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CBS4’s Castro heading to CBS New York

December 19, 2014

CBS4 posted a note about reporter Valerie Castro leaving Denver for the bright lights of The Big Apple on the station’s Facebook page Thursday.

Here’s what it said: “Hard to believe, but Valerie Castro came to us as an intern nine years ago. Next week, she’s off to CBS New York. To send her off right on this ‪#‎ThrowbackThursday, we compiled a few bits from her resume reel that got her started back in 2005. Good luck, Val!”

More ‪#‎TBT pics: http://cbsloc.al/1ohuVn4.
Val’s bio: http://cbsloc.al/1C27jc5.

valerie castro cbs4


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Returning to the Runway: Vic Lombardi

April 2, 2014

The 5th Annual Flight to Luxury Hangar Party which raises money for Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver will welcome Vic Lombardi back for a second year as the official emcee for Flight to Luxury.

The CBS4 sportscaster (and a personal favorite of moi) will return to the runway to entertain the audience with his strut down the catwalk and endless jokes.

The Sept. 12 event will be held at two of Denver’s private jet hangars: XJet and Signature Flight Support, at Centennial Airport. Presented by Cuvée Escapes, the event will showcase custom-couture private villas by Cuvée, elite jets, exotic cars, and live entertainment. The goal is to raise $1 million for the Boys & Girls Club.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit: www.flighttoluxury.com.

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The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Denver re-earns AAA Five-Diamond ranking

October 23, 2013

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Denver has achieved what no other Denver hotel has earned, and it did it four years in a row.

Hotel general manager Steven Janicek announced Tuesday that the ritzy hotel has been awarded the coveted AAA Five-Diamond designation for 2013, the only Denver hotel in history to be awarded this rating.

The property located at 1881 Curtis St. downtown is among fewer than one-half percent of the 30,000 properties approved by AAA’s professional inspectors to be of Five-Diamond caliber. The Ritz-Carlton Denver boasts the largest guest rooms in the city starting at 540 square feet, Elway’s Downtown steak house, an urban oasis at The Ritz-Carlton Spa and the intimate Ritz-Carlton Club Level.

“I am extremely proud of our hotel’s achievement which could not happen without the genuine, personalized care our ladies and gentlemen provide to our guests every single day,” Janicek said. “By enlivening The Ritz-Carlton service philosophy at every interaction, maintaining this coveted rating was possible.”

The AAA Diamond rating process is considered to be North America’s premier hotel rating program. Only .3 percent of all hotels AAA inspects meet industry standards to achieve Five Diamonds. The association annually evaluates more than 54 million lodging establishments and restaurants, and rates them on a scale of one to five Diamonds.

“Five Diamonds for four years from AAA adds up to some very nice numbers for Denver and a great honor for the city’s hospitality industry,” said Visit Denver spokesmodel Rich Grant.

The Ritz first earned the distinguished distinction four years ago under the helm of then-GM Andrew Rogers, who transferred with the hotel chain to China.

(Ritz-Carlton Hotel Denver photos)

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Denver offers great views of downtown and Elway’s Downtown (below) provides premier dining options at the hotel at 1881 Curtis St. THe hotel earned its fourth consecutive AAA Five-Diamond rating. (Ritz-Carlton Hotel Denver photos)Ritz_Denver_Elways


Hot hotels

Colorado hotels nearly swept Conde Nast Traveler’s 26th annual Readers’ Choice Poll this year. With the exception of two picks in Utah, Colorado’s homes away from home took the rest of the top 10 spots.

Nearly 80,000 readers participated in the 26th annual Readers’ Choice survey, which ranks the world’s best cities, islands, cruise lines, airlines, hotels and resorts and is featured in the November issue of the magazine.

Here are the rankings:

  • 1. Beaumont Hotel & Spa, Ouray
  • 2. Oxford Hotel, Denver
  • 3. Hotel Teatro, Denver
  • 4. St. Julien Hotel & Spa, Boulder
  • 5. Grand America Hotel, Salt Lake City
  • 6. Four Seasons Hotel Denver
  • 7. Brown Palace Hotel and Spa, Denver
  • 8. Ritz-Carlton, Denver
  • 9. Hotel Monaco Denver
  • 10. Hotel Monaco Salt Lake City

See the whole story at http://www.cntraveler.com/readers-choice-awards/united-states/best-hotels-west.

