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Kids Combine Learning with Fun at A Taste of Colorado | Arts & Culture

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Kids Combine Learning with Fun at A Taste of Colorado
Kids Combine Learning with Fun at A Taste of Colorado

DENVER -- Featured acts, including Katherine Dines and the Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta Band; Betsy Tobin and The Now or Never Theater; Michael Friedman and Swingset Jazz; and Mike Walsh and The Old Town Puppet Theater, are set to appear at the 28th annual A Taste of Colorado on the KidzStage presented by MIX 100.  Children and adults can stay busy for hours with carnival rides, games, educational exhibits, and more.  The four-day, free admission, food, music, and entertainment festival will take place Labor Day weekend, Sept. 2 through Sept. 5, in Downtown Denver’s Civic Center Park.

The KidZone is a family-friendly area offering play equipment and a great variety of free, hands-on craft activities for children of all ages.  KidZone hours are 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Fri., Sept. 2; and 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sat., Sept. 3 through Mon., Sept. 5.

Enjoy Carnival Rides and Games Saturday through Monday, presented by KOOL 105.  EARLY BIRD wristbands can be purchased for $15 from 10:30 a.m. - 3 p.m., Saturday through Monday. These wristbands are good for unlimited rides on the day of purchase until 5 p.m. ALL DAY wristbands can be purchased for $25 anytime from 10:30 a.m. to two hours before closing Saturday through Monday and are good for unlimited rides on the day purchased until closing.  Individual rides are also available for generally two to ten tickets per ride.  Carnival hours are 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sat., Sept. 3 through Sun., Sept. 4 and 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mon., Sept. 5
There will be plenty of music, magic, clowns, and puppets on the KidzStage presented by MIX 100.  Connie Elstun’s Bunny & Birdie Comedy and Magic Show features the delightful antics of three live, costumed performing bunnies.  Jeff, “The Pizza Dude,” a pizza-tossing acrobat and member of the U.S. Pizza Team, will demonstrate his dough-throwing skills.  Jim Jackson presents “Clown Around the World,” an opportunity to meet clowns from different cultures and time periods.  Music for Kids with Eric West incorporates storytelling, sing-along songs, and instruments from around the world, with audience members forming a band on stage. 

The following is a lineup of children’s entertainers for the KidzStage presented by MIX 100:

FRIDAY, Sept. 2 
11:45 a.m. & 2:00 p.m.  Connie Elstun’s Bunny & Birdie Comedy and Magic Show
1:00 p.m. & 4:30 p.m.    Wayne Francis Presents:  The Wayne and Wingnut Ventriloquist Show
3:15 p.m. & 6:30 p.m.    Ann Lincoln’s Magic, Comedy, and Juggling
5:30 p.m.                       Katherine Dines and the Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta Band
Roving entertainment:   Ann Lincoln; Wayne Francis; Wild Bill Patterson, Juggling and Stilt Walking

SATURDAY, Sept. 3  
10:45 a.m. & 2:00 p.m.  Jeff, “The Pizza Dude,” Member of the U.S. Pizza Team
11:45 a.m. & 3:15 p.m.  The Magic and Comedy of Cody Landstrom
1:00 p.m. & 4:30 p.m.    Betsy Tobin and The Now or Never Theater Present:  Three  Precious Pearls & Coliatha and The Roots That Bind
5:30 p.m.                       World of Magic with Stuart Hayner
6:30 p.m.                       Gene Davis and the Que Pastas - Quirky Kids Music  
Roving entertainment:   Cody Landstrom; Thimble the Fairy; Stuart Hayner

SUNDAY, Sept. 4 
10:45 a.m. & 3:15 p.m.  The Magic, Mystery, and Fun Show of Gene R. Gordon
11:45 a.m. & 4:30 p.m.  Mike Walsh and The Old Town Puppet Theater
1:00 p.m. & 5:30 p.m.    Birgitta DePree Presents:  The Emperor’s New Clothes
2:00 p.m. & 6:30 p.m.    Jim Jackson Presents:  Clown Around the World
Roving entertainment:   Birgitta DePree Stilt Walking; Thimble the Fairy; Jim Jackson; Old Town Puppets; Gene R. Gordon

