Category Archives: Festival

Parade of Lights

Parade of Lights
Location: Downtown near 16th St. Mall

December 5, 2015

So, since I have lived in Denver and have known about the Parade of Lights, I have wanted to go.  The one time I planned on it, it was -9 degrees Fahrenheit.  I decided frostbite wasn’t worth it.

This year the weather was magnificent.  David and I decided to go downtown early for dinner and then watch the parade.  We stumbled upon a Peruvian place on Champa between 15th and 17th where we found a place to park.  We were surprised to find a meter, but later we realized we were between the parade route, though it wasn’t a problem.

After dinner, we wandered up to 17th and found a spot right on the corner at 6pm.  We lucked out as the street was lined with spectators four people deep and we only had to stand behind one person.  I suppose for a better view, getting there before the parade started would be a plus.  The start of the parade was about 20 minutes from us.  The floats were somewhat spread out which lengthened the parade to about an hour.


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Play at PalletFest

August 30, 2015

Sculpture Park (Denver Performing Arts Complex)

Fees: Free or $35 VIP tickets
Hours: Yearly, Saturday 10am-10pm, Sunday 10am-5pm

PalletFest is Colorado’s first Upcycling Festival. This yearly event took place at Denver Performing Arts Complex’s Sculpture Park the last weekend of August. While VIP tickets are available for $35, the festival may also be entered for FREE which is what I would recommend unless you would like several alcoholic beverages.

Vendors displayed all their products using materials that are sometimes considered trash like bottle caps and pallets. Bands played as festival goers walked on stilts, walked through a pallet maze, played cornhole and connect four with “upcycled products”, hula-hooped and burned initials in pallets.

It was fun to stop by for a few hours to try something new. ETB

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The Big Wonderful

August 29, 2015

The Big Wonderful
26th and Lawrence

Fees: $5 donation
Hours: Saturday 12:30-7:30

The Big Wonderful, located at 26th and Lawrence, is an outdoor market and beer garden in Denver, Colorado. It takes place every Saturday from 12:30 to 7:30 and features a variety of vendors and food trucks along with live music.

I rode my bike to the Big Wonderful and met some friends to peruse the venue. It was a warm day and toward the end of summer, so it wasn’t too crowded. In fact, it would probably be more fun on its opening day, as I don’t believe it runs all winter.

Regardless, we were able to get a snack and a drink and “window shop”. Pampaw offered tastings of their hot sauce which was quite good, and Pickett’s let us taste their ginger beer which can also be used for cooking. We only stayed a few hours as it was a quiet day, but for a $5 donation, it wasn’t a bad place to try something new. ETB

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Frozen Dead Guy Days…Worth a Visit!

March 14, 2015

Frozen Dead Guy Days
Nederland, CO

Fees: None
Hours: Around mid-March, Friday 5pm-10pm, Saturday 8am-8pm, Sunday 8am-6pm

David and I decided to stay over-night in Colorado’s beautiful Rocky Mountains. After strolling around Breckenridge beneath the sun, grapple and falling snow (all in one hour), we stopped for an early dinner at Ember. David was the successful orderer this time. I ordered a “simple salad” with the description of heirloom tomato, pecorino cheese, and pesto. I expected slices of tomatoes and cheese. It turned out to be a plate of greens with two cherry tomatoes and some grated cheese. I also ordered the fish that could have used a few more minutes in the oven. David on the other-hand selected tasty shrimp and grits, but for his entrée he may have ordered the best venison I have ever tasted. It was tender enough to cut with a butter knife and was sans “gamey” flavor. Absolutely fantastic! Post dinner we stopped at a pub and played cards as I sipped tequila, and he sipped beer before turning in early.

Saturday called for a visit to Loveland Pass for David to get in a few backcountry boarding runs and then a visit to Nederland for Frozen Dead Guy Days. I’ve wanted to go to this festival for a while, but manage to forget about it or it is bad weather. My friend Kristin reminded me of it and Saturday was a Colorado blue bird day.

The annual festival started in 2002 in honor of Bredo Morstol, Trygve Bauge’s grand-father whose body was transported in dry ice to the United States in 1989 and then stored in liquid nitrogen at the Trans Time cryonics facility in California for three years. Bauge and his mother, Aud decided to relocate in Nederland to open a cryonics facility of their own. When Bauge was deported from the USA for overstaying his visa, his mother kept Bredo cryogenically frozen in a shack behind her home.

Eventually, Aud was evicted for living in a home without electricity or plumbing which is against city code. Aud, concerned that her father Bredo’s body along with two others would thaw along with two others, upon her eviction, told a local reporter who expressed her concerns to local officials. The story caused a sensation which ultimately led to the city banning the storage of bodies with the exception of Bredo who was grand-fathered.

Today, the festival takes place over the first full weekend in March. We only visited on Saturday for a few hours and found the festival quite entertaining. I would definitely go at least one more time after having learned a few tricks and also after having learned of additional events. It is actually possible to tour the Tuff Shed where Bredo is still frozen! I think I’d like to see the documentary about him too. I’m not sure when these events take place.

We came into Nederland from Loveland Pass (which I recommend as there wasn’t any traffic and we could park very close to town) which didn’t appear to be the case from Denver. We arrived just after 12 to see the parade of hearses and coffins. Each coffin team was dressed in costume from Vikings, to the Globetrotters, to cereal mascots. The hearses were decked out with skeletons, hot rod flames and more. For a parade, I found it more entertaining than normal.

After the parade, we took a short stroll through town and then walked down to the park to watch the polar plunge. We ended up getting a great view despite all the people, but in preparation for the polar plunge and coffin races, it might be best to stay across the river from town and find a perch on the hill by the hearses to look down on the events.

