Monthly Archives: September 2011
Now I don’t know if it’s the warm days and cool nights or just people getting ready for the cold winter months, but there is a lot going on in Denver for the first weekend in October. Everything from urban races to fantastic shows to great deals. Whether you’re looking for an outdoor run, a quirky date night, or a chance at some cheap photos, this weekend has something for everybody…
Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Denver is doing its part by once again hosting a Race for the Cure 5K. Taking place on Sunday, October 2 participants will leave from the Pepsi Center and follow a 5K course through Denver, ultimately finishing at the Auraria Campus with a Survivor Celebration Ceremony. The 5K Inspiration Run begins at 7 a.m., while the 5K Celebration Walk begins at 8 a.m., followed by a Family 1K Fun Run at 9 a.m. More than 50,000 attendees turned the streets of Denver Pink last year with their support and there is sure to be another big crowd this year. So strap on those running shoes and favorite pink t-shirt to pound the pavement for a great cause. Check out their website for more info: www.komendenver.org
Zombie Dash 2011
Whether you are trying to survive the upcoming Zombie Apocalypse or part of the ever growing flesh eating, walking dead horde, the first ever Zombie Dashis for you. This unique urban race competition takes place throughout Downtown Denver featuring teams of 2 to 6 players facing challenges and answering Denver trivia questions at each checkpoint. Racers are only allowed to walk/run or use public transportation during the race, no bikes or cabs allowed! Based out of the Ginn Mill in the Ballpark District, this race is sure to leave you quivering in fear and anticipation. And for some bonus savings check out this deal…
Denver B-Cycle Promo Code – Save 25% on registration fees by using this code: Redbike
Esquire Theater Screening Shaun of the Dead
Keeping up with the spooky and scary theme for October, Esquire is doing a special midnight screening of Shaun of the Dead! The brilliant comedic team of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost deliver a heart pounding and thrilling tale of a down and out Brit trying to sort out his personal life in the midst of zombie uprising! The Esquire Theater, located on Sixth & Downing, will be showing the film both Friday and Saturday this weekend at midnight. Seats are only $7.25 and are sure to go fast, so what are you waiting for?
Free Day at the Denver Art Museum
Courtesy of the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD) “Free Days” program, Denverites are in for a real treat Saturday October 1st. For the entire day the Denver Art Museum will not be charging admittance to Colorado residents. Make sure to visit the SCFD website for more “Free Days” this month to other great Denver attractions such as the Denver Zoo and the Botanic Gardens. So pack up a picnic lunch, grab the family and head out for a day of art and sculpture at the Denver Art Museum! For more information, please follow this link: www.scfd.org
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus
The Greatest Show on Earth is making its way to Denver once again! From September 29 – October 9 all sorts of amazing circus acts will be performed at the Denver Coliseum. Elephants, tigers, zebras, and an assortment of gorgeous and exotic animals will grace the stage. Death defying leaps on the tightrope, strong men on the floor, and an assortment of awe-inspiring acts are sure to leave you breathless under the big top. And of course who can forget about the world-famous Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus Clowns! Their zany antics are sure to have you cracking up with laughter. Special offers are available online, but don’t wait as the Greatest Show on Earth is in town for two weeks only!
Say Cheese! A Professional Photography Event
Finally, for a great opportunity to get fall family portraits done at a dramatically reduced price look no further than Denver’s Children’s Museum. All weekend local professional photographers such as, Andrea Flanagan, Lisa Turner, and Sally Clark are on hand to capture your family beautifully in this autumn season. Sessions are going fast so if you’re looking for more information or to reserve a session, please call 303.561.0104 or email LisaA@cmdenver.org.
So this past weekend was the last chance to enjoy Denver’s celebration of Bavarian heritage, live music & merriment, and of course…beer! So, on a surprisingly warm September day a few friends and I headed down to the Ballpark District to see things for ourselves.
When we first arrived its easy to see the numerous tents and stages setup for the vendors and performers. On either end of the festival were two stages for live music, with several blocks worth of covered tents between them. Journeying forward we see that there’s abundant food available from a multitude of vendors under these tents. Combined with the seemingly endless rows of tables and chairs, these tents form huge outdoor dining & drinking halls. And indeed, the beer was flowing, featuring both Coors and Sam Adams products. I myself was smitten with the classic Boston Lager from Samuel Adams Brewing, though they did feature the festival’s only seasonal beer: a namesake Oktoberfest. While enjoying my glass stein of the amber liquid, my friends and I continued to explore around and discover what other merriment was at the festival.
We came to find short lines and fun activities, including live music, carnival game tents, and an odd hamster ball on water game. People go into these clear plastic bubbles and then play across a large kiddie pool of water. The hilarity ensues as the participants try to stand in place, walking, and even doing flips in their bubbles on water. While this may not have any true ties to Oktoberfest, it certainly drew a crowd of curious eyes.
