Alamo Drafthouse brings out a crowd at Sloan’s Lake.

The Alamo Drafthouse, Denver gave a glimpse of the fun that is to come, to young and old, at Denver’s Sloan’s Lake. Pee-wee’s Big Adventure on a giant inflatable screen was the featured presentation on a beautifully warm Saturday evening. With anticipation of a new Drafthouse theater in the Colfax redevelopment, local families came out to experience the magic that Alamo creates. A photo-booth, face-painting, swag from local vendors and of course brats, dogs and beer were highlights for all.

Pre-show entertainment was provided by the Rock-A-Billy sounds of Jonny Barber and a Rhythm Razor. Jitter-bugging to songs of Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, The Everly Brothers and his trademark Elvis, dancing was a hit and culminated with a Pee-wee tribute “Dance-off” to Tequila. As darkness fell, the audience settled in for the fun and ridiculousness that the “Big Adventure” provides.

Proceeds from the event benefitted Girls Inc., which provides girls of Denver, the U.S. and Canada with life-changing experiences and solutions to the challenges they face.

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Yonder Mountain String Band plays a packed house at Under the Sun.

Like two peas in a pod, Yonder Mountain String Band and Under the Sun Eatery & Taphouse teamed up to do things their way. A free show in preparation for the band’s show at venerable Red Rocks Amphitheater was held Thursday night to a packed house and parking lot. The evening literally pushed Under the Sun’s versatile seating possibilities…. Pushed everything out of the way to make room for the hordes of standing-room-only fans. The crowd could not get enough of the band’s progressive bluegrass sound, which led to an “encore set” in the  UTS parking lot.

Working in such tight quarters, the band moved like a well oiled machine that comes only with years of experience playing together. Each musician slithered their way to the mic to add their sounds to the mesmerizing mix. Smiles were everywhere and if the “rehearsal” was any indication, tonight’s show at Red Rocks will rock!

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Operation Altitude creates a magical evening in Denver’s Union Station

Denver’s historic and newly-renovated Union Station served as a wonderful venue for a recent evening of culinary genius. The experience began with a cocktail on the upper terrace of the beautiful Terminal Bar followed by a comprehensive, private tour of the facility. Guests were then ushered to the Gallery Level for a very unique dining experience provided by Denver’s own Epicurean Group. This amazing experience, with every nuance thoughtfully considered and addressed, was orchestrated by Angie Vossler and Operation Altitude.

The set-up was immaculately, prepared by designer Jessica Stapp and her crew, with a warm and rustic, mountain, pure-Colorado feel. The dining experience, a Chef’s Dinner, in which each course was creatively finished by Epicurean’s “Innovation Chef” Jenna Johansen and her team in front of eagerly awaiting diners. At the introduction of each plated course, Chef Jenna described the offering with explanation of process that complimented her delicious creations.

The evening was very impressive, from setting to decor, presentation to every delectable dish and left the crowd in awe. Bravo Angie, Operation Altitude, Jenna, Jessica, Epicurean and Union Station for an evening these lucky few will not soon forget.

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Bryce Widom and his masterpieces in chalk.

I was introduced to a sampling of the beautiful works of Bryce Widom, while photographing the different locations of Mountain Sun Pubs & Breweries. Upon first glance of the murals there is a sense of something intriguing and special about the works. A closer look reveals color and detail that is quite extraordinary. When the realization is made that the images are created by an extremely steady hand, employing vivid colors of chalk, it is evident that the creator is a true artist.

The works are so very unique and more often than not, temporary; to be wiped clean and replaced with a new equally beautiful and creative offering. It has been an honor to be able to capture these wonderful murals, while they exist, and preserve them in a sense.

Next time you visit one of the Mountain Sun Pubs be sure to take a moment to appreciate the talent of the artist Bryce Widom.

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Avid4 Adventure is the place for summer camp fun!

Avid4 Adventure is growing fast and continues to provide kids in both the Colorado Front Range & now Northern California opportunities to get outside, experience, learn to be safe and have a ball!  With a crew of instructors who are caring, attentive, well trained and fun, Avid gives parents a great option to send their young adventurers for summer camps. More locations, more offering means more lids learning the skills to enjoy the outdoors!

The philosophy is simple: Create programming where parents feel comfortable, kids have a blast and instructors are proud team members. Avid 4 has done just that and it is obviously working. From the moment at drop off, when met with smiles by each attentive staff-member, to the car ride home, listening to the stories, riddles and experiences of your truly “happy camper” Avid 4 Adventure is great.

The 2015 season is winding down but stay tuned. Summer 2016 camps fill up quickly. Also, check out the Avid gear sales, happening this fall, where some super deals on lightly used equipment can be had.

