Parker Days

It’s summertime in Colorado and that means it’s time for PARKER DAYS, Colorado’s Hometown Festival. Voted “The Best Festival on the Front Range,” Parker Days brings the best of summertime fun right into the heart of Parker. Beginning with the kick off concert Thursday night, the fun continues throughout the weekend for the whole family. Whether you’re a music lover, a thrill seeker or an enthusiastic foodie – Parker Days has something for everyone!

Entrance to the Festival is free, but you may need a bit of a roadmap to plan out your weekend.

Thursday night’s headline concert, which benefits the Wounded Warrior Project, starts with weekend off on just the right note. VIP Ticket holders can head in at 5pm, general admission begins at 6pm and the concert opens at 7pm with The Kory Brunson Band. Headliner Trace Adkins takes the stage later in the evening.

Music continues on the Main Stage throughout the weekend with FREE concerts each day:

Friday 6:00-7:30 PM – The Tom Petty project
8:00-9:30 PM – Project Foreigner
10:00-11:30 PM – Queen Nation

Saturday
12:00-1:00 PM – Mr. Maestik’s 8 Track Revival 1:30-2:30 PM – Steve Thomas Band
4:30-5:30 PM – Walker Williams
6:00-7:30 PM – Mark Powell
8:30-9:30 PM – Sean Curtis & The Divide
10:30-11:30 PM – Buckstein

Sunday
10:00AM-11:30AM – Church Service
brought to you by PEPC Church
12:00-1:30 PM – Running with Scizzors
2:00-3:30 PM – Nacho Men
4:00-5:30 PM – Richie Law
6:00-8:00 PM – Soul X

Both the Pikes Peak Stage and the Community Stage have a full schedule of entertainment throughout the weekend as well. The Pikes Peak Stage features smaller, acoustic style acts and great family entertainment while the Community Stage is your destination for local entertainment for both kids and adults. The stage will include a full line-up of demonstrations, cultural presentations, and performers of all ages and varieties. The Council of Arts, Science and Culture, a local non-profit provides arts programs to kids assists Parker Days in finding great children performers for the Community Stage.

You’re bound to get a bit hungry or be in need of refreshment while you’re enjoying all the amazing entertainment. You’ll found both in abundance at Parker Days! Be sure to purchase food tickets, as no cash is accepted. You can hit up one of the many offerings in the Food Truck Alley, sample delicious carnival fare at from other vendors including bratwurst and sausages, turkey legs and hamburgers, soft pretzels, curly fries, roasted sweet corn and, of course, all kinds of deliciousness served on a stick! Don’t leave your sweet tooth neglected either, be sure to save room for funnel cakes, French macaron ice cream sandwiches, berry kabobs, frozen cheesecake, and handheld pies, just to name a few options. Coca Cola products are available through the festival grounds, unless of course, you desire a little liquid courage to tackle some of those rides! Budweiser brand beers, as well as wine, margaritas, Jack and Cola, Jack and Ginger, daiquiris and more will be served at the Main Stage bar. Make sure to bring your ID as everyone must have proof of age in order to buy alcohol at Parker Days. In addition to the ever-popular Main Stage bar, a second location with alcohol at the festival is at the Pikes Peak Stage and will include microbrew beers, wine and other tantalizing options to choose from while you enjoy the entertainment. (Drinks are 5-7 tickets per drink; no cash is accepted at the bars.) Tickets must be purchased for $1 per ticket (no minimum required) at the ticket kiosks and can be traded for food and drink in the Main Stage and Pikes Peak Stage area. Tickets can be purchased with cash only (no credit cards). ATM’s are on-site in both locations.

Sunday morning, start the last day off right and bring the family out for the Parker Days Festival Pancake Breakfast. From 8:00am-10:00am, the Main Stage hosts the best breakfast in town, and all for a great cause – cash donations for the Pancake Breakfast benefits the Parker Taskforce Food Bank.

Now that the music, food and drink are covered, let’s get right to it, the main attraction of Parker Days, those amazing rides! Parker Days rides will turn you round and round, upside down and right side up again. There are also mazes, fun houses, and haunted houses. Make sure, for your safety, that you wear closed toed shoes if you plan on riding rides. Those in flip flops, bare feet or festival goers in a cast will not be permitted to ride. Tickets for rides ($1 each) can be purchased on site by the ticket or by purchasing carnival passes. A One-Day Carnival Pass is $25, if purchased in advance on the website, or $30 if purchased at the event. Carnival wristband(s) do not include access to Water Balls or Bounce Houses. These items must be purchased separately through the groups running those sections of the festival. Inflatables start at $3/ride (tickets are available for purchase at the entrance to the inflatables) and Waterballs are $10/ride (tickets available for purchase at the entrance to the attraction.)

