Not All of Colorado is Burning!
Not to downplay the seriousness of the multiple fires that are currently underway and receiving massive publicity, but be aware that there are many areas of the state untouched by the tragic flames. Mountains stand tall, wildflowers are in bloom and communities eagerly await your visit.
I share a few photos taken by Eric Yackel on Tuesday, June 26, 2012 in the West Elk Mountains southwest of Crested Butte.
More than ever Colorado appreciates and needs all the positive effects of tourism. Want to help? Include Colorado in your summer itinerary.
Opening to the Public
Highlands Ranch Mansion
After a highly successful grand opening and dedication the renovated Highlands Ranch Mansion opens to the public on a regular schedule June 26, 2012.
Shea Homes conveyed the Mansion to the Highlands Ranch Metro District and provided six million dollars for renovation as well as establishing an endowment for future upkeep. Massive work projects began in 2010. The completed project including a new 5,000-square-foot event pavilion, was unveiled to the community June 8th.
Beginning June 26 the mansion’s doors swing open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10am to 3pm. A brochure will be available for self-guided tours of the first floor and several of the historic rooms on the second floor. Guided tours will become available at a later date. Check the website for select public weekend dates. No admission is charged during open public hours. Wander through the refurbished rooms, admire the craftsmanship and detail or picnic on the lawn.
For the first time in 30 years furnishings appear in many of the mansion rooms. The Highlands Ranch Park and Recreation Foundation continues fundraising to purchase additional furniture and art work that reflect the mansion’s earlier eras.
The Highlands Ranch Mansion, Carriage House Pavilion and back yard are available for weddings, private events, business meetings and conferences.
Upcoming scheduled community events include:
Jazz at the Mansion – August 16, 2012
Highland Ranch Days – September 6-8, 2012
Sponsored by the Highlands Ranch Community
Association, admission charged for both events.
Brief Mansion History
The often enlarged and altered domicile dates back to the 1880s when Samuel Allen Long (re-enactor let) built a simple farm house on his homestead acres and named it Rotherwood. Succeeding owners of the home and expanding ranch land included politicians, Confederate colonel, bankers, oil entrepreneurs and businessmen – John Springer, Colonel William Hughes, Waite Phillips, Frank Kistler, Lawrence Phipps Jr. At one time the property was thought to be the largest ranch in Colorado.
Prominent Colorado business leader, Lawrence Phipps Jr. owned the ranch from 1937 until his death in 1976, naming it Highlands Ranch. The Mission Viejo Company purchased the property in 1978, beginning the creation of a new Douglas County community that today has a population of nearly 100,000.
Corn, Covered Wagons and County Fairs
38th Annual Vettes on the Rockies – August 4-7, Breckenridege. Corvette lovers gather for four days of events including autocross, self-guided mountain tours, and pit crew challenge ending with a Sunday Show-N-Shine of 350 Corvettes on Frisco’s Main Street.
Douglas County Fair & Rodeo – August 4-7, Castle Rock. All one expects from a county fair with 4H, FFA and culinary competitions, carnival, live bands, livestock sale plus PRCA rodeos and bull riding.
Teller County Fair – August 3-7. Cripple Creek. Livestock and 4-H judging, rough stock rodeo, equipment rodeo, ATV barrel racing, demolition derby and Sunday cowboy church.
39th Annual Crested Butte Art Festival – August 6&7, Crested Butte. Elk avenue turns into an art gallery with 175 visual artists’ booths. Artist and chef demonstrations, live entertainment, children’s activities and and an art auction fill the weekend.
Covered Wagon Days – August 4-7, Del Norte. Talent show, pancake breakfast, parade, kids games, live music, beer garden, mud volley ball, horseshoe tournament, airport fly-in and mud runs.
5th Annual Colorado Rocky Mountain Bicycle Tour – August 7-13, Grand Junction. Cyclers set off Sunday morning for a weeklong, 493 mile ride through the Colorado Rockies. Event ends August 13th back in Grand Junction.
High Plains Chautauqua – August 2-6, Greeley. An unique blend of theatre, history and humanities at a living history festival under a big tent in the tradition of early 20th-century Chautauquas. FREE.
Adams County Fair – August 3-7, Henderson. In addition to the typical county fair activities there’s a BMX stunt team, demo derby, fireworks, petting zoo and appearances by the Weinermobile and the Denver Bronco cheerleaders celebrating 107 years of Adams County.
