Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Estes Park to host 3rd annual Winter Festival

Estes Park Winter FestivalWhile the cold months tend to make beer festivals few and far between, there is one winter festival that is growing in popularity and is planning to expand it's showcasing of adult beverages including not only beer, but wine, mead and hard cider as well. Bundle up and start making plans to visit Estes Park and the Rocky Mountain National Park area for their 3rd annual Estes Park Winter Festival. There will be plenty to eat, drink and things to do both indoors and out during this 4-day weekend event. The following is their official press release for the upcoming event from Visit Estes Park and the Estes Park Destination Marketing Organization.

Estes Park Winter Festival

(November 28, 2011) - Explore a CandyLand Ice Castle, demo snowshoes, taste award-winning chili and sip a variety of beers and wines at the 3rd Annual Estes Park Winter Festival, Martin Luther King, Jr. Weekend, Jan. 13 through 16, 2012. This family festival partners with the 17th Annual Winter Trails Day held Saturday, Jan. 14 in Rocky Mountain National Park, offering a weekend jam-packed with events.

The event kicks off on Friday, Jan. 13 with an old-fashioned Ceilidh Irish barn dance with live music followed by a weekend schedule that includes winter fun for all ages. Included in the activities will be a chili cook off & beer/wine tasting in a heated pavillion, CandyLand ice village and maze, ice skating, pony rides, ice bowling, scavenger hunt, horse and carriage rides and much more!

Headquarters for the festival has been moved to a heated pavilion at the Fairgrounds at Stanley Park to accommodate the numerous activates that are planned for the Festival. Festival grounds are open Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the cost is $5 per person, which includes entrance into the Festival and chili tasting. There is no charge for children under age three. Wine and beer tasting is an additional $20 per person.

Ice Sculpture CandyLand and Children’s Activities

Jess Parrish returns with his Cool Hand Ice Crew, famous for their carvings all over the country. While children explore the ice sculptures and games, zoom down the snow slide and enjoy a sno-cone from the ice luge; adults can watch Jess and his team create intricate ice carvings. The money cube has been a popular and rewarding activity that returns this year! Ice Bowling is one of many new activities! There is no charge for children under age three. Pony and horse carriage rides are an additional $5 per person. To ice skate, the cost is $1 per skate.

Especially for those who enjoy food, brews and wine

The highlight for “foodies” is two days of eating chili and tasting Colorado beer and wine. There are two separate competitions of the Chili Cook-off. On Saturday, Colorado restaurants compete for “Best of the Fest” chili. On Sunday, chili cooks from throughout the region will compete in a Chili Appreciation Society International-sanctioned competition. Anyone can compete, visit the Winter Festival website for more details.There’s also a jalapeno eating contest for the brave.

Nine Colorado wineries will showcase their award-winning wines, including Snowy Peaks Winery, Turquoise Mesa Winery, Bookcliff Vineyards, Dithyramb Winery, Augustina’s Winery,Zephyr Cellars, Spero Winery, Ten Bears Winery and Settembre Cellars. Plus, Colorado Cider Company will be sampling their handcrafted hard ciders.

If microbrews are something you enjoy, try the suds from a variety of breweries including Bristol Brewing, Estes Park Brewery, Pateros Creek Brewing, Funkwerks, Grimm Brothers Brewhouse, and many more.

Winter Trails Day

Learn how to snowshoe at the 17th Annual Winter Trails Day, scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 14 in Rocky Mountain National Park. from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There’s no charge to demo snowshoes from your choice of manufacturers (Tubbs, Atlas, MSR, Crescent Moon and more). Receive expert advice on selecting and fitting snowshoes, along with other fun ideas about how to enjoy winter in the mountains.

Participants in Winter Trails can attend free informational clinics which include educational stations on winter activity basics, safety techniques, nutrition and hydration tips, essential conditioning exercises and how to dress for winter hiking and camping. The national Winter Trails organization, REI and Estes Area Lodging Assoc. sponsor this free event. No entrance fees to Rocky Mountain National Park will be charged during the weekend.

Scavenger Hunt

Each day (Friday through Monday), take part in a town-wide scavenger hunt with a chance to win lodging, retail and restaurant prizes. Pick up clues at the Estes Park Visitor Center Friday – Monday and the Estes Park Winter Festival entrance on Saturday and Sunday.

Ceilidh, S’mores and More!

Friday night, help launch our new kick-off celebration with the Ceilidh Irish Barn Dance. Be entertained with fun and upbeat folk & Irish music that will make you want to kick up your heels! Take a break from the dancing and head outside to the bonfire where you can enjoy ghost stories and cowboy poetry by the fire with FREE hot cocoa and s’mores. Enjoy a drink from the bar with $4 Colorado micro-brews, $5 glasses of Colorado wine and cocktails from Dancing Pines Distillery. The Estes Park Wedding Association sponsors this event. Free admission

For more information see EstesParkWinterFestival.com; write info@EstesParkWinterFestival.com or call 970-577-9900 or 800-443-7837.

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Related articles:
- December 2011 Colorado Beer Festivals & Events.
- January 2012 Colorado Beer Festivals & Events.
- Rocky Mountain Brew Fest 2008 highlights. (Estes Park)

This article came from FermentedlyChallenged.com - a Colorado beer blog.
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