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Loveland shows the love on Valentine’s weekend

February 9, 2015

The nation’s Sweetheart City, Loveland, is launching the Loveland Fire & Ice Festival, a Valentine’s Day weekend celebration, on Friday and Saturday.

Presented by Visit Loveland Colorado and Blazen Illuminations, the Loveland Fire & Ice Festival is a family-friendly event featuring a live light show musical that will transform Fourth Street in downtown Loveland with lighting projections, illuminations and fireworks accompanied by snow and ice sculptures, a Snow Vehicle Car Show, free music and more. Programming kicks off at 3 p.m. with the light show at 6:15 and 9 p.m. each evening. Official festival hours are from 3 to 10 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday.

“We wanted to bring an event to Loveland that ties in with the city’s focus on Valentine’s Day, art and community and one that is exciting and fun for the entire family,” said Nate Webb, owner of Blazen Illuminations. “The festival was inspired by Disneyland’s Main Street USA light and fireworks show and Montréal En Lumière, making it a great way to celebrate the holiday.”

Buildings along Fourth Street will be illuminated with Valentine-themed red and white lights and designs. The light show musical will feature the lights dancing to live music and accompanied by a fireworks display. In addition to the special effects, lighting and fireworks, attendees can experience:

 * Live, free music and performances throughout the event.

* Snow and ice sculpting teams working their magic along Fourth Street.

* A Snow Vehicle Car Show featuring a collection of vintage and new snow machines and vehicles on display.

* Romantic carriage rides along Fourth Street.

* Hot chocolate and S’more stations.

* Local Loveland food and artisan vendors.

“This event is a great opportunity for us to showcase downtown Loveland’s businesses. In addition to the free programming through the event, attendees will have many opportunities to dine, shop and visit great businesses downtown for a complete Valentine’s Day experience,” Webb said.

The event is free and open to the public. More information at www.LovelandFireAndIce.com.

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Laugh line: Today’s eavesdropping

February 9, 2015

Eavesdropping on an unemployed man: “The best days are when its warm enough to wear the same sweats indoors and out.”

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Second-season premiere of PBS series Sunday stars Denver restaurateur Bonanno

February 6, 2015

The second-season premiere of “Chef Driven,” starring Denver’s own restaurant mogul Frank Bonanno, airs at 1:30 p.m. (our time) Sunday. The travel and cooking series, which consists of six episodes, will profile a variety of Colorado-based companies, chefs and purveyors. Each episode also features Bonanno’s tips for entertaining at home.

“This season is mostly about Denver. We tried to really focus on what Denver has going on, and why it’s one of the best food cities in the country,” said Bonanno, who operates six restaurants, two bars and a pie shop in Denver. “We picked six areas of focus and tried to profile the people that are at the forefront of each one. After each visit, I try to make the topic applicable to someone at home. I love sharing the stories behind some of Colorado’s best producers, but it’s also important to me that the food system be relateable, and that people get excited to seek some of these places and products for their own enjoyment.”

This season Bonanno focuses on Colorado craft beer, cheese, soul food, pizza, foraging and fishing. The premiere episode of “Chef Driven” explores Denver’s craft beer industry, with visits to Great Divide Brewing Co., Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project, Dry Dock Brewing Co. and Wild Goose Canning in Boulder. Bonanno also calls on Denver chef Mary Nguyen of Luca Restaurant Group to cook some beer-friendly dishes at his restaurant Bones. While the season primarily focuses on Denver, Bonanno points out there are a couple exceptions.

“We did go to Silver Plume to meet with Shae Whitney of DRAM Apothecary for the foraging focus, and to Canon City to meet with the team running the Colorado Corrections Industries for our fishing episode, but both locations have strong Denver ties. I know people may wonder what on earth the food connection might be with the state prison system – I know I was. It’s actually a great example of what ‘Chef Driven’ is all about – telling the stories that sometimes don’t get told about where some of the items in our kitchen and behind our bars come from, and how they’re elevating the state,” Bonanno said.

On Sunday, Bonanno will host a premiere party at Lou’s Food Bar from 7 to 9 p.m., which is open to the general public. Tickets can be purchased at www.imbibe-events.com/event/chef-driven-premiere/, and cover food, drinks and special viewing.

Frank Bonanno cooks beer-friendly food with chef Mary Nguyen. (Photo by Bonanno Concepts/Chef Driven)

Frank Bonanno, right, cooks beer-friendly food with chef Mary Nguyen of Luca Restaurant Group for his PBS series, ‘Chef Driven.’ (Photo by Bonanno Concepts/Chef Driven)


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Elitch Lanes rolling on in new location

February 6, 2015

Elitch Lanes owner Cal Eichinger is striking out to Arvada after the original bowling alley on Tennyson Street closes on May 17.

When I spoke to Eichinger about the popular bowling spot’s closing after losing its lease, he told me that he was zoning in on a new location (sadly) outside of Denver’s city limits.

“We’re going to take a bunch of our equipment, paint the inside just like Elitch Lanes,” Eichinger told Westword. “We’re going to make it feel as much like Elitch Lanes as we can and operate it with our philosophy – which is F.U.N. We don’t take it seriously.”