Boulder’s Best Western wins best

The Best Western Plus Boulder Inn received the Champion Best Western Rewards Award and the Best Western Green Award at Best Western International’s Convention held recently in San Antonio, Texas.  The awards were presented in front of more than 4,000 industry peers.

The Champion Best Western Rewards Award is bestowed upon those member properties that demonstrate extraordinary support of Best Western Rewards, Best Western’s guest loyalty program. The Best Western Green Award is given to properties that demonstrate a commitment to sustaining resources and reducing their carbon footprint. Hotels must also meet design and customer care standards, as well as other membership requirements, to qualify.

The Best Western Plus Boulder Inn is one of only five hotels out of more than 2,400 properties in the U.S. and Canada to receive both of these awards.

“The Best Western Champion Awards recognize those Best Western hotels that demonstrate the highest levels of service, design and commitment to our loyalty program,” said Julie Montmaneix, Chairman of Best Western International’s board of directors. “The staff of the Best Western Plus Boulder Inn has a strong commitment to growing and strengthening our loyalty program, a critical guest engagement tool. And their dedication to environmentally-friendly practices is truly admirable. We’re proud of their success.”

Located directly across from the University of Colorado, the newly remodeled Best Western Plus Boulder Inn features 98 rooms, conference facilities, a large outdoor pool and complimentary bicycles. More information: http://www.hotels.com/ho176607/best-western-plus-boulder-inn-boulder-united-states/?gclid=COrR88ykq7oCFclDMgodLlMAYQ.

Best Western Plus Boulder Inn was named the top Best Western in the U.S. (Best Western photo)

Best Western Plus Boulder Inn won two awards during a recent convention of the hotel chain in San Antonio, Texas. (Best Western photo)


Clothing connection at ConneXions

The collection of ConneXions stores in the Southwest Plaza Mall at 8501 W. Bowles Ave. in Littleton, is holding a clothing swap party from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Friday.

Time to dig out those fall fashions from the back of your closet and swap them for some new pieces. ConneXions will accept clothing, accessories, shoes and jewelry to swap with other thrifty fashionistas.

Each participant should bring five to 10 items to swap, and will receive a ticket for each item they add to the pile. Then, the stores will let you swap till you drop. All items (from any season) should be clean and in good condition.

Drop off your fashions all day on Thursday or between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Friday. All remaining clothing and accessories will be donated to Dress for Success Denver whose mission is to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.

Flood relief funds 

AEG Live Rocky Mountains and Live Nation are bringing Colorado’s music community coming together for “Colorado Rising” a night of music to benefit flood relief through www.LiveUnitedColorado.org.  Presented by 97.3 KBCO and CBS4 Denver, the benefit concert takes place beginning at 6 p.m. Sunday at 1stBank Center, 11450 Broomfield Lane, Broomfield, featuring Dave Matthews, The Fray, Big Head Todd and The Monsters, members of The Lumineers, DeVotchKa, Nathaniel Rateliff and more.

“Coloradans unite during crisis – so does the music community,” Gov. John Hickenlooper said. “We are thrilled so many musicians are coming together for this flood relief benefit concert. This is a great way to highlight recovery efforts and raise money at the same time. We are grateful AEG Live, Live Nation and other community partners are stepping up to help Colorado communities impacted by the historic flooding.”

“The fans, musicians and members of Colorado’s music community are always willing to help those in need.  My staff and I are humbled to be a part of this event helping those affected by the floods” said Chuck Morris, President and CEO of AEG Live Rocky Mountains.

All proceeds from the concert will go directly to the United Ways of Colorado Flood Recovery Fund, which  will distribute funds to the United Ways in communities across Colorado affected by the recent flooding. Each community will build collaborations to identify their needs and funds will be used to support their long-term recovery.

Tickets at www.TicketHorse.com, or order at 866-461-6556. TicketHorse also has kiosks located at all Colorado Dick’s Sporting Goods Stores (credit cards only). Reserved tickets are $65-$125 plus applicable service charges.  All ages are welcome.

With the recent floods impacting communities across Colorado, the law firm of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck launched a firm-wide fundraiser to support the victims of the recent disaster with both financial contributions and in-kind goods.

The firm matched employee contributions with more than $15,000 going to the American Red Cross and the Foothills Flood Relief Fund. The in-kind items were donated to the Community Food Share, ensuring that people in Boulder and Broomfield counties have food, and House of Neighborly Service is providing assistance to individuals and families in need in southern Larimer County.

