Boulder Creek Fest
When: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (Boulder Bandshell, food courts, beer gardens open until 10 p.m.) and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday (Bandshell, food courts, beer gardens open until 7 p.m.)
Rock & Pop Music Academy
Float Like a Buffalo
Pete Kartsounes Band
Dead Phish Orchestra
Felonius Smith Trio
Arthur Lee Land Trio
Nederland Mountain Movers
Colorado Conservatory of Dance
Na 'Olapa Mamao E Malama Hula
Mountain Contemporary Dance
High Peaks Twirlers
Blue Moon Dance
Christine Moore and the Figure 8's
Schiff Dance Collective
McTeggart Irish Dancers
Live, Love, Dance
Celtic Steps Irish Dance
Wolchek Academy of Martial Arts
Boulder Taiko Hibiki
Salute to Veterans Program
Michael Hornbuckle Band
Burn it Blue
Flash Mountain Flood
Singer Songwriter Competition
• Laurel Butterworth
• Sophie Neuschatz
• Taylor Shae
• Emma Keiren
Battle of the Bands Competition
• Fists of the Proletariat
• The Irrelevance
• The Incredible Descents
• Beyond the Illusion
• Unexcused Absence
• The Beaves
• Below Brooklyn
Teen Stage Battle of the Bands Winner
Rebecca Folsom Acoustic Trio
Bonnie & The Clydes
Lady And The Gentlemen
Kaleidoscope Music/House of Joy
Keaka O Kalani Hula and Polynesian Dance
White Dragon Martial Arts
The Big Noise
El Badree Dance
Shamwari Tamba! and Vana Vedu
A Place to B Studio
Boulder Performing Arts
Mile High Bellydance
Ascential Dance Theater
More than a half-million people will be converging in Boulder this weekend.
As in 570,000. (That's four zeros.)
Some will be running. Some will be partying. Many will be dancing. And some will be smooching puppies.
And although Boulder may be channelling its inner Portland with a chance of showers Saturday, Bolder Boulder and the Boulder Creek Festival events have entertainment to sate every thirst.
With the Bolder Boulder 10K on Monday and the Creek Fest Saturday through Monday, Boulder is stuffing its start-of-summer three-day weekend like a Mission-style burrito. All of the good stuff, wrapped up in one Boulder Bubble: world-class athletes, beer gardens, roller coasters, contortionists, live music, belly dancers, bacon, DJs, Elvis, water slides, art, runners, grub, costumed folk, puppy kisses and more.
That's what Meg Denbow, director of communications for Boulder Creek Fest organizer Boulder Creek Events, says. If there's a time to party in Boulder, the time is this weekend.
"It's such a quintessential Boulder weekend," she said. "We have the Creek Fest, the Bolder Boulder, the Farmers' Market is in full swing — we encourage people who have never been to Boulder to come and visit."
And kiss puppies.
Like Denbow did two years ago with newly adopted Cosmo, visitors can go home with a doggie from the Rocky Mountain Puppy Rescue — which will be on hand, complete with background checks, a kissing booth and fuzzy buddies ready for forever homes (ranging from puppies to older dogs).
Denbow said that the year she met Cosmo, she was feeling the stress of working long hours at the festival.
"I needed to kiss a puppy," she said. "I never had a dog before and when I kissed that puppy, I just knew it had to come home with me."
The Creek Fest, dubbed as the unofficial start to summer, will have three stages of live music and entertainment. Boulder's vocal band, Face, will perform at 3 p.m. Monday at the Boulder Bandshell, and the band's beat boxer and vocalist, Mark Megibow, noting that Face performs 120 shows a year, said the Creek Fest is "one of our favorite shows."
"We look forward to Boulder Creek Fest every single year," Megibow said. "There's always a sea of people having a good time. Even the years with the worst weather always draws crowds. It's summer in Boulder, that's what we do."
Megibow said that when he moved to Boulder more than 20 years ago, the Creek Fest was one of the first events his friends introduced him to.
"The festival is such a Boulder institution, and for Face to be a part it is an honor," said Megibow.
Face, which was originally formed by University of Colorado students and competed on NBC's "The Sing-Off," has been mystifying fans with their vocals for more than a decade.
"It's a combination of speed talking and spitting," Megibow said, laughing, when describing his beat boxing. "Spit is an unfortunate byproduct of the trade. But really, I make drum noises with my mouth, it's hard to describe. Listeners will hear a rock drummer on a stage that has no drums."
It's a melange of covers and originals, all produced by the vocal talents of Ryan Driver, Forest Kelly, Cody Qualls, Stephen Ross and Megibow.
"I like to call it our own brand of upbeat happy rock music," said Megibow.
With this weekend kicking off a slew of summer festivals and outdoor music series, Face is on many bills across the Front Range over the next few months — and most shows are free, Megibow said, which is nice, considering the band consistently sells out local gigs.
And lucky for Boulder County, new music is on the set list.
"We'll be debuting brand new stuff at Creek Fest," Megibow said. "I can't spoil the surprise, but I will say that it is made up of very recognizable pop songs mashed together in a 10-minute medley."
Creek Fest's Denbow said this year is a special one as the festival turns 30. What once was a small parade with a couple vendor booths in the beginning during what was called "I Love Boulder" week, Denbow said more than 450,000 visitors are expected to congregate throughout the holiday weekend.