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Stapleton Explorers, Biking, Canoeing & SUP:

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Progressive Martial Arts, mixing the old and the new with great success!

Progressive Martial Arts or PMA is a Denver establishment in the martial arts world. Established in 1985 to teach a fantastic blend of traditional methods in a contemporary environment, PMA has something for the young and the old. PMA creates a fun, healthy yet disciplined philosophy in all that they offer.

At almost any time on any given day, the facility is a buzzing hive of dedicated practitioners, preparing for or completing age-appropriate classes or working on individual skills. The rules are simple: work hard, show respect for the study and others, protect your opponent at all times and of course, have fun. With participants ranging in age and ability from 2 1/2 to 82 years old, it is testament to the fact that the dedicated study of martial arts and the PMA methodology is for anyone who is willing to put in the work.

The guiding principles of PMA are summed up well by founder, Mr. Stewart Lauper, in describing the goals for the youngest participants:

“We’re not trying to make them ‘Kings of the Ring,’ just excellent humans. And skill in martial arts increases that chance exponentially.”

On a personal note: We have exposed our 8-year-old daughter to the entire gamut of childhood activities and classes with mixed results. Almost immediately upon our start with PMA it became evident that we had found a winner. Our daughter showed an intrinsic dedication to not only participating in the classes and exercises but also the principles of training and positive lessons followed in the practices at Progressive Martial Arts.

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EdFest 2015 working hard to keep Edison Elementary great!

EdFest is the biggest and baddest fundraiser held to benefit the students of Edison Elementary School in Northwest Denver. The focus for this year’s funds will go towards PTA-funded projects and programs, with a special appeal for raising money for musical instruments. The crowd was huge and very willing to support our local elementary school.

EdFest 2015 was held at one of Northwest Denver’s finest watering-holes, Local 46. The back-yard beer garden was the perfect spot for a Cajun Crawfish Boil and “Corn-hole” tournament. Inside attendees had loads of goodies and opportunities to bid on in a silent auction. The “Step-and-Repeat” drew lots of camera-shy models hamming it up as the evening progressed. The final event of the Fest was a live auction led by PTA President and DPS School Board candidate Michael Kiley II.

A special thanks goes out to the gracious sponsors of the event: Local 46, Speaks Orthodontics, Sweet Cow Ice Cream, Tennyson Pediatric DentistrySnarf’sPaneraSushi HaiNY Pizza Pub, Orthodontics in the Highlands and more….

And of course, thanks to the event organizers who do such a good job of making giving money fun!

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DU Ski Team has a couple of Alpine World Championship Medalists!

I recently had the honor to photograph two FIS Alpine World Championship Medalists. Erik Read and Trevor Philip, both from Calgary, Alberta, are current members of the DU Pioneer Ski Team. Erik and Trevor competed for the Canadian Team that won the Silver Medal in the Team Championships in Vail, Colorado this past winter. Both athletes were great sports and did a super job working with me to get this shoot done successfully.

Winning a medal at the Wold Championships is a goal for many and an accomplishment realized by few. DU is very fortunate to have not only athletes of this caliber, but fine young men like these two in their program.

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Denver Pioneers Alpine World Championship Silver Medalists Trevor Philip (left) and Erik Read.

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Erik Reid, FIS Alpine World Championship Silver Medalist.

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Trevor Philip and his FIS Alpine World Championship Silver Medal.

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Check out this hardware!

 

Ratio Beerworks, Rockin’ Rhino with Tasty Suds.

Larimer Street is home to an exciting new brewery that is sure to make waves in the ocean of Denver’s craft-beer scene. A reunion of three long-time friends who started as a punk rock band, went their ways have now come back together to combine their skills to bring great beer, a cool venue and a sweet vibe to Denver’s Rhino District. Ratio Beerworks will be the place to be.

Ratio Beerworks boasts a state-of-the-art 20 barrel brewery to provide loads of great beers, an eclectic selection of food trucks to provide on-site dining and a music scene only former musicians could put together. Next time you are looking for something exciting and new head on over to Ratio Beerworks.

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Jakarta rocks the Armory…..Brighton Autumn Concert Series ends with a bang.

The finale of the City of Brighton‘s Autumn Concert Series wrapped up the 2013 season of music with a wonderful family concert featuring the sounds of Isaac Points Jakarta Band. Known as Denver’s hottest old-school funk and R&B, Jakarta entertained a packed house in the historic Armory building. There was a bit of something for everyone in attendance, as the set list mixed a wandering selection with fabulous vocals, percussion and a super-hot horn section.

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