“As a member of this community, there was no question that we were going to help support flood relief efforts,” said Kristin Stork, director of community relations for Brownstein. “Financial and in-kind contributions came in from not only those attorneys and staff in the Denver office, but from our offices across the country.”

Brownstein also plans on organizing a Karma Project (the firm’s employee volunteer program) in 2014 to further assist in rebuilding efforts.

Eavesdropping on a woman to a man: “You drink tequila? What do you drink with your tequila?”


Did you hear that I have a new column, “Mile High Life,” in Colorado Community Media’s 17 weekly newspapers circling Denver? Be sure to like my Facebook page! Also, here’s where you go to get my column emailed to you Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. My email: penny@blacktie-llc.com. Want to advertise your business here? Contact Trisha at trilind@hotmail.com.

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Penny Parker On The Town: NFL catches flak from Broncos fans over Joe Flacco banners

August 28, 2013

The giant Joe Flacco photo hanging outside Sports Authority Field at Mile High (next to Peyton Manning‘s same-size photo) is creating a load of flak in Broncos Country.

What’s worse is that the Baltimore Ravens quarterback’s mug decorates much of downtown on banners that seem to be reproducing like rabbits. Make it stop, say fans on various websites and Facebook pages.

Flacco’s name and image are still sensitive subjects since the 2012 Super Bowl winners booted the Broncos out of the running when the Ravens beat the Broncos in double overtime during the playoffs last season. Flacco’s “Mile High Miracle” pass in the waning seconds of regulation sent the game into overtime. It still hurts.

But the agreement to plaster Flacco’s face all over the Mile High City was sealed between the NFL and the Broncos when the pro football honchos offered our city the coveted NFL season opener.

“The NFL equally promotes both teams as part of its annual Kickoff Game, and we are working closely with the league regarding our compliance to NFL guidelines for exterior signage and other promotional efforts for the game,” said Patrick Smyth, the Broncos executive director of media relations. “This is why fans may notice some promotional art outside Sports Authority Field at Mile High and around town that features both teams.”

That explanation is of little comfort to fans outraged by what they deem a “desecration” of our football field and downtown.

They took out their frustrations Tuesday all over websites, social media and on sports radio shows. One frustrated fan went so far as to craft a petition to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. The petition was posted on Sports Illustrated Audibles:  http://nfl.si.com/2013/08/27/joe-flacco-banner-mile-high-denver-broncos/. It reads:

To: Roger Goodell, @nflcommish, National Football League

Take the Joe Flacco signage off my Mile High Stadium! Broncos Nation will not endure this detestable and audacious act. Who in their right mind thought that we would just let this fly?! We stand united against your unbearable Joe Flacco signage.

Sincerely, [Your name]

CBS4 sports anchor Vic Lombardi, a Denver-area native, went berserk, and crossed the line between objective reporting and acting on his passion for his hometown team. Lombardi was recorded on www.tout.com (ever heard of it?) vandalizing Flacco banners along the 16th Street Mall (http://www.tout.com/m/v3kkob?ref=tw3dl5di).

He used a Sharpie to draw mustaches on Flacco’s face, and then resorted to masking tape plastered across the offending banners.

“If you’re a Denver native, this is a crock of crap,” Lombardi told former Bronco Alfred “Big Al” Williams and Darren “D-Mac” McKee on The Drive radio show Tuesday afternoon on 104.3 The Fan. “The NFL is pushing us around. The mayor (Michael Hancock) is a big Broncos fan. He can’t be happy about this … come on!”

Lombardi’s boss, CBS4 news director Tim Wieland, said he was well aware of the sports anchor’s antics through posts on Twitter.

“If you know Vic, you know that he likes to get involved in the reporting,” Wieland said. “In this case, Vic’s intent was to have a little fun with a subject that’s clearly irritating to many Broncos fans.” But condoning vandalism? Really?

Even “Big Al” Williams couldn’t get on board with Lombardi’s actions.

“This is a bunch of nothing,” Williams said. “That stadium will be filled with 85 percent Broncos fans.” NBC is televising the season opener at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 5 on 9News.