And although the Boulder Civic Area project somewhat stepped on the flow of the event's space, Denbow said the challenges have been taken in stride.
The three-day festival kicks off at 10 a.m. Saturday and runs from Broadway to 14th Street, between Canyon Boulevard and Arapahoe Avenue, and the Boulder High School lawn, which will house teen, children and family activities. (And puppy kisses.) The carnival will be moved to the Boulder Library.
"We just have to work through the challenge of maintaining the popularity and integrity of the festival," Denbow said.
A festival, she said, that is "truly Boulder's own event." Highlighting local companies, two beer gardens will feature beer will be from Upslope, Oskar Blues, Fate Brewing and Oasis, along with local food, art, vendors, music and puppy kisses.
"This event belongs to the community and, as producers, we're all well aware of that and we like to highlight what makes Boulder, Boulder."
The event and music is free with carnival rides and attractions vary in price per vendor.
"My favorite thing about summer in Boulder is probably the same as everybody's: sitting outside in the beautiful weather," Megibow said, fittingly, on the phone from a Starbucks patio. "Festivals gives people an opportunity to go out and hear great live music almost every day of the week for free."
Boulder Bolder entertainment
Start 30th and Walnut: Dave McLoughlin (trumpet call)
Mile 0.1 30th and Pearl: Black & Blues Band (Blues Brothers tribute)
Mile 0.4 30th and Mapleton: Pint & A Half (folk)
Mile 0.5 30th and Bluff: Riley Ann (folk)
Mile 0.6 30th and Valmont: Williams' Brothers Band (jam rock)
Mile 0.7 29th and Valmont: Andy Sydow (rock)
Mile 0.8 2840 28th Street: The Royal Pains (children's band)
Mile 1.1 28th and Pine: Francis & The Wolf (rock)
Mile 1.4 Pine and Folsom: DJ from Eddie Rose Productions
Mile 1.6 Folsom/HillTop: Desert Rain (belly dancers)
Mile 2.0 Folsom and Valmont: Elvis! (impersonator)
Mile 2.4 23rd and Glenwood: Abbie Rooney (aerialist)
Mile 2.9 19th and Glenwood: Anne Feist (storyteller)
Mile 3.0 19th and Floral: Beledi Dance Caravan (belly dancing)
Mile 3.0 19th and Elder: Ms. TuTu (dancing)
Mile 3.8 13th and Balsam: Joe Johnson (folk soloist)
Mile 4.1 13th and North: Zyzzyx Road (classic rock cover band)
Mile 4.2 13th and Portland: Alirio Silva (Brazilian drums)
Mile 4.3 13th and Mapleton: Jake Edwards (singer-songwriter)
Mile 4.5 14th and Spruce: Ginny Mules (bluegrass folk)
Mile 4.6 15th and Pearl: Barking at Dogs (funk rock)
Mile 4.7 17th and Pearl: Confluence Music Group (pop rock)
Mile 5.0 Walnut and 21st: DJ Brandon Copeland
Mile 5.2 Walnut and Folsom: DJ from Beehive Bandwagon
Mile 5.3 1717 Folsom: Carrie Diaz (painter)
Mile 5.4 2525 Arapahoe Ave.: Jacob Larson Band (pop rock)
Mile 5.5 2525 Arapahoe Ave.: Boulder Samba (Brazilian drumming)
Mile 5.5 Folsom and Arapahoe: Tailgater Rockstars (country rock)
Mile 5.9 Folsom and Arapahoe: Centennial Pipe Band (bagpipes)
Finish CU's Folsom Field: Boulder High Pep Band Marching Band
Stephanie Winslow-Sell, the marketing and communications manager for the Memorial Day race, said the registration numbers are trending similar to last year, meaning there will be more than 50,000 participants in the race and more than 70,000 spectators along the sidelines and in Folsom Field at the University of Colorado for the Memorial Day tribute. (That's an extra 120,000. Another four zeros.)
With the Creek Fest down the street, Winslow-Sell described Memorial Day weekend in Boulder as "crazy fun."
While participants run, jog, walk or roll, spectators can expect to see everything from an Elvis impersonator, to marching bands, to belly dancers, to Ms. Tutu, a Bolder Boulder legend who has been entertaining racers since the very first race in 1979, Winslow said.
Winslow-Sell said that since the Boulder Creek Festival decreased its footprint this year, that means the Bolder Boulder area is larger, with vendors sponsors and giveaways at the Sports Exhibit on Pearl Street, which will be open Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
New this year, Winslow-Sell said, will be a free Bolder Boulder and Oskar Blues pre-party concert at the Boulder Theater at 8 p.m. Saturday night featuring music from Boulder "boogaloo fusion" band Envy Alo and Bolder Boulder's Battle of the Bands winner, Francis and the Wolf, a rock 'n' roll group from Longmont — with sets from The Sweet Lillies and Boulder Sound Lab, too.
Boulder's burrito is ready to rage. Time to go party with the herd of noisemakers, sprinters, spectators, singers and drink-slingers.
And obviously puppy slobber.
Christy Fantz: 303-473-1107, email@example.com or twitter.com/fantzypants
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