattoria Italiana is also in town.
This isn’t the big city and the sidewalks roll up at night, but that’s part of Fort Morgan’s charm. It’s a true throwback, the kind of place that still has an old-fashioned movie theater on Main Street.
Whether you go for the day or the weekend, Glenn Miller Swing Fest in Fort Morgan is a toe tappin’ good time. For more info on where to stay, where to eat and what to do in Morgan County, visit MorganCountyTourism.com.
Glenn Miller Swing Festival
August 17-19, 2017
Events take place around Fort Morgan, Colorado
*some events are ticketed (see festival website for details)
Note from the Mayor: This event has a big heart as well as strong community roots and is one of the festivals that inspired me to focus on Colorado’s small town festivals back in 2010. I am delighted that individuals within Fort Morgan and Morgan County recognize the benefits of continuing this unique festival.
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!
Ryan and I hadn’t been out in the big city since the fall, so when we read that the Colorado Symphony was playing Beethoven, we decided it was time for a Denver date night.
We used to frequent the Colorado Symphony quite often. In fact, for several years we bought concert packages to the CSO, giving us an excuse for a Denver date night every month. The Colorado Symphony has all sorts of subscription packages available, making it easy to pick and choose the number of symphonies you want to attend and which shows.
We started our Denver date night at TAG Restaurant on Larimer Street, an eight minute walk from Boettcher Concert Hall. This restaurant has been on my radar for awhile now and this was the perfect opportunity to give it a try.
The food scene in downtown Denver has come a long way since we lived in the Mile High City in the early 2000s.
Chef Troy Guard, who opened TAG in 2009, is a big part of the city’s culinary expansion. He has opened a number of restaurants since, and there are still more in the works. Guard’s restaurants elevate food, while still making it approachable, and I think this is why he’s so well-loved by Denver foodies. Continue reading
It’s time for another dinner theater review and this time I went back to Candlelight Dinner Playhouse in Johnstown, Colorado for “Oklahoma!” I’ve been going to theater since I was just a little girl, but I had never seen a production of this famous play until last week.
Today, “Oklahoma!” is considered a wholesome family musical and is often performed at high schools and even middle schools, so it’s difficult to think of it as ground breaking, but when “Oklahoma!” hit theaters in 1943, it broke the rules. First, the musical begins with just one person singing, and this was unusual. At the time, musicals always opened with a score performed by the ensemble cast. Secondly, a ballet takes place during the play, something that had never been done before.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with dinner theater… continue reading this review by clicking here.
I think this is one of the most unique festivals in Colorado.
Celebrate the music of Fort Morgan’s favorite and most famous son at the Glenn Miller SwingFest, June 23-26, 2011.
I had the opportunity to stop by the Greeley History Museum yesterday after an interesting meeting with the executive director of the Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra. The orchestra, like the rest of Greeley, has a rich history and the Greeley History Museum is the place to go for the full story.
Current exhibits include a comprehensive look at the 100-year Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra, and the history of Weld County’s many, many towns – some that no longer exists and others that are thriving. My favorite exhibit was Headwear & Hatpins, featuring original hats and photographs of the many strong women who have called Greeley home. Read all about my visit to the Greeley History Museum here.
1. The gift of dinner & theater. This is the gift of an entire evening of fun, including dinner and a show. We are lucky to have several excellent dinner theaters nearby, including my favorite, Boulder’s Dinner Theater. You can read my past review of one of their shows by clicking here.
If you live in Northern Colorado check out Carousel Dinner Theatre in Fort Collins (www.adinnertheatre.com), Union Colony Dinner Theater in Greeley (www.ucdinnertheatre.com) or Candlelight Dinner Playhouse in Loveland (www.coloradocandlelight.com). For my review of a past show at Candlelight click here.
Also consider a gift certificate to the Dinner Detective with shows in Fort Collins, Golden, Denver and Colorado Springs. See my review of a Dinner Detective show here. For tickets go to www.thedinnerdetective.com.
2. The gift of music. How about giving a gift certificate to the Colorado Symphony Orchestra? Several years ago my husband and I had season tickets to the CSO, and it was wonderful. We looked forward to each symphony event because it was a built-in date night in Denver. Instead of an entire season, you can also purchase smaller packages that include a grouping of specific shows. Visit www.coloradosymphony.org to find out more.
If you live in Northern Colorado check out the Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra at www.greeleyphilharmonic.com, or the Fort Collins Symphony, www.fcsymphony.org, currently running a buy one, get second one half off of their flex passes.
Do you know someone who loves jazz? Buy them tickets to the University of Northern Colorado Jazz Festival. The 41st annual festival runs August 28-30, 2011 and is the largest festival of its kind in the country.
3. The gift of membership to a local museum or zoo. For many individuals and families a membership to a local museum or zoo is a gift that they will use again and again, and museum or zoo membership comes with benefits.
For example, a family membership at the Fort Collins Museum & Discovery Center costs $70 (individual, $35) and benefits includes unlimited access to the FCMDC, discounts on programs, workshops and at the museum store, free newsletter and advanced schedule of events, exclusive new exhibit previews and free admission to ten other Colorado museums including the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.
4. The gift of artisan beer or liquor. Need to find something for the person who has everything? I recommend a growler of craft beer or a nice bottle of craft liquor. In Northern Colorado we have a brewer on every corner, but I like Grimm Brothers Brewhouse. These guys specialize in German style beers, a unique option for Coloradoans. You can purchase a full growler for just $13, and your gift recipient can refill his/her growler for $9. Find Grimm Brothers online at www.grimmbrosbrewhouse.com, or on Facebook.
While already well known for beer, the craft distillery business is making its mark in the rocky mountain region. Colorado is ranked fourth in number of distilleries in the state and one of the newest and finest is located in Loveland, Colorado. Dancing Pines Distillery opened this past summer and they make several varieties of artisan spirits including a chai liqueur that is already tremendously popular. A bottle of any of their top-shelf spirits would make a splendid gift. Visit Dancing Pines on Facebook by clicking here.
5. The gift of bed & breakfast. My husband and I love staying in bed and breakfasts, even if it’s close to home. Buying someone a gift certificate for an overnight stay in a fabulous B&B is like buying them a miniature vacation. For instance, why not buy a Denverite a stay in a Golden, Colorado? Or a Fort Collins resident a stay in Denver?
My favorite website for finding the perfect B&B is www.tripadvisor.com. This site is a great way to browse photographs and read reviews from real people who have stayed at the thousands of B&Bs listed on the site. The Mayor’s reviews are on Trip Advisor, just look for reviews by HeidioftheRockies!
Any reproduction or unauthorized publication of this article or photographs is strictly forbidden. If you’d like to republish this article please send your request to TheMayor@HeidiTown.com.
Top 5 Christmas Gifts, according to the Mayor by Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at www.heiditown.com.