The Joe Flacco banner at Sports Authority Field at Mile High is drawing the ire of Broncos fans. (Sports Authority Field photo)

The Joe Flacco banner at Sports Authority Field at Mile High is drawing the ire of Broncos fans. (Sports Authority Field photo)


Fossil Trace GC gets top 10 nod in Forbes

Fossil Trace Golf Course in Golden is listed among the “10 most unusual U.S. golf courses,” according to “Forbes” magazine contributor Larry Olmsted.

The writer raves about course designer Jim Engh, calling him “one of my favorite golf architects and way underrated by the general public, though the industry holds him in high acclaim.”

Olmstead also notes Fossil Creek’s preservation of rustic mining equipment and the history lesson the course provides with prehistoric dinosaur tracks through holes 11 to 15 left some 64 million years ago. “Triceratops footprints have been well-marked next to the 12th green so golfers can take a look, and more fossils, plaster footprint casts, and ancient history are in the clubhouse,” Olmstead notes.

He forgets the great views the course offers from every direction, especially from holes No. 1 and 10, and the commune next to the 16th tee box.

Read about all 10 courses and Fossil Trace here.

The approach to No. 12 at Fossil Trace Golf Course with an old mining crane in the background. (Fossil Trace photo)

The approach to No. 12 at Fossil Trace Golf Course with an old mining crane in the background. (Fossil Trace photo)


PGA Tour is on the (golf) ball

The PGA Tour is not run by a slew of stooges.

Witness the television commercial already out touting the 2014 BMW Championships, part of the FedEx Cup playoff tournament series that will be played at Cherry Hills Country Club in Cherry Hills Village.

The advertisement features four of Denver’s best-known sports figures, from the Broncos: John Elway, Peyton Manning and John Lynch and ex-Denver Nuggets star Chauncey Billups (now with the Detroit Pistons but a Denver resident and native).

So Todd Helton and Joe Sakic are chopped liver?

The BMW Championship is the next to the last tournament of the FedEx Cup series that narrows the field to the final 30 that play at The TOUR Championship the following week. Next year’s BMW Championship will be played Sept. 4-7 at Cherry Hills. Tickets are already available online for the 2014 BMW Championship.

Check out the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEeVNzcrYZU.

Steuben’s has something to crow about

Steuben’s, the feel-good restaurant at 523 E. 17th Ave., was recently selected as one of America’s best chicken and waffles spot by Travel + Leisure magazine.

“Despite being mile-high, there’s a down-home essence at Steuben’s, from the old diner décor to the super-friendly staff,” the article says. “And chicken and waffles don’t get more classic than chef Brandon Biederman’s version. The meat is brined in buttermilk and seasoning for a day, then dredged in seasoned flour and fried to order. The waffles are traditional Belgian, served with a red-eye gravy made from Jim Beam bourbon, coffee and bacon. Afterward, waddle next door to sister restaurant Ace, with plenty of Ping-Pong tables.”

Check out the story at http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/americas-best-chicken-and-waffles/7.

Now for the rest of the story: Steuben’s only serves the chicken and waffles for brunch on Saturday and Sunday and as the Sunday dinner special. You can order Steuben’s popular fried chicken (with mashed potatoes gravy and a biscuit) any day of the week.

Another 9th Door

The Beauvallon building on Ninth and Lincoln has been a revolving door for restaurants since it opened. But that doesn’t seem to bother Bill Kennedy, owner of The 9th Door, 1808 Blake St., who will open another outpost in the eatery-challenged building.

The Spanish tapas restaurant is slated to open in October, according to a story on Westword.com. Check out the details:


Eavesdropping on a woman discussing the Flacco banners: “What if the Yankees put up a 40- foot picture of Big Papi (Red Sox slugger David Ortiz)? That would never happen.”

Did you hear that I have a new column, “Mile High Life,” in Colorado Community Media’s 17 weekly newspapers circling Denver? Be sure to like my Facebook page! Also, here’s where you go to get my column emailed to you Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. My email: penny@blacktie-llc.com. Want to advertise your business here? Contact Trisha at trilind@hotmail.com.

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Penny Parker’s On The Town: Cat scratch fever heats up charity gala and auction

June 29, 2012

Cat lovers can grab a kitty by the tail during Tails of the Painted Cats 2012, an auction and purr-fect dinner and gala July 28 at Lakewood Country Club to benefit the Cat Care Society.

The pretty kitties, created by juried artists, are on display at various galleries and businesses in the Tennyson Street Cultural District during July.

