We’re taking the holiday off at Penny Parker’s On The Town. Enjoy your Labor Day holiday.
The 31st annual A Taste of Colorado rolls into downtown Denver’s Civic Center Park Friday through Monday with fireworks, musical performances, wares and fare.
Fireworks will kick off at roughly 9 p.m. tonight after the En Vogue performance on the Access Health Colorado Main Stage. The display will also feature synchronized lights on the City and County Building, along with choreographed music by Jammin’ 101.5.
In addition to the Access Health Colorado Main Stage, four other entertainment stages located throughout the grounds will serve up a continuous menu of music, including the KBCO World Class Rock Stage, the KYGO Country Stage, and the Colorado Heritage Stage presented by Westword.
More than 50 Colorado food establishments will be selling a variety of small portions to full meals for your snacking pleasure. The Fine Dining area will host some of Denver’s top restaurants. The Albert Bartlett Culinary Showcase presented by 630 KHOW features local and nationally renowned chef demonstrations creating simple yet elegant meals.
Festival-goers can shop in more than 250 marketplace booths for original arts and crafts, home and gift items, furniture, jewelry, imports and more. Fine Art in the Park will display original works in a variety of mediums created by artists from around the country.
Shoppers also can explore the home and lifestyles area, which features a variety of exhibitors displaying products and services such as window installation, kitchen remodeling, cookware, basement refinishing and salons and spas.
For the kiddos, there will be music, magic, clowns and puppets on the Colorado Access KidzStage presented by MIX 100, and the KidZone features play equipment, plus a free, hands-on craft activities for children of all ages, presented by 101.9 WAY-FM. Kids and adults also can enjoy carnival rides and games Saturday through Monday, presented by KOOL 105.
In the Festival of Mountain and Plain area, families can learn about the state’s pioneer past, nature and the environment. Featured artisans will demonstrate Navajo weaving and culture, spinning, rug braiding, lace crocheting, and felting, along with a blacksmith demonstration.
Festival hours are 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. today, 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday.
Festival of Mountain and Plain … A Taste of Colorado is a community celebration that is produced by and benefits Downtown Denver Events, Inc., the Downtown Denver Partnership family’s community events nonprofit organization.
History Colorado Center hosted a farm-to-table lunch with Governor John Hickenlooper, Commissioner of Agriculture John Salazar and other government officials Wednesday as an occasion to celebrate the end of second annual Choose Colorado Tour, a 27-day road trip through Colorado’s farms and ranches.
The lunch, created by award-winning chefs Jason K. Morse of 5280 Culinary and Kurt Boucher or Rendezvous Cafe at History Colorado Center, was made with ingredients collected from each region of the 11 city stops along the tour.
Ingredients from statewide agricultural communities included: Yukon gold and masquerade potatoes from Alamosa, tomatoes and rhubarb from Boulder, grapes from Burlington, Pueblo green chiles from Colorado Springs, sweet corn from Denver, beets from Durango, onions and scallions from Fort Collins, lettuce and greens from Frisco and Vail and peaches and pears from Grand Junction.
The Choose Colorado Tour, which began its journey on Aug. 1, the state’s birthday, was created last year to integrate agricultural communities, celebrate farmers who help our state thrive and educate consumers about the benefits of buying local produce.
“While buying local has proved its positive impact on the economy, it also is better for the environment – helping keep farms and ranches profitable, thereby maintaining open space and wildlife habitat,” said Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture Salazar. “Buying local also supports Colorado’s western heritage, preserving the farms, ranches and land that define the state.”
The lunch was divine: Roasted beets, grilled Colorado beef and arugula salad, seven-hour smoked bacon-wrapped Colorado lamb with sweet corn and pear salsa and masquerade potatoes and Palisade peach and rhubarb crisp with vanilla paste sweet cream.
To learn more about Colorado Proud, go to www.coloradoproud.org.
Matt, Al and Natalie? Oh my!
NBC’s “Today” is coming to Sports Authority Field at Mile High for a live shot on Sept. 5, and if you’re a season ticket holder, The Broncos are inviting you to get in on the gig.
The team is looking “for fans that will represent Broncos Country with excitement to the millions of ‘Today’ viewers across the United States. Each season ticket holder is able to bring additional guests…” In other words, go crazy with your orange and blue.
Season ticket holders need to report to Sports Authority Field at Mile High stadium no later than 5:20 a.m. Sept. 5 (the rest of us can sleep in). Taping is slated to wrap by 7:30 a.m.