The little ones who may not be quite tall enough to “ride the ride” can enjoy Kids’ Zone with dozens of festival booths, face painting, music, crafts, the petting zoo, and other fun, including numerous rides for younger children.

For over 40 years, Parker Days has delighted the young and young at heart and served as the unofficial start to summer. The site of that grand Ferris Wheel signals to all of us that the days are getting longer, the weather warmer and the time to get out and enjoy it is here!

Full Festival Hours
Thursday 5pm – 10pm
Headline Concert: 5pm VIP Ticket Holder Access.
6pm General Admission Access. Concert starts at 7pm.
Friday 5pm – Midnight (Booths close at 9pm) Saturday 9am – Midnight (Booths close at 9pm)
Sunday 9am – 10pm (Booths close at 7pm)

Whiskey & Wine Hours
Friday 5pm – 10pm, Saturday 10am – 10pm
Sunday -10am – 7pm

Carnival Hours
Thursday 5pm – 10pm, Friday 5pm – Midnight
Saturday 10am – Midnight, Sunday 10am – 10pm

For detailed information, maps and to buy tickets online, go to parkerdaysfestival.com

Colorado Renaissance Festival

Hear ye! Hear ye! By proclamation of the King, all Lords, Ladies, Nobles and Village Folk alike are hereby summoned to the 42nd Anniversary season of the Colorado Renaissance Festival!

Find yourself on a magical tour through time and legend as you wander down the village streets and pathways of the Festival, admiring the works of master artisans, surrounded by revelry and pageantry and enticed by tantalizing aromas of festival favorites, namely the roast turkey leg! With a cast of hundreds of authentically 16th century, costumed merrymakers living and working through the village, the Renaissance Festival is an experience that must be had over the summer, the only question is, which weekend will lure you there?

Opening Weekend (June 16th & 17th) is always celebrated in style. Be the first to see all the magic of the summer, returning favorites and new additions to the Festival.

The Royal Ale & Art Festival (June 23rs & 24th) not only features free ale sampling at the Dancing Bear Pub, but a raise of the mug to our Nation’s heroes as well. All military personnel will receive a Buy-One-Get-One Free Adult Ticket with their military ID and their children (12 and under) enter the magical realm, free of charge!

The Celtic Festival (June 30th & July 1st) will feature Celtic dance groups, musicians, pipe bands, and the ever amusing, “Best Men in Kilts” contest. Channel your inner Highlander, don ye kilts! Need a little courage before you model that kilt? You may want to head over the Dancing Bear Pub for the Mike’s Hard Lemonade Sampling from 11:30am-2:00pm.

Children’s Weekend (July 7th & 8th) honors all our young Princes, Princesses and Pirates alike. Lots of activities for the littlest revelers will be taking place, including a costume contest at the Fortune Stage at 2:00pm. Additionally, a Royal Quest will be presented and for those who complete the deed, Good King Henry and Faire Queen Anne will offer a reward at the Knighting Ceremony. This weekend only, children 12 and under are admitted free with a paying adult!

Ah… the Wine Revelry! July 14th and 15th, watch the legendary Grape Stomp Competition, hosted by local radio stations from both Denver and Colorado Springs and take part in the wine sampling at the Dancing Bear Pub from 11:30am-2:00pm!

Love and Romance will be in the air July 21st & 22nd. Come join other Romeos and Juliets during this weekend of the festival, dedicated to lovers everywhere. You can renew your vows at the Canterbury Chapel at 3:30pm, Saturday or Sunday. There’s also the “Wooing” competition at the Fortune Stage at 2:00pm and finally, a “Grand Huzzah!” to the beautiful couple at the “Forever Real” Royal Wedding Ceremony.

Prepare for the Pirate Invasion! July 28th & 29th, the weekend sets sail for the high seas, primed for adventure. For the wee ones, a treasure hunt will be going on throughout the festival, hosted by Jack Sparrow himself! For those pirates 21 and older, a free Sam Adams beer tasting will be uncorked at the Dancing Bear Pub from 11:20am-2:00pm Other swash buckling adventures abound, complete with sword fights, the Pirate Costume contest and the return of Centennial State Pipes and Drums, “Drink up me hearties, yo ho!”