Event emcee is Ed Greene, CBS4 weather whiz. Auctioneers are Warren and Terri Smith of Two for the Show Auctions. Individual tickets for the gala are $75. air jordan 3 New this year is a $100 patron ticket to a private VIP meet and greet prior to the dinner where Greene will sign the 2013 “weather cat” painted cat.

The silent auction at the gala will include a Tower of Wine with 36 bottles (including pricey French labels and Marilyn Merlots) that attendees can bid on in addition to the Painted Cats.

Check out the Painted Cats online at: http://www.catcaresociety.org/paintedcats.html, and bid in advance at http://bidonacat.blogspot.com.

Tickets for the July 28 gala dinner and auction are available at:https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07e5rymoroc74ec81a&oseq or call 303-239-9680, ext. 19.

Relief for fire victims

The Salvation Army will collect cash, check, credit card and gift card donations for Colorado fire relief efforts from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at Peet’s Tea & Coffee inside the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, 16th Street and Court Place.

Denver’s the Curtis – a Doubletree by Hilton will hold a lemonade stand from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday to raise money for the Mile High Red Cross to help support the victims of the wildfires currently raging throughout Colorado.

Hotel guests and the general public are invited to stop by the Curtis, at 1405 Curtis St., and cool off with a large lemonade (with or without vodka) in exchange for a donation to the Mile High Red Cross.

“These fires impact all  of us because we all love living in Colorado and understand what an amazing place it is,” said the Curtis general manager JoAnn Elston. “We hope that the community comes out to help us raise money for our fellow Coloradans, many of whom have lost so much.”

Not camera shy

9News reporter and anchor Kirk Montgomery may be better known for his dishy celebrity gossip than for being a shutterbug, but the camera kid is July’s featured artist at Sketch Food & Wine, 11 West First Ave., Denver.

The exhibit’s opening night party is at 7 p.m. July 10 with a suggested $10 donation at the door to benefit the Colorado Professional Fire Fighters Foundation. Each donor will receive a complimentary glass of Sketch’s own Patria Rosso red wine.

Montgomery’s photography exhibit, Urban Life: Not just a place – an attitude,  will be on display and available for purchase till the end of July. The downtown Denver dweller describes his work as “Denver…like you’ve never seen it. Gritty. Urban. Abstract. Home.”

Follow the beat to Coohill’s Beats on the Creek

Coohills, one of Denver’s hottest new restaurants, air jordan 4 is hosting Coohills’ Beats on the Creek Tuesday Summer Concert Series starting July 10 with ’80s cover band The Asteroids.

Doors open at 5; music from 6 to 8:15 p.m. The concert is free; food, wine and cocktails will be available for purchase on the bridge. More information: coohills.com, www.facebook.com/coohillsbeatsonthecreek or e-mail events@coohills.com or call 303-623-5700. Proceeds benefit The Greenway Foundation.

Coohills is at 1400 Wewatta.

Eavesdropping on two women at Elway’s concert on the patio series: “I just saw your friend who drives me crazy.”

“Is there only one?”

Did you hear that I have a new column, “Mile High Life,” debuting in Colorado Community Media’s 17 weekly newspapers circling Denver? Be sure to like my Facebook page! Also, here’s where you go to get my column emailed to you Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I’m now the social-media liaison for the Mile High Chapter of the Colorado Restaurant Association, so read my latest restaurant news there. My email: penny@blacktie-llc.com.

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Penny Parker’s On The Town: Benemann has ties that bind

In my opinion, CBS4 news anchor Jim Benemann has the best ties on TV.

And with Father’s Day – the tribute to ties – just days away, I asked Benemann about his necktie knowledge. Oddly, he says he has never received a tie on Dad’s Day, air jordan 6 femmes but his kids have given him a snappy pocket square or two.

“Thanks for noticing the ties,” Benemann told me. “I’d guess I have about a hundred of them. And to keep the traffic moving I made a promise to myself to throw out the same number of the new ones I buy. If not I’d have hundreds and most would be collecting dust in the closet.

“I pick them out myself and gravitate towards vivid colors or rich-looking conservative colors and patterns. I will say it’s easier being an anchorman than an anchorwoman. The guys just have to wear a conservative suit and dress it up with a great tie and you’re ready to roll. I think viewers are much more critical of the women’s attire. And in general women’s fashion changes more quickly and dramatically than men’s.  Now where’s that navy suit??”