The coffin races were hysterical. Teams of seven or so paired off and raced each other around a muddy course with mounds of snow obstructing their way. The self made coffins (some with skis on the bottom) carried a team member as most groups crashed at least once. Sometimes members just got left behind as they chased their team over obstacles to catch up. The pink team (I can’t remember their name) were five time reigning champions. They smoked their opponent, and I am assuming they won again, but we did not stay for the entire event.

The festival lasts all day and into the evening with music, beer and food trucks, but we needed to get back to Denver as we were both traveling at the wee hours of the morning. It was fun to get a taste of the festival, and now we know the best way to visit on a sunny day! ETB


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36th Annual Park Hill Home Tour

September 28, 2014

Ticket Price: $15/adults in advance, $20/adult on the day, lower pricing for seniors and children

Well, you will have to wait a year, but going on the annual Park Hill Home Tour is worth $20! The event is held annually and is the biggest fundraiser for the Park Hill Community. I volunteered to work the event for three hours (2-5). As such, I earned a free ticket and three hours to use it (11-2).

I started out 2334 Grape Street. From the sketch of the home, I wasn’t sure I’d like it as the low point of the roof is in the center of the house. But in the end, I think it was my favorite. It was simple, sleek, modern, and zen all at the same time. I’m not exactly sure how all those adjectives can be used in the same sentence, but they can. Personally, if it were my home, I wouldn’t need a meditation room or sauna, but I had to admire the thought and planning that went into the home. It was obvious that the owners knew exactly what they wanted from the placement of the windows to the rain chains to the finish out, and I had to appreciate their thoughtfulness.

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From 2334 Grape, I crossed the street to visit 2351 which is a very modern home. The white kitchen cabinets with the stainless steel appliance were quite nice, but the coolest part of the house was the staircase. The maple steps are suspended by thin steel cables which creates a very airy appearance. The stairs looked like they were floating!

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I continued south down Grape to 2050. This home was built in the late 1800’s so that alone earns some kudos. While I could mention indoor features, these have been written up on all the houses in several papers like this one, so I’m focusing on a few things I like from each house. I think it is cool to have a carriage house, but would I loved the most about this house was the yard. The double lot included a large grassy area, a garden, a small little bridge, a large chess board with pieces and a large Scrabble Board! Who knew you could play Scrabble outside on the ground with letters so big grandma can see them!!

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By now, it was lunch time, so meandered over to Forest and Montview to check out the street fair which included two long blocks of vendors, a block of food tents, a block of old cars, and a band. The grassy median included tables and seating and there was even an alcohol tent requesting a suggested donation. I grabbed half a gyro from Nicky’s Quickies and enjoyed the sunny day before I strolled by the furniture, jewelry, clothes, and other vendors.

1932 Hudson Street was pretty close to the street fair, so I stopped at that home next. These owners did some significant renovations on this 1925 home. Before pictures were hung near the doorways of many rooms, just the paint, furniture, and window dressings made a big difference in most rooms. But they added on to the back of the home enlarging the upstairs master bedroom which added a gas fireplace and lovely patio. This expansion also changed a tiny kitchen into a large one. The old one almost looks like a hallway as it functions like a bar area.

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When I began the tour, I wasn’t certain if I would be able to make enough time for the Monaco house given I was walking and it was a bit out of the way relative to the rest of the houses on the tour. Had I chosen to drive or ride my bike, I certainly would not have faced an issue, and I fortunately did not run into a time issue walking either. What a nice way to get in some exercise and enjoy this beautiful fall day!

2315 Monaco Parkway was interesting. It was a more traditional home like the last two. The kitchen and the powder bath off the kitchen appeared recently updated and were very nice. I liked the paint colors as well and found the wide band of paint by the molding worked well. The tile window sills were cool and the rooftop patio was fantastic. Some of the other bathrooms still had the old time which I loved though they could have used new sinks! The home owner is an avid gardener, and I loved how the vegetables were intermingled with the flower garden so that the vegetables were almost camouflaged.

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The final stop was Smiley Campus which opened in 1928. Now it is the new home for McAuliffe International School and Venture Prep. It was just on my way home, which was perfect as I took a quick break before I returned to 2334 Grape St. to sell tickets for the afternoon.

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I really enjoyed the tour and street fair. Next year I’m torn. I’m not sure if I will volunteer and do the tour, or get a booth and sell my cards, key chains, and photos as I have a good walk up business at fairs. Regardless, if the weather is good, and it was perfect until 4:45, the Park Hill Home Tour is a nice event for a fall day, especially when the Broncos aren’t playing. The only thing that could have made it better is if photos were allowed indoors. ETB

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Festival Italiano at Belmar

September 7, 2014

This weekend marked the 11th annual italian festival at Belmar. Sunny skies and lovely temperatures lured a group of us to the event. Moria and Mario love the event so much, they attend the festival both days, every year. It lasts from 10am-9pm on Saturday and 10am-5pm on Sunday. This was my first year to stroll along the closed off streets lined with artisan, food and wine vendors. Gelato, pizza, and italian sausage were tasty italian food choices.

Along with trying the food, we checked out the chalk art, watched the flag throwers, and surveyed the bocce tournament. We could have also taken an Italian lesson if we wanted, though I don’t think stomping grapes was open to adults, only children. Music stages stood at both ends of the long street of tents, and schedules for all activities are available on the website:

After enjoying a nice afternoon in the middle patio area, we bought some flavored pasta and pastries for the road. It was a nice, relaxing afternoon with friends. ETB

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