MONDAY, Sept. 5
10:45 a.m.                     Music for Kids with Eric West
11:45 a.m. & 3:15 p.m.  Erica the Enchantress
1:00 p.m.                       The Wick School of Irish Dance
2:00 p.m.                       Paul Borrillo as Poppy the Clown, followed by Poppy’s Juggling Workshop
4:30 p.m.                       Beth Epley Presents:  Color the Earth
5:30 p.m.                       Paul Borrillo as Poppy the Clown
6:30 p.m.                       Michael Friedman and Swingset Jazz
Roving entertainment:   Poppy the Clown; Stuart Hayner; Erica the Enchantress; The Salida Circus Troupe

Nursing mothers and families can visit the Baby Oasis presented by ColoradoKids.com, a convenient area located in the KidZone for parents to nurse, change diapers, and relax in a private environment complete with a rocking chair.  An assortment of supplies will be provided, including diapers and baby wipes.

Families can journey back to the roots of Colorado and have fun learning about the state’s pioneer past, nature, and the environment. In the Festival of Mountain and Plain area, featured artisans will demonstrate Navajo weaving and culture, spinning, rug braiding, lace crocheting, felting, and quilting, along with the popular blacksmith demonstration. At the Raptor Education Foundation (REF) exhibit, children can learn about birds, their environment, and their interactions with humans.

Kid-friendly food vendors will be located along the perimeter of the KidZone selling hot dogs, pretzels, popcorn, and more. A Taste of Colorado is also an opportunity for parents to encourage their children to try new foods from places like the Caribbean, Africa, India, and Asia, as many of the restaurants offer “taste-sized” portions for one to three tickets.
In addition to the KidzStage, the Main Stage and three other entertainment stages located throughout the Festival will serve up a continuous menu of music, featuring rock, country, jazz, classic rock, blues, and ethnic music and dance groups.

More than 50 of Colorado’s favorite food establishments will be selling a wide variety of small portions to full meals, ensuring that there will be something for every palate.  The Fine Dining area will host some of Denver’s finest restaurants.  The Culinary Showcase features local and nationally-renowned chef demonstrations creating simple, yet elegant meals.

Festivalgoers can shop in more than 280 Marketplace booths for original arts and crafts, home and gift items, furniture, jewelry, imports, and more.  Fine Art in the Park will display original works in a variety of mediums created by artists from around the country.  Shoppers also can explore the Home & Lifestyles area, which features a variety of exhibitors displaying products and services such as window installation, kitchen remodeling, cookware, basement refinishing, and salons and spas.

Sponsors of this year’s Festival are:  9NEWS, Aggreko, All Copy Products, American Medical Response, Aspen Pure, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, Blue Moon, Chobani Greek Yogurt, Coast 2 Coast Communications, Colorado Lottery, Colorado Native, Coors Banquet, Courtyard by Marriott Denver Downtown, The Denver Post, Downtown Denver Partnership, Inc., Famous Dave’s Bar-B-Que, Freshies All Natural Cocktail Mixes, Grand Lodge on Peak 7, Häagen-Dazs, Kinect for Xbox 360™, LBA Realty, The LEGO Experience Tour 2011, Levinson Eye Clinic, Mike’s Hard Lemonade, PEPSI, Residence Inn Denver City Center, Sturgeon Electric, Sub-Zero & Wolf, TiVo, Inc., TownePlace Suites Denver Downtown, Verizon Wireless, XingTea, Yakult, and Your Neighborhood Toyota Stores.

Festival hours are Friday, Sept. 2, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, Sept. 3, and Sunday, Sept. 4, 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Monday, Sept. 5, 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Festival of Mountain and Plain … A Taste of Colorado is a community celebration that is produced by and benefits Downtown Denver Events, Inc., the Downtown Denver Partnership family’s community events non-profit organization.  The Festival is an opportunity for people throughout the region to come together to experience and appreciate our diverse cultural traditions, and to learn more about our state’s Western heritage.  The Festival highlights visual and performing arts in addition to featuring educational programs and culinary demonstrations.

Visit www.ATasteofColorado.com, www.facebook.com/ATasteofColorado, www.twitter.com/ATasteofCO, or call (303) 295-6330 for more information.

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