Check out Benemann’s ties that bind viewers to CBS4 week nights.

Mark your calendars

Denver-based Chipotle Mexican Grill is bringing its Cultivate Food, Ideas & Music Festival Oct. 6 to the Meadow at City Park. The free one-day festival will include cooking demonstrations by celebrity chefs, live music, food artisans and other activities emphasizing fresh and affordable food made with sustainable ingredients.

“These events give our customers an opportunity to experience Chipotle in a new way and to learn something about issues in food, develop a deeper appreciation for farmers and food artisans who are changing food culture for the better, and enjoy some great music,” said Mark Crumpacker, chief marketing officer at Chipotle.

Celeb chefs conducting food demos are Richard Blais, winner of Top Chef All-Stars and owner of Flip Burger Boutique in Atlanta; Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, owners of Animal and Son of a Gun in Los Angeles; and Amanda Freitag from Food Network’s Chopped and Iron Chef America.

Other chefs joining the Denver event are Michael Chiarello, TV chef and owner of Chiarello Family Vineyards in Napa Valley and Boulder’s Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson of Frasca Food and Wine. For more information, go to chipotle.com/cultivate.

A taste of Italy

Denver-based chef Jenna Johansen is a foodie rock star. She’s still a partner in Dish! restaurant in Edwards, but is spending most of her time in the metro-area to be a personal chef and fiancee to Mark DeNittis, the chef at salumi purveyor Il Mondo Vecchio.

Johansen’s most recent claim to fame is as a contestant on Bravo’s Around the World in 80 Plates, an Amazing Race meets Top Chef show airing Wednesday nights.

You can meet the worldly chef from 6 to 8 p.m. June 24 during the Heart of Italy evening – a five-course Italian dining experience – for $99 per person not including tax and tip at Pizza Republica, 5375 Landmark Place, Greenwood Village.

Each of the five courses is paired with wine. For reservations, call 720-489-5156 or go to www.pizzarepublica.com.

A horse of course

Horse lovers and admirers are invited to the Dumb Friends League Harmony Equine Center, 5530 E. Highway 86, Franktown, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday to take a guided tour, enjoy food and refreshments and see horses available for adoption.

The Dumb Friends League Harmony Equine Center is not a sanctuary or a rescue facility and does not accept owner-relinquished horses. It is for horses, ponies, air jordan 11 femmes donkeys and mules that have been removed from owners by law enforcement authorities. For more information, go to ddfl.org/equine or call 303-751-5772.

Eavesdropping on a man at the Denver Botanic Gardens: “I’m going to get a bobblehead made of myself.”

Be sure to like my Facebook page! Also, here’s where you go to get my column emailed to you Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I’m now the social-media liaison for the Mile High Chapter of the Colorado Restaurant Association, so read my latest restaurant news there. My email: penny@blacktie-llc.com.

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Penny Parker’s On The Town: Elephant waltzes into downtown Denver

Hey, there’s an elephant on my street; how he got there I’ll never know.

If you’re in the vicinity of Curtis and 18th streets on Saturday, don’t be surprised to see an elephant lumbering toward The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Denver.

The elephant entry signifies the third and final air jordan spizike wedding ceremony between an East Indian doctor and his American wife. Three ceremonies are planned with the last being an Indian tradition of having the bride arrive at the reception location aboard an elephant being trucked in from California for the occasion.

I’ve been told that there will be street closures and off-duty police officers along the route. “I understand they’ve taken out tons of (city) permits,” said a source. Representatives from the mayor’s office could not be reached for comment on Thursday.

Get your grill on

It’ll be a hot time in the old town when a slew of chefs fire up their grills and serve up sliders during the fourth annual Hot Rocks Griller Challenge, a fundraiser for the Denver Health Foundation’s men’s health programs, from 6 to 9 p.m. June 13 at Elway’s Cherry Creek.

Roughly 16 of the top local chefs will get their grill on to compete for top honors in the slider competition where the winner is determined by popular vote. Attendees can purchase chips (votes) from $5 to $100, and flip chips into the receptacles on their favorite chefs’ tables. Each chef will concoct a creative slider plus a side dish that will be paired with a wine.

