I’ve been a fan of digital animation since I was a child. Many a Saturday morning was spent watching cartoons and many a late night in college, and afterwards, spent watching anime. So it was with great joy that I found the Supernova Digital Animation Festival coming to Denver. Artists from all over submitted their entries and the resulting short films were simultaneously broadcast on large screens throughout the cities of Denver and Toledo. Denver in particular had numerous locations where passersby could stop and watch the films. The 16th Street Mall, Denver Performing Arts Complex, and the Denver Convention Center were just some of the stops, as well as Next Stage, and different areas along Champa and California streets. The festival also brought students, amateurs and professionals together all for the love of digital animation.
The Butterfly Pavilion is nestled in the town of Westminster, Colorado and is home to hundreds of species of invertebrates like butterflies and other insects. The pavillion is the first stand-alone, Association of Zoos and Aquariums-accredited non-profit invertebrate zoo in the world and a leader in invertebrate knowledge, inspiration and connection. They offer all sorts of hands-on experiences as well as educational classes for both children and adults. The Rocky Mountain Butterfly Consortium, who founded the space, is also a champion of the PACE program. Pollinator Awareness through Conservation and Education (PACE) is a global initiative led by the Butterfly Pavilion to increase awareness of the importance of pollinators and promote habitat and species conservation. PACE programs include habitat restoration projects, education programs for adults and children, citizen science opportunities, and more.
Walk through the doors of pavilion and be transported into a tropical paradise full of fluttering insects of all different shades and hues.
The summer months are still in full swing and what better way to relieve some of that heat than to grab an ice cream cone. Little Man Ice Cream Factory in the Sloan’s Lake neighborhood of Denver has you covered in that respect. The 6,000 sq. foot production kitchen and ice cream tasting room has lots of space to spread out and spend some time taking in the sights and smells. Watch through the large windows as Chef Claire Fields and her team whip up baked goodness and frozen treats as bakery items and buckets of ice cream are made before your eyes. Try to decide between the science lab worth of toppings to go along with your cone of house made ice cream. Flavors are listed on a rotating, ice cream scoop lit, menu board. Follow large buckets as they move between the kitchen and the counter by means of a conveyor belt. It’s organized chaos in the best way.
For the past six years, the Cheesman Park Art Festival has been bringing together a wide variety of artists in a fun and family friendly atmosphere. They say that art is in the eye of the beholder. If that is the case then there was some amazing pieces being displayed from the 150 artists that hail from 22 different states. In its seventh year, this particular festival is still one of my favorites around the Denver area. In case shopping for art isn’t enough, there’s also a slew of live music, food trucks and children’s activities during the weekend as well.
One of my favorite places in the United States happens to be Rocky Mountain National Park, just a stone’s throw away from Estes Park, Colorado. If you’re unfamiliar with the Environmental Learning for Kids program, that is partially funded by the National Park Service, it gives children a chance to experience all of the wonderful things about the great outdoors. Put these two things together and you get an awesome three day camping trip full of learning and doing. Urban Rangers, high schoolers and even some middle school students spent their time bouldering, fishing, hiking and camping in a beautiful setting up in the Rocky Mountains.
Each year, artists and their pop up white tents flood Pearl Street Mall in Boulder for the annual Pearl Street Arts Fest during the summer. This year the art festival, which showcases artists from 20 different states, celebrated its 41st birthday. From whimsical and modern sculptures to traditional watercolors, oils and more, the thongs of art fans that pack the busy outdoor mall are sure to find the exact perfect piece they’ve been looking for.
Rita’s Law is open for business in the Five Points neighborhood of Denver and if you love coffee or whiskey or bowls of delicious food then you may want to check it out. There are a few rules to abide by…Rita’s Law # 80 says “Make a Friend, Buy your neighbor a drink.” # 69 says “Be Better. Contribute to your community. Together we can do so much.” There are more and if you’re curious just ask Head Lawmaker Rita Price. A Denver native, Price is the purveyor of hard to find and allocated whiskeys. She’s teamed up with Katie Milano for bowls packed full of goodness out of the permanent food truck on the patio and partnered with Yo Te Amo coffee roasters and Olive & Finch On The Fly bakery for day side offerings of hot cups of Joe and pastries.
If you love Baja-styled Mexican food and haven’t been to Lola Coastal Mexican in LoHi, I have one question….what’s wrong with you? From charred octopus, to crab claws served on ice, the chef dream team of Dave Query, Javier Plascencia and Sheila Lucero will have your mouth watering for more. The space, at 1575 Boulder St., has been recently overhauled in the past few months and by overhauled, I mean completely gutted and redesigned. Light and airy, with shades of blue and accents that scream you’re at a place near the beach. The cocktail program has also been revamped by James Lee of Bitter Bar fame in Boulder.
The National Park Service helps fund the Environmental Learning for Kids program, which for the state of Colorado, holds over 190 activities each year. Not only does the program bring the outdoors to children but it also teaches high school and college students how to become Urban Rangers. With a trip down to Chatfield State Park on a bright, sunny day, younger children learned how to fish and the importance of being a responsible angler. The fishing clinic started with presentations by the Urban Rangers, followed by practice casting and finally a bunch of hours fishing out on one of the park’s lakes.
June is one of my favorite times of year. There’s plenty of things to do around Denver and Boulder, the sun is usually shining and the last vestiges of Spring are behind us. It is also the time when the 1940s Ball holds their annual event at the city’s municipal airport and it is one of my most favorite events to be a part of. It’s the 11th anniversary for the ball and after three years of photographing the event, there are still new and exciting changes that keep things fresh.
The themed, costumed ball set at the end of World War 2 in the 1940s has everything one can dream of that places attendees right in the middle of the time period. There’s music and dancing, live bands, fighter planes and bombers, people dressed to the nines, drinking, eating, air raids, photos being taken, more dancing, some kissing, a tank, encampments, machine guns and even more dancing late into the early morning hours. Set in Paris, France, vendor and cafe backdrops line the festive Victory Street along with new impersonators such as Lucille Ball and Queen Elizabeth II.