15th Annual Bluegrass & Beer Festival – August 6&7, Keystone. Three stages of mountain bluegrass accompanied by over 40 frothy brews and down-home cooking.
Leadville Boom Days & International Pack Burro Race – August 5-7, Leadville. Celebrate Leadville’s heritage with mining competitions, craft fair, live entertainment and a 21-mile pack burro race.
Olathe Sweet Corn Festival – August 5&6, Olathe. Thousands celebrate the hometown crop of sweet corn at the popular family festival.
3rd Annual West Elk Wine Trail – August 5-7, Paonia. Nine wineries in the West Elk Viticultural Area open their doors for wine tasting and food parings feature ingredients grown in Western Colorado. Tour vineyards, wineries, orchards and gardens located along the North Fork of the Gunnison River near Paonia and Hotchkiss.
Steamboat Wine Festival – August 5-7, Steamboat Springs.Wine takes the spotlight in classrooms and restaurants, on the mountain and around town with a multitude of ticketed events.
35th Annual Telluride Jazz Weekend – August 5-7, Telluride. World class jazz comes to Telluride featuring classic, mainstream, blues, Brazilian, African and Latin genres. Daytime session on outdoor stages with night time performances in historic concert halls and intimate clubs.
26 Annual Mountain Arts Festival – August 6&7, Woodland Park. More than 75 vendors stage an outdoor fine art fail at the Ute Pass Cultural Center.
Weekend To Do
Breckenridge Main Street Art Festival – July 29 – 31, Breckenridge.
Collegiate Peaks Music Festival – July 28 – 30, Buena Vista.
40th Annual Carbondale Mountain Fair – July 29 –31, Carbondale.
Rocky Mountain State Games – July 29 – 31, Colorado Springs. More than 10,000 athletes compete in over 34 sports.
Crowley County Days – July 30 & 31, Ordway.
Colorado Dragon Boat Festival – July 30 & 31, Denver.
Denver County Fair – July 28 – 31, Denver. First ever, held at National Western Complex.
76th Annual Durango Fiesta Days –July 27 – 31, Durango.
Evergreen Jazz Festival – July 29 – 31, Evergreen..
Dinosaur Days – July 29 & 30, Fruita.
Buffalo Bill Days – July 28 – 31, Golden.
Arts Picnic – July 30 & 31, Greeley.
Weld County Fair – July 27 – August 1, Greeley.
San Ignacio Fiesta – July 30 & 31, Ignacio.
Colorado Renaissance Festival – July 30 & 31, Larkspur. Last weekend for the 2011 festival.
National Little Britches Final Rodeo – July 25 –30, Pueblo.
Vail International Dance Festival – July 31 – August 13, Vail.
Crankwork Colorado – July 28 – 31, Winter Park.
Wray Daze – July 28 – 31, Wray.
Fourteen For Fun
This summer Colorado weekend brings county fairs, wine, tea, cherry pies and music –Americana, Celtic, jazz. Wherever in the state you are join the fun.
**Aspen Arts Festival – July 23&24, Aspen
**Arapahoe County Fair – July 20-24, Aurora.
**Rocky Mountain Tea Festival – July 23&24, Boulder.
**El Paso County Fair – July 23-30, Calhan
**Celtic Weekend – July 23&24, Canon City.
**Castle Rock Wine Fest – July 23, Castle Rock
**Wine and Food Festival – July 21-24, Crested Butte.
**Fiesta Days – July 23-31, Durango.
**Eagle County Fair & Rodeo – July 23-30, Eagle.
**Mesa County Fair – July 19-23, Grand Junction.
**Cherry Pie Festival – July 23, Loveland.
**Americana Music Weekend – July 20-23, Telluride.
**Alpine Artaffair – July 23&24, Winter Park.
**Winter Park Jazz – July 23&24, Winter Park.
Photos courtesy of Eric Yackel.
Colorado Weekend – Twenty To Do
July 15 17, 2011
***Kidspree – July 16 & 17, Aurora. Colorado’s largest outdoor festival just for kids. Entertainers plus more than 50 hands-on activities at the 16th annual Kidspree held at Bicentennial Park. Admission and activities are FREE.