The heated competition represents some of Denver’s best culinary talent including: Steve Ballas (Steve’s Snappin’ Dogs), Robert Bogart (Elway’s Downtown), Michael Bortz (City Bakery), Jamey Fader (Lola, Big Red F Restaurant Group), Troy Guard (TAG, TAG Raw Bar, Madison Grill), Jennifer Jasinski (Rioja, Bistro Vendome, Euclid Hall), Simon Purvis (EDGE Restaurant), Paul Reilly (formerly of Encore), Matt Selby and Brandon Biederman (Vesta Dipping Grill, Steuben’s), Goose Sorensen (Solera), Darrel Truett (Barolo Grill), Tyler Wiard and Aniedra Nichols (Elway’s Cherry Creek), Elise Wiggins (Panzano) and Sean Yontz (El Diablo).

Denver’s own Chris Daniels and the Kings will provide musical entertainment. Guests can also “pay to play” the Hyde Park Jewelers High Striker test of skills game. Event chairs Michael Pollak (Hyde Park) and John Elway (Broncos, Hall of Fame) will fan the fun.

Tickets are $100 apiece or $250 for early admission and entrance to the VIP Lounge. Purchase them at denverhealthfoundation.org.

In memoriam

Hank Dire, owner of the iconic Bonnie Brae Tavern, died Monday at age 84. Hank had worked at the family restaurant since he was 5 years old.

Most Precious Blood Catholic Church, 3959 E. Iliff Ave., will be the location for a memorial service at 10 a.m. Monday.

Another long-time Colorado restaurateur Timothy Lee Galloway died last November, but the current issue of  issue of Golf Digest tells the touching story of how his son, Winn, took his dad for a round of golf at Pebble Beach where Tim scored a hole in one.

Tim worked at Boulder restaurants including Flagstaff House, adidas neo Red Lion Inn, Potter’s, the restaurants at the Boulderado Hotel and Cork n’ Cleaver.

Check out the Golf Digest story (have your hanky nearby) here.

Dad’s day

Four local men may be captains of industry and pillars in the community, but they are most proud of being a dad.

Walt DeHaven, vice president and general manager of CBS4; Steve Erkenbrack, president and CEO of Rocky Mountain Health Plans; Greg Feasel, executive vice president and COO of the Colorado Rockies and Jeff Jones, co-president and CFO of Vail Resorts, were lauded Wednesday night during the Father of the Year Awards, a fundraiser for the American Diabetes Association.

The ballroom at the Grand Hyatt was packed with supporters who were treated to touching video tributes from children of the honored fathers.

Evening emcee CBS4 anchor Jim Benemann warmed up the crowd with some of his own “dad-isms”.

“I remember my dad fondly for the things he taught me such as, ‘Oh, I’ll give you something to cry about.’ Or, ‘Because I said so, that’s why.'”

Speaking of dear old dad

Are you tardy to the dad’s day party? There’s still time to make Father’s Day brunch or dinner reservations. Go to opentable.com to see a list of special Father’s Day feasts.

Eavesdropping on a man watching The View: “They should just call this,’ We All Talk at the Same Time.'”

Be sure to like my Facebook page! Also, here’s where you go to get my column emailed to you Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I’m now the social-media liaison for the Mile High Chapter of the Colorado Restaurant Association, so read my latest restaurant news there. My email: penny@blacktie-llc.com.

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Penny Parker’s On The Town: Meet the chief

Denver Police Department Chief Robert White will be on the hot seat from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Saturday during a live tweeting event at Coffee on the Point, 710 E. 26th Ave.

The hashtag is #ASKDPD if you have questions to send Chief White. free run 4.0 v2 The format will be a casual Q&A with about 8 to 10 people. Just a thought, but I would ask him how he’s going to implement the “no sleeping on the streets” policy. Tough duty.

Traffic twist

CBS 4 Denver has been a’ changing in its morning news team. Management elected not to keep Jane Monreal, the previous traffic reporter. Instead, they hired Joel Hillan, who most recently was a traffic reporter and news anchor at KOA radio. Before that gig, he was a news anchor and reporter at a TV station in Grand Junction.

CBBS 4 news director Tim Wieland tells me that Hillan “lives and breathes traffic.”

“Traffic is critically important to our morning news viewers – and I wanted someone who will eat, sleeep and breathe traffic and that certainly describes Joel. If anything happens in the metro area that could impact your comuite – this guy is on it!”