The new Elitch Lanes will open at 10000 Ralston Road in Arvada, in the former Western Bowl. Eichinger – who has been in the bowling business for forty years and has spent well over a decade as Elitch Lanes’ owner – says his new place is going to look and feel just like the old spot. “Most bowling centers still have some core business, based on traditional league bowlers that take bowling too seriously,” Eichinger said. “They treat it like a ‘win at all costs’ game and it’s like really? We’re all amateurs. We like fun.”

To honor the good times at the old location, Elitch Lanes will be having a weekend blowout celebration prior to its May 18 opening in the new spot. “If you want to stay here and reminisce about Elitch Lanes for the whole night, we’ll do that,” Eichinger told Westword. “This place has been around forever. It’s bowling, but forget the bowling for a second – it’s social. It’s meaningful. Friends meet friends here.”

The original Elitch Lanes at 3825 Tennyson Street is open through May 17. The closing celebration will be from May 15 through May 17 with a $40 per person rate for all-you-can-eat, drink and bowl from 6 to 9 p.m. or 9 p.m. to midnight daily. The new Elitch Lanes at 10000 Ralston Road in Arvada will open for business May 18. For more information, visit www.elitchbowling.com or call 303-477-1633.


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Drink Red, Wear Red Sunday

February 6, 2015

Those in Colorado’s restaurant and hospitality industry are well known not only for their generosity, but also for their ability to throw a great party. Get a little taste of both this Sunday at Drink Red Wear Red, an event hosted by the Colorado Restaurant Association Mile High Chapter, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Cable Center at the University of Denver. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Project Angel Heart.

Drink Red Wear Red is a celebration for those in the restaurant and hospitality industry, and the people who appreciate all that they bring to our city. Wear something red and enjoy hors d’oeuvres from Denver restaurants, red wine (as well as other great beverages), entertainment by the Legendary Hazel Miller Band, and a silent auction.

Proceeds will benefit Project Angel Heart’s home-delivered meal program, the CRA Mile High Chapter Hardship Fund, and the CRA Education Foundation ProStart Program. Buy tickets at www.drinkredwearred.com/.


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More folks truckin’ to Denver

February 6, 2015

Penske Truck Rental announced on Wednesday that Denver was named the seventh top place to move in the country, moving up two spots to take Seattle’s place and surpass Chicago, according to a post on www.9news.com.

“The top half of our list are warm weather locales where our business interests have steadily increased,” said Don Mikes, Penske senior vice president of truck rental.

Here are the 2014 top 10 moving destinations: The 2013 ranking is noted in parentheses.

  1. Atlanta (1)
  2. Tampa/Sarasota (2)
  3. Dallas/Fort Worth (3)
  4. Phoenix (5)
  5. Orlando (4)
  6. Seattle (7)
  7. Denver (9)
  8. Houston (6)
  9. Chicago (8)
  10. Las Vegas (10)

penske moving truck1

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ViewHouse hosting Valentine’s parties for singles

February 6, 2015

Not feeling the love? ViewHouse  at 2015 Market St. (www.viewhourse.com) is hosting an “Anti-Valentine’s Day” party, which involves hunting, gathering, drinking and dancing on Feb. 14.

The evening kicks off with a scavenger hunt in the venue spanning all floors and including the rooftop patio area.  Your prey?  Single ViewHouse staffers.  The first contestants to return with completed game cards will receive a spot at the VIP table for the Matt Nathanson concert the following day at ViewHouse.  DJ spinning starts at 9 p.m., with prize giveaways all night.  No romance allowed.

If you’re headed south of downtown, ViewHouse Centennial (7101 S. Clinton St., Centennial – www.viewhouse.com),is throwing a singles only evening including an old-school Lock & Key Singles Party, kicking off at 10 p.m.  Guys get locks, gals get keys, and everyone spends a fun night taking in tunes, sipping Strawberry Stilettos (Grey Goose vodka, fresh strawberry, triple sec, fresh oranges, simple syrup and cranberry) and trying to find the magic combination.  Found your match?  You’ll be entered into a raffle to win a gift card for a return date night at ViewHouse.


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Laugh line: Today’s eavesdropping

February 6, 2015

Eavesdropping on a woman at the Bar Method Cherry Creek: “I  always wanted to have a  ballet dancer’s body, but it is just not in the cards for me.”


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Denver Center announces 2015-16 Broadway season

February 4, 2015

The Denver Center for the Performing Arts 2015-16 Broadway season features Tony Award-winning hits and family favorites straight from Broadway including “Matilda The Musical”, “If/Then” (national tour launch), “Murder For Two”, “A Christmas Story, The Musical”, “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder”, “Disney’s Newsies”, “Beautiful – The Carole King Musical”, “The Book of Mormon”, “Disney’s The Lion King”, “Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story on Stage”, “The Wizard of Oz”, “Riverdance – The 20th Anniversary World Tour”, “Once”, “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” and “The Sound of Music”.

The season starts with “The Book of Mormon” Aug. 11 through Sept. 13.

Subscriptions start as low as eight payments of $26.13 and are available by calling 303-893-4100 or by visiting www.denvercenter.org.

Additional subscriber benefits include preferred seating, free ticket exchanges and various special offers throughout the season.


'Christmas Story: The Musical" is just one of the shows on the Denver Center's 2015-16 theater season.

‘A Christmas Story, The Musical” is just one of the shows on the Denver Center’s 2015-16 theater season.


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