Girls Rock Denver at the Oriental Theater!

Denver, Colorado is home to many fantastic organizations, providing opportunity for all walks of our every growing life, here in the shadow of the Rockies. One particular organization stands out in their relentless pursuit of creating “rock stars” from young ladies.

“Girls Rock Denver seeks to empower young women and girls by putting instruments in their hands and unveiling what they already possess in their feet, fingertips, vocal cords, hearts, and minds.” –Girls Rock Denver, Vision Statement

And rock they do! 13 newly formed bands of empowered young women rocked a sold-out Oriental Theater, playing original works to adoring and shrieking fans. On this hot August Saturday afternoon these girls rocked Denver! It was an amazing and impressive showing.

The Girls Rock Denver program occurs annual and is offered only one week. Demand is high and potential rockers must complete an application and personal essay to be considered for participation. Once enrolled, the week is jam-packed with exercises, drills and lots of practice. The finale, of course, is the showcase concert.

The volunteer non-profit organization annually plans, raises money and selects the lucky few that get to experience this week-long journey to rock-stardom. To learn more bout this fantastic group of individuals visit their website or, better yet, join the crew for some delicious craft-beer and fundraising at Ratio Beerworks.

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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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Alamo PeeWee WMs-10

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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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2012 Mile High Horror Film Festival…..third year’s the charm.

The Mile High Horror Film Festival provides Denver horror fans even more reason to love October. In its third year the festival has proven that it is here to stay. Great films, terrifying stars, writers, directors and huge crowds made this three day event a monster success. The films were short, long, troubling and wonderful. The guest list for this year’s event was extremely deep and well known to horror aficionados.

Colorado’s own Jonathan Tiersten charmed the crowd, a Monster Panel featuring Eileen Dietz, Kane Hodder, Bill Moseley kept the audience on the edge of their seats, Corey Feldman entertained a packed house and Jeffrey Riddick, Dan Myrcik and Brian McCulley spoke to fans about trends in the horror genre.

MHHFF Executive Director Tim Schultz and Programming Director Theresa Likarish and sponsors including Fearnet, The Onion, 13th Floor Haunted House and lots more provided attendees with an event that rivals the best of what horror fans demand.

Vine Street Pub turns 4…..a party on 4/20

Vine Street Pub in Denver celebrated its fourth anniversary by throwing a blow-out party on 4/20. Sunshine, lawn games, barbeque, and of course beer made for a fantastic afternoon for the large crowd. A great band, By All Means, rocked the house with super sounds and limitless energy until the sun set.

A fine selection of hand-crafted brews flowed with all proceeds benefiting Judi’s House, a non-profit that provides “hope and healing for grieving children”.

Rebound Rumble…..Show Ready Events presents the Colorado FIRST Robotics Competition

I recently had the opportunity to help Show Ready Events, a nationally recognized event planning and management company,  put on the FIRST Robotics Colorado Regional competition. FIRST stands for For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. FIRST creates unbelievable opportunities for teams of high school students, their mentors and sponsors to create and compete at an international level.

This year’s event was held at the DU Magnus Arena. The competition was baseball-themed where teams of three robots went head to head on a custom playing field that included baskets, balls and teeter-totters. The teams showed off an impressive array of skills, not only get to the event but also to make it through the rigors of the competition, which at time resembled a slightly organized smash-up derby.  The winners had the greatest combination of design, marketing, strategy, skill, and a bit of luck.

The event was a huge success and every team that made it to the event was a winner.