Meanwhile, the main stage featured two great performing groups, one of professionals and one of amateurs. The first are the traditional musicians and dancers dressed in full Bavarian clothing. This group seemed to be made up of two or three families and it was adorable watching the children enjoying their culture. One of the more memorable song and dance routines included wood chopping and sawing. No doubt based on the traditional usage and importance of timber in German history, the lumberjacks kept the beat and rhythm of the song through their axes and two-man saws.
But the most enjoyable, and certainly unique, entertainment was the stein hoisting competition. Simply put men and women drawn from the crowd held a “filled-to-the-brim” glass stein outstretched in each hand for as long as they could. While it sounds simple these steins are monstrous and made out of heavy-duty glass. (After trying myself I gave up after about 2 minutes, and that was with only one!) This isometric feat of strength was the highlight of the afternoon, with more than 60 or so contestants stepping up to the plate. Each round brought new surprises, contestants young and old, big and small, muscular and petite. But the best performance was an outstanding 6 minute showing from a middle aged gentleman. He didn’t have the biggest arms of the day, nor the best technique…but he was centered and focused. For a day filled with beer and a somewhat younger crowd this was a matter of honor and pride for him.
Moving along my friends and I decided to take a break from this celebration of German heritage and step into a different culture for dinner. So giving up our steins for pints we headed up the 16th Street Mall for a delicious dinner at Katie Mullen’s. Certainly the highlight of my meal was a delicious appetizer of salmon, pita and chive cream cheese. Though it may seem an odd mixture it was the best thing I ate all evening! The only thing that may have topped the food was enjoying the cooler temperature setting in for a balmy 70 degree night downtown on their outdoor patio. Facing out to 16th Street Mall it was easy to enjoy my dinner, have good conversation and people watch the night away. For the main course I partook in a somewhat bland Fish and Chips dinner. On the plus side I was given a heaping fillet of fish with just the right amount of fry encrusting the outside as well as a wonderful pairing of coleslaw. However, the steak fries were somewhat bland and lacked flavor, and the tartar sauce was a veiled concoction of mayonnaise at best. All in all I ate my fill and by the end of my meal I was stuffed and could take no more. While the fish and chips weren’t up to my standards, I’ve never been let down by Katie Mullen’s before and would recommend their boxty if you’re looking for a delicious and authentically Irish dish.
Afterwards we headed back to partake in some live music and fireworks. Unfortunately huge lines and thick crowds took away much of the carefree fun from our afternoon experience. Instead we headed up to the Tavern Downtown and enjoyed the fireworks from the largest rooftop bar deck in the state! It was a great show, filling the night sky with cracks, pop, and showers of glitter and light. The rest of the evening was centered around Downtown Denver’s nightlife as we continued to dance, drink and enjoy the evening. We stopped by Lodos for another taste of the rooftop life, while enjoying great music and less of a pretentious crowd than the Tavern drew. People dressed for a fun night and dancing versus people dressed to impressed and an odd mix of baseball fans, cougars on the prowl and powerbrokers from 17th Street blowing through their cash. The night continued on, and we stopped by 1Up next. A hipster bar if there ever was one, we packed into a somewhat dank and humid basement the bar is filled with retro and classic arcade games. While the nerd in me would absolutely love to sip his drink and play skeet ball all night, the crowds and pretentious drink orders make me think Saturday isn’t quite the right night for that. So in the end we went back to the Tavern to meet up with some friends…and that’s what really makes the night what it is. It’s not the music, the crowds or the cover charges. It’s about catching up with friends, meeting new ones and dancing the night away!
Autumn in the High Country. The aspens are beginning to change colors, the first snow of winter has dusted the mountain tops, and hundreds turned out to celebrate Oktoberfest in Breckenridge! That’s right for two days Breckenridge’s Main Street shut down to host one of Colorado’s best beer festivals. Breckenridge Brewery and Paulaner were on hand to provide several variations of ale and pilsners. Toasted Head Winery rounded out the drink menu by having samplings of some of their most popular bottles. But as much of a draw as well designed steins and enough kegs to criss-cross Colorado with, the biggest draw has to be the wonderful food and atmosphere.
Those Austrian Guys were on hand to get the crowds riled up with traditional Austrian & Bavarian tunes; from polkas to the chicken dance the band was in their element. And the food…don’t get me started, they had everything under the sun. Of course there was the traditional bratwursts, schnitzel, and pretzels. But there were also stands dedicated to turkey legs, funnel cakes, grilled corn and a whole host of other delicious festival food. Sure there was some rain and chilly weather on Saturday, but that didn’t dampen any spirits or keep the crowds away. The one element of Breckenridge’s Oktoberfest that is a bit of a bummer are the long lines to get beer. But, with friends by your side and a whole afternoon to enjoy the festival the lines really aren’t that bad. And you know what they say, “Good things come to those who wait”, Prost!
As Featured on the Downtown Denver Partnership’s Urban Eye Newsletter…
That crazy month of September has rolled around once again, which can only mean one thing: it’s Oktoberfest Season! I’ve come up with this guide to help keep your month long celebration of that golden elixir right on track. Enjoy!