You can follow him on Twitter @JoelHillan and he has started a traffic blog on CBSDenver.com: denver.cbslocal.com/2012/05/22/denver-moves-up-a-few-spots-in-new-traffic-ratings/.

When I e-mailed Wieland about this new guy (yes, I’m up early enough to watch the show), I asked him who’s the guy with the bucket full of teeth? I’m just envious.

Burger bash

CityGrille, an awesome steak burger joint at 321 E. Colfax turns 14 on Tuesday, but you get the benefit of its birthday. That day you can get a $5 steak burger and fries from 3 to 9 p.m. and $1 draft beers from 3 to 6 p.m. Website: citygrille.com to get the coupon.

Disco isn’t dead

Cherry nightclub at 231 Milwaukee St. in Cherry Creek North will pay homage to the passing of Disco Queen Donna Summer and Bee Gees brother Robin Gibb starting at 7 p.m. tonight with Cherry’s “54 Friday” party.

They will pay tribute by playing songs from the stars of the legendary Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. Cherry will continue the “54 Friday” parties every fourth Friday of the month. More info? cherrydenver.com.

Beer here

The Lowry Beer Garden opened this week inside the new Hanger 2 development in Lowry. Larimer Associates, the owner, gutted the east dock building attached to the hanger to create the nearly 8,000-squre-foot bar, beer garden and restaurant.

The Lowry Beer Garden will feature more than 4,500 square feet of outdoor garden area with open-air seating and a covered pavillion that will accommodate 350 guests.

There are 16 beers on tap plus more by the free run 4.0 v2 femmes bottle as well as a full bar and speciality cocktails. Acclaimed chef Troy Guard (TAG, TAG Raw Bar and Madison) consulted on the quick-serve menu.

Partner Christopher Mohaupt from Billy’s Inn will oversee daily operations of the new project.

Eavesdropping at a bar in LoDo: Patron at the bar: “…So then we see a bunch of Hillbillies.”

Bartender: “Excuse me, I believe they prefer to be called Appalachian Americans.”

My Facebook page has moved. Be sure to like it! Also, here’s where you go to get my column emailed to you Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. My email: penny@blacktie-llc.com.

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Blacktie Beat: 2012 Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center Annual Dinner

April 30, 2012

My Blacktie-Colorado colleagues are everywhere. Here’s Billie Black’s report from Friday’s Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center gala. The party pictures are here. — Penny Parker.

Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center Executive Director Stephanie Villafuerte with Judge Andrew & Leah Fitzgerald.

By Billie Black

The Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center 2012 Annual Dinner was a night to celebrate the children that the center has been serving for 31 years, finding loving and healthy homes for Colorado’s abused and neglected children.

The event, held at the Hyatt Convention Center, roshe run nm br drew many Colorado judges and attorneys. They joined with sponsors and friends to support this elegant dinner to raise funds to continue the ongoing mission of the Children’s Law Center.

The mission of the Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center is to change the lives of abused and neglected children through compassionate legal advocacy, education and public policy reform.

* It is a nonprofit law firm that represents 1,500 child clients a year, primarily those in foster care. They are committed to creating stability for our child clients while pursuing a permanent, nurturing home.

* It provides needed education programs for judges, fellow attorneys, law students and foster parents.

* It touches the lives of all of Colorado’s abused and neglected children through our appellate work and public policy reform.

The evening began with a cocktail reception and a silent auction and was followed by a dinner program. The smooth and soulful sounds of The Hazel Miller Band serenaded the guests as they found their seats and joined friends for a formal sit down dinner provided by the Hyatt hotel.

Emcee Ed Greene from CBS4 started off the evening’s program with a few jokes to fill the room with laughter before introducing Shari Shink, who founded the Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center in 1981. Shari was presented a bouquet of flowers for her commitment by Executive Director Stephanie Villafuette.

Stephanie Villafuette then shared some heartwarming stories of a few of the many, many children who she has helped personally and of other children who now have happy, healthier lives and loving families through the care of the Children’s Law Center. It was quite touching to hear so many success stories for children who once so neglected or abused.

A live auction followed with auctioneer and roshe run suede former Representative Debbie Stafford, raising much needed funds and then the evening wrapped up as Hazel Miller came back onstage to rock the room. The dance floor filled up and the crowd danced the evening away.

The Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center, founded in 1981, is a nonprofit organization that relies heavily on community support. Visit its website for more information on how you can help as well as find out about upcoming events.

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