Nestled in a gently rolling valley of the Rocky Mountain foothills, Raccoon Creek takes golfers meandering across 7,045 yards of fairways dotted with scenic water hazards. To compensate for its somewhat sparse tree lines, the course?s fairways and greens are flanked with a multitude of cavernous bunkers that?unlike guessing where the plumber hid the toilet seat?challenges players without sacrificing fun. Glassy waters and sprawling golf-ball beaches wreathe the green at the 17th hole, creating a daunting tee shot that earned it the distinction of the course?s signature hole. For those who prefer to cruise the links in a cozy conveyance, Raccoon Creek?s carts are all equipped with GPS technology, which keeps players abreast of the whereabouts of upcoming greens, intervening hazards, and heist-planning squirrels. A fully stocked pro shop, driving range, and scenic restaurant round out Raccoon Creek?s course-side facilities.
The Rocky Mountains backdrop Clement Park. Yet for one weekend each year, this public gathering spot doesn't look, sound, smell, or feel anything like Colorado. A wave of green washes over the park like the die tank at a kilt factory exploded, and the Colorado Irish Festival kicks off its annual celebration of the Emerald Isle.
For two decades now, tens of thousands of people have flocked to the event to view (and perhaps wear) a grand collection of kilts and bagpipes. Those bagpipes roar to life with traditional Irish music, which shares the stage with step dancing and more contemporary Irish rock bands?including frequent headliner Gaelic Storm, who attendees may recognize from the film Titanic. Other areas of the festival brim with Irish and Celtic goods, including jewelry, sculptures, and kilt accessories.
In 2011, the Colorado Irish Festival marked the debut event for Killian's Irish Stout, which has a recipe that goes back to Enniscorthy, Ireland. George Killian's brew brings Ireland and Colorado together, since it's made at the local Coors brewery?making it an ideal choice for the festival's signature drink.
You might be inclined to find the smallest pumpkin available at The Great Pumpkin Haul's patch. That's because you won't just be taking this pumpkin home to carve it into a ghoulish mascot; you'll also be lugging it through a 2-mile obstacle course. Racers balance their chosen gourd on their shoulders as they trundle through corn fields, orange- and red-hued woody trails, and open pasture, all while scrambling over hay bales and other autumnal obstacles. While the race is only 2 miles long, it can be challenging when balancing a 10–20 pound pumpkin. That's why the staff awards such perseverance with prizes for those carrying the heaviest pumpkin, those daring to carry two pumpkins, and those who complete the race fastest.
After competitors cross the finish line, they're rewarded with mugs of warm apple cider and glasses of pumpkin beer. They're also welcome to hang out for a few hours to tackle the corn maze, revel in the brisk autumn weather, and groove to local music. All of the day's proceeds go to The Children's Hospital Colorado.
When the festivities wind down, guests can take their once burdensome pumpkin home to carve it into a jack-o-lantern while feeling the sweet, sweet release of revenge.
Mike Burns and Dan Karabacz wanted to keep track of all the beers they'd tasted on their travels, so as a practical solution, they created a website dedicated to doing just that. They don't keep it to themselves, though?they welcome submissions from beer enthusiasts around the world. BeerCraving serves as a global scrapbook, allowing users to post photos of their favorite brews from watering holes across the United States and beyond for the benefit of those with common interests or who aren't sure what beer looks like.
To take that love of trying new things one step further, BeerCraving also holds three Denver-area festivals throughout the year: The Fermentation Festival, Chef N Brew Festival, and the South Denver Beer Fest. The first, true to its name, explores all kinds of fermented food and drink, bringing together craft breweries and restaurants as well as kombucha breweries and sauerkraut specialists. The Chef N Brew Festival, meanwhile, pits regional chefs and brewers against each other in a pairing competition. In keeping with the company's passion for beer education, each event features seminars and educational demonstrations.
Color Me Rad stages 5K races that transform runners into mobile rainbows by launching cheerful barrages of colored cornstarch. Each color station along the racetrack flings a new, nontoxic pigment at passersby, who wear white shirts to enhance the chromatic onslaught's costuming effects. Brilliant neon-blue, green, purple, and yellow clouds dapple participants along the way, and the race concludes with a prismatic finish-line finale as sprinters chuck colors at each other in celebration. The race's noncompetitive credo shifts the emphasis from speed to silliness, and a portion of its proceeds go to local charities.
Upon registration, each runner collects a Color Me Rad T-shirt, sunglasses, sponsor gifts, and a race bib. Though they don't receive a gift packet, runners younger than 8 years old can sprint for free, provided they have a waiver signed by a guardian and won't give in to demands for gold from confused leprechauns.
As master black-belts with years of training in their field, Grand Master Hart and Master Lewis believe that one of the most effective paths to martial-arts training goes through individual attention. At 5280 Karate Academy, their team of black-belt and master-level instructors work with students one-on-one as they delve into training in a safe, non-competitive environment. Taekwondo and karate programs focus on building physical skills such as basic striking technique and self-defense as well as mental discipline and self-esteem. Once students become comfortable with the basics, coaches work with them to develop more personalized training programs designed to accommodate their individual fitness levels and willingness to punch a plank of wood in the face.