New Belgium’s Tour de Fat
Jump on the bike-loving bandwagon and join fellow pedal-pushers for a ride through the Mile High City. This Saturday, September 10, at 10 a.m. two wheel enthusiasts from all over Colorado will descend on City Park for a celebration of everything Fat Tire! Stick around for live music and theatrics by Dovekins, Daredevil Chicken Club, Yo Yo Squared, and Los Amigos Invisibles. All proceeds from the event to benefit BikeDenver and the Denver Cruisers.
Denver’s Ballpark Neighborhood welcomes back one of the city’s longest running festivals and one of the largest of its kind in the nation! Oktoberfest Denver is ready to commemorate this world-famous and time-honored tradition of German heritage by combining dynamic performance of music and dance, bier-based activities, fireworks, a sausage eating contest and entertainment for all ages. Click here for a special Denver Daily Deal that gets you a commemorative 2011 beer stein and a free refill!
September 16 – 18; 23 – 25
Larimer St between 20th & 22nd
Denver Beer Festival
Heads up! The third annual Denver Beer Fest will be taking place September 23 – October 1, 2011. The nine-day festival presented by VISIT DENVER will include brewery tours, rare beer tastings, beer-paired dinners, “brewer vs. brewer” nights, tappings and a variety of entertaining beer events. For a sneak peek of this festival try to get into the Denver Zoo’s Brew at the Zoo, a sampling gala on September 9th.
September 23 – October 1
Great American Beer Festival
Once again the Great American Beer Festival is coming to Downtown Denver. Held at the Colorado Convention Center, this three day extravaganza of everything beer features hundreds of brewers competing to be the best in America. It also features beer pairings, interviews with brewers, beer tastings and much more!
September 29 – October 1
Breckenridge’s 17th Annual Oktoberfest
Includes a fun-filled weekend of fall foliage, great parties, Paulaner Bier, genuine German cuisine, collectable steins and special accommodation packages. Main Street shuts down for the long weekend as people come from all over to take part in this wonderful end of summer/kick off to fall event. Make sure to get you’re pretzel necklaces and lederhosen, you won’t want to miss the largest Oktoberfest in the Rocky Mountains.
So for all you foodies out there this is your weekend! A Taste of Colorado is back in Denver from Friday thru Monday of Labor Day weekend. Offering hundreds of food options to try from dozens of different area restaurant it is a food connoisseur’s paradise. And even though this weekend of tastes has been around for as long ss I can remember, this was the first year I went myself. That’s right, my sister and I went for a late lunch Friday afternoon, before the crowds really geared up for the long weekend. After passing through several vendors selling t-shirts, handbags, clothing, arts and crafts, and other knick-knacks, we came across the first row of food vendors.
Lining up in front of the City and County Building it was like a normal food festival on steroids. Everything from ice slushies to fired alligator to Neapolitan pizza, all side by side. Not to mention the generous selection of Pepsi beverages, MillerCoors products, and Barefoot wine, there was something for everybody. We bought our tickets and began studying what Taste had to offer. The festival is massive, truly taking up all of Civic Center Park and the adjoining blocks Downtown. There are several music stages, each sponsored by a different radio station, featuring jazz, rock n’ roll, country, and much more. There are plenty of interesting arts and crafts vendors, including a custom stain-glass maker that caught my eye. The Downtown Denver Partnership, which helps organize A Taste of Colorado, even put out three ping pong tables left over from their Employee Appreciation Week tournament for free play. The tables come with balls and paddles and are located right next to the fountains on the North side of the park.
However, my favorite offering has to be the Lego exhibit for kids (and adults alike). Featuring beautifully constructed animal heads that kids can use for a photo opportunity, several building stations with free legos, and building challenges and contests this is certainly a high light for me to stumble upon. But back to the food… We wandered over to Broadway which featured even more unique food vendors, offering wild game, world cuisine, and a truck giving away free Greek yogurt! (Chobani…way yummy with like a dozen different flavors) After snacking on an appetizer of free yogurt my sister and I decided to start sampling. First was a baklava sample from Pete’s Greek Town on Colfax. A Denver local’s kind place, Pete’s baklava was sweet, moist, and a great starter. Next up was a Pulled Pork slider from Hard Rock Cafe. Yes I could have gotten a slider from Elway’s, The Broker, or gotten one made of wild boar two tents down, but with a limited amount of tickets I held back. No problem with that as the pork was deliciously seasoned with a tangy BBQ sauce and an addition of chipotle mayo. For Kate’s main dish she selected a chicken dumpling from Hot Wok Cafe. Simple and prepared just right, it hit the spot. Well on to dessert, which ended up being a chocolate chip cookie straight from Grandma’s Goodies and Kate enjoyed a personalized Blue Raspberry slushie from Snow Business. She certainly had the right idea as the sun was really heating up, and with that we headed back home to get ready for a fun-filled Labor Fay weekend in the mountains.
I have to say that this event is a must-see if you’re in the Denver area, truly the king of food festivals. It runs until 10 p.m. tonight (Sunday), and from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday. Make sure to squeak in today or tomorrow before this event is gone for another year. For more information on the event please visit their website at www.atasteofcolorado.com.