Bacon, bacon, bacon. In honor of International Bacon Day on Saturday, the Farmland Bacon Club is holding The Great Bacon Treasure Hunt in Denver, St. Louis and Kansas City, Mo.
One winner in each city will get a year’s supply of free bacon, a Bacon Club prize pack and cold hard cash. In addition, members of Farmland’s Bacon Club are eligible to win a trip to the annual Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival in Des Moines.
You can participate by joining the Farmland Bacon Club or following Farmland on Facebook and Twitter and keeping an eye out for clues, beginning at noon Saturday.
The hunt will lead pork lovers on a journey to some of each city’s most iconic locations. To sign up for the Bacon Club and to get instructions, go to www.farmlandbaconclub.com.
Zillow, a real estate listings website, has compiled a list of the “10 Best Places to be a Landlord,” and Denver ranks in the middle at No. 5.
Zillow said, “The tough reality for renters around the country: Rent is through the roof. That’s good news for landlords, though. Renting out a home can be a good way to make extra money month-to-month while building equity.
“Here’s Zillow’s list of the top 10 places to won a rental property. These aren’t the hottest markets, but they are the metro areas where a small-time investor can count on making the most profit every month.
“Zillow’s analysis considered homeowners who purchased their properties in 2009, but it’s not too late to find a cash-flowing rental in these areas.”
Here’s Zillow’s rankings:
10. Memphis, Tenn.
9. Indianapolis, Indiana
8. Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas
7. Tampa, Fla.
6. Rochester, NY
4. Cincinnati, Ohio
3. Tulsa, Okla.
2. Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
1. Oklahoma City, Okla.
For more about Denver’s pick, visit www.realestate.msn.com/best-places-to-be-a-landlord#7.
Eavesdropping on a woman talking on the phone with a friend: “Nothing exciting going on, well, except for the new guy my daughter is dating right now. He is a model and he is gorgeous. She needs to marry him just so we can look at him across the table at Thanksgiving. Even my husband says, ‘He’s purty.’”
For the first time, the Rocky Mountain Showdown (the contentious CU vs. CSU football game) presented by Prestige Audi is moving to Friday, with a kick-off at 7 p.m. under the lights at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The all-Colorado football classic pits the CU Buffaloes against the CSU Rams for Centennial State bragging rights.
New this year, the “Fan 4-pack” is available for $99, and includes four tickets to the game, four sodas and four hot dogs. In addition, individual tickets start at $25, and can be purchased at www.RockyMountainShowdown.com.
Here’s the lowdown on the showdown:
* The CSU Alumnae Association will kick off the festivities at 5:30 p.m. at Lodo’s Bar & Grill in downtown Denver. Fans can sport their green and gold for photos in the photo booth, and rally with elite DJ’s, CAM the Ram and the CSU cheer squad, while taking in the Rocky Mountain sunset at one of Denver’s top rooftop bars.
* Colorado State University Tailgate Party: Join CAM the Ram, the CSU marching band and the spirit squad for a tailgating event to gear up for the big game. A food ticket costs $25 for members (Alumni Association, Ram Club and RAAA), $30 for non-members and $15 for children 12 and under. Register online.
* University of Colorado Tailgate Party: CU Buffs fans can party in Lot C (look for the giant, 20-foot inflatable buffalo “Ralphie”) at a family-friendly tailgate party prior to kick-off. The pregame event features music, entertainment, games, Ralphie, the marching band, Chip, cheerleaders and plenty of giveaways for CU fans. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.
After a coin toss officiated by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and school officials, kickoff is scheduled at 7 p.m. Halftime will feature cheerleader dance routines, both teams’ marching bands and much more. Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock and game officials will deliver the Centennial Cup to the winning team at the end the Showdown.
The 16th Street Mall has long been a thorn in the side of Denver dwellers who don’t shop at souvenir stores, don’t care to inhale second-hand smoke and don’t want to sign petitions.
But now the Downtown Denver Business Improvement District is installing Patio 16, an outdoor dining area in the median of the carless street between California and Stout streets.
Patio 16, which opens at 11:30 a.m. Friday, will offer outdoor seating, enclosed patio railings, a variety of menu options from six local vendors and an outdoor respite for the downtown Denver community to gather, dine and unwind. Patio 16 provides a family-friendly area staffed during hours of operation to ensure a safe, clean and friendly experience, that is open to all residents, employees and visitors.
Opening day activities will include entertainment and food sampling from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, visit www.downtowndenver.com/about-the-bid.