***Open Arts Fest – July 16 & 17, Boulder. Visual art showcase for local artists and those from around the country, and demonstrations. Held on the Pearl Street Mall.
***Breckenridge Beer Festival – July 16, Breckenridge. Rain or shine celebrate brews and views accompanied by live music.
***Cheyenne Wells Tumbleweed Festival – July 16 & 17, Cheyenne Wells. Softball, horseshoe and golf tournaments, games, car show, and rocky mountain oyster fry.
***Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo Days – July 12 – 16, Colorado Springs. The 71st annual PPoBR kicks off with a parade through downtown on Tuesday. Rodeos begin on Wednesday evening. Family-friendly pre-rodeo events – gold panning trick roper demos, pony rides and mechanical bull rides. Nightly live music at the Coors Roadhouse Saloon after the rodeo.
***Crested Butte Wild Flower Festival – July 11 – 17, Crested Butte. Enjoy a rich variety of wildflowers and butterflies while hiking, birding, biking or 4×4 touring. Classes include art, gardening all levels of photograph, medicinal with botanical ingredients, cooking with wild flowers and yoga.
***Colorado Black Arts Festival – July 15 – 17, Denver. The 25th annual celebration of visual, literary and performing black arts and culture. All events are free and open to the public – film, drum and drill team exhibitions, Boogaloo parade, marketplace, entertainment – at Denver City Park West.
***Molly’s Birthday Jubilee – July 17, Denver. Celebrate the 144th birthday of the “Unsinkable Molly Brown” at the Molly Brown House Museum. Enjoy a Victorian afternoon with lawn games, kids’ activities, birthday cake and free Blue Bell ice cream.
***Orthodox Food Festival and Old Globeville Days – July 16 & 17, Denver. Sample foods from Russia, Romania, Serbia, Ukraine, Eritrea, Greece and Mexico at the 8th annual festival in Argo Park. Includes music, dance, arts, tours of historical landmark Orthodox church.
***Estes Park Rooftop Rodeo – July 12 – 17, Estes Park. 85th annual PRCA rodeo includes saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, bare-back and bull riding and barrel racing. Western parade, Behind the Chutes Tours, kids complete in mutton bustin’ and calf catch.
***Fort Collins Jazz Experience – Fort Collins, July 12 – 16. Downtown Sessions Free Festival Day – July 16th with 13 live jazz groups on two stages. Jam sessions, numerous venues, crawfish boil – and more.
***Buffalo BBQ Weekend – July 16 & 17, Grand Lake. Celebrate Grand Lake’s cowboy and pioneering heritage with pancake breakfast, 5k fun run, parade, barn dance and, of course, farm raised buffalo BBQ.
***Cattlemen Days – Through July 17, Gunnison. Ten days of events wrap-up with a parade, rodeo, cowboy church and Family Night Rodeo.
***Longmont Jazz Festival – July 16 & 17, Longmont. The best jazz bands of Northern Colorado, including the Queen City Jazz Band, entertain for a free weekend of music at Roosevelt Park. Refreshment by Smoke Shack BBQ.
***Pagosa Springs Renaissance and Pirate Festival – July 15 – 17, Pagosa Springs. Events include archery, belly dancing, sword making, mysticism and activities for the wee ones. Feast on turkey legs and ale.
***Colorado Lavender Festival – July 15 – 17, Palisade. Lavender gardens, farm tours, wine reception, lavender lunch, seminars, aromatherapy, lavender wands and wreaths craft projects, kid activities, music.
***Logger Days Festival – July 16 & 17, South Fork. Men and women competitions in logging skills – axe throw, wood chop, choker race, cross cut, accuracy fall for example. Also music, wood carving, children’s games, arts & crafts and food at this family friendly weekend.
***High Country Kitchen and Garden Tour – July 16, Steamboat Springs. Event benefits the Strings Music Festival, tour 5 kitchens and 6 high altitude gardens, 9:30am-3:30pm.
***Telluride Yoga Festival – July 14 – 17 Telluride. For all levels – yoga from beginners to advanced students, workshops, meditations and yoga dance presentation.
***Sol Shine Music Festival – July 16 & 17, Winter Park. Free festival presenting national, regional and local musicians, food & beer garden. Events in Hideaway Park on Saturday and Cooper Creek Square on Sunday.