to restaurants and thought why not give them something else to do?” she says. “There aren’t a large number of galleries in Loveland, so we encouraged shops to stay open later than usual on the second Friday of the month. Many of the restaurants offer specials on those evenings and the whole area just feels like a big block party!” Especially in warmer months, Colson says, people come down and enjoy an evening stroll. “One night the streets were so packed, the city had to send police on horseback for crowd control. It was wall to wall.” Loveland’s downtown is approaching the 5th anniversary of its Night on the Town this spring, and Colson is already dreaming about a fun way to celebrate. Estes Park The 20th anniversary of the Estes Park Cultural Arts Council’s Art Walk and Jazz Fest is coming up on May 15 and 16. A combined effort of the art council and the town of Estes Park, the Jazz Fest has become a regional draw. “We’re a small but mighty community; we have art from all over the world and a great variety of genres,” says Lynda S. Vogel, executive director of the arts council. The art walk in Estes Park is ongoing during the day, rather than scheduled on an evening, though the community regularly promotes the arts through events like the Jazz Fest. Vogel maintains that the opportunities to enjoy art and nature in Estes Park are one of a kind. “I don’t know of any place else on the Front Range where you can observe a painter at work beside the river and have an elk walk up,” she says. “One year at the Plein Air outdoor painting event, we had 80 elk come running through. It was a stampede; all the artists held onto their paintings for dear life, but not one person was hurt.” Greeley Where the previous community art walks are compact, Greeley’s is just the opposite. Their participating businesses and galleries are far spread, and the city uses that to their advantage to keep people coming back. “Every month is a whole new experience,” says Bianca Fisher, project coordinator for Greeley’s Downtown Development Authority. “People come back repeatedly to try to catch something they missed the month before.” Greeley makes a special effort to include live music on the plaza during summer months and indoor events at Zoe’s Café in cooler weather. The Tointon Gallery in the Union Colony Civic Center is the anchor in downtown, but the Greeley Freight Station Museum on 10th Street is garnering rave reviews from families and history buffs with its model train displays. Pam Bricker, owner of Mariposa Plants and Flowers and Chair of the Greeley Downtown Alliance, has been an active participant of Spend the Night on the Town for the year and a half she has owned the shop. “There really is something for everyone,” she says. “At Mariposa, we always pick a theme and decorate the windows… we retailers want to encourage people to come downtown and enjoy the galleries and our city,” she says. As the weather warms, consider an evening on the town… it’s your duty to civilization. Corey Radman is a writer and mother who lives in Fort Collins.
Published on Aug 7, 2013
Published on Aug 7, 2013
April - Northern Colorado Economy A powerful issue with an article focus on Northern Colorado’s business, building, economy, lifestyle an...