Fare Thee Well & Mardi Gras Style Carnivale (August 4th & 5th) The festival comes to a close in grand fashion with a weekend filled with frivolities fit for a king. Come celebrate King Henry’s 528th birthday, Mardi Gras-style. Don your favorite mask and let “Ye Olde Good Times Roll!” The party will take place at 3:30pm on the Fortune Stage. This weekend also celebrates our Police Officers, who (with valid ID) will receive a Buy-One-Get-One free adult ticket and their children (12 and under) are free!

Never been to a festival before? Expect to be dazzled by unique entertainment including Jousting Competitions, the Endangered Cat Show, Jugglers, acrobats, pipers, actors and variety shows. Meander through the festival village from artisan to artisan, admiring beautiful clothing, jewelry, pottery, leather goods, glass, wood and metal wares as well as toys, candles, furniture, collectables and much more! Of course, no Renaissance Festival would be complete without indulging in the amazing food, truly fit for a king! Visit Canterbury Kitchens for iconic selections including the Turkey Drumsticks as well as the Baron of Beef, Earl of Bratwurst and hot, buttered corn on the cob. The Knights Kitchen delights with items including Steak on a Stake, Dragon Wings, Spicy Onion Chips, Funnel Cakes and Fried Pickles. The King’s and Queen’s Pantries and International Kitchen add dozens of more options from which to choose from. Don’t forget to grab a treat from Friar Tuck’s Bakery; perhaps frozen cheesecake on a stick or maybe a hot apple dumpling or fruit tart?

The only thing left to do is get your tickets! Tickets are good for one time entrance to the festival, they are not date specific. Get yours at the box office, King Soopers, or go online to coloradorenaissance.com. If your company is interested in giving your employees discounted tickets, go to coloradorenaissance.com/corporate-group-sales or call 303.688.6010 for more information.

Raise an ale (and maybe a turkey leg) and get ready for a summer filled with one of a kind entertainment at the Colorado Renaissance Festival.

Huzzah! The Renaissance Festival is back! June 16-17, 23-24, June 30-July 1, 7-8, 14-15, 21-22, 28-29, August 4-5
Open Saturdays & Sundays Only // Rain or Shine
Free Parking // No Pets Please coloradorenaissance.com

The Festival is located in Larkspur, halfway between Denver and Colorado Springs. From I-25 south, use Exit 173 coming from Denver. Coming north from Colorado Springs, use Exit 172.

Denver Comic Con

Much like many of the heroes depicted in our favorite superhero movies, Denver Comic Con has a whole other, not so secret, identity. If you are new to the whole Denver Comic Con scene, allow us to shed a little light on the subject. First thing to note is, not all Comic Cons are created equal. They are not traveling road shows, although some groups do own and operate multiple comic cons and pop culture related events, but many are 100% independent. Denver’s Comic Con is one of those independent events and very different from other cons around the country.

Most Comic Cons are for-profit endeavors, Denver’s is NOT. It is a 501(c)3, nonprofit organization dedicated to literacy and education. In fact, 95% of Denver’s Comic Con business is done by dedicated volunteers and many of the very dedicated employees donate hours of their time as well. This organization’s primary purpose is to educate and they do this through year-round, after school programming, teacher training and summers camps amongst other things.

This is an exciting year as the DCC is launching a classroom at their office allowing local students to drop in or sign up for incredibly fun and engaging activities at the Pop Culture Classroom. In addition to the educational programming, Denver Comic Con has their own literary conference called Page 23, their continuing education programming for K-12 teachers through Adams State University and a unique program called Experience the CoMix, bringing in kids from all over Denver area to the con and providing programming all day just for them.
Other (for profit) Comic Cons can cycle their profits back into their budgets, but with Denver Comic Con’s year-round mission of supporting their Pop Culture Classroom, it may look a little different than others cons (let’s just say you won’t see Thor and the entire Avengers family there) but you WILL see tons of artists, creators, authors, publishers, vendors and a few dozen surprises awaiting you around every corner of the con. Denver Comic Con does expect more than 40 stars to be at the event, be sure to visit the DCC Guest Page for a complete, up to date list of who you may see there! (denvercomiccon.com/guests)

This is absolutely a kid-friendly event. Check out the Kids’ Learning Lab while you are there. This 10,000 sq. ft. PCC Kids’ Lab has dozens of hands on activities all focused on promoting STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math.) Also, there will be two stages with presentations and promotions for kids by voice actors and comic pros, demonstrations and discussions for teens about topics and issues pertinent to them. All programming is included in the price of admission. Kids tickets (12 & under) are only $8.25 (before tax) and that covers all three days at the con! If you are bringing little ones to join in on the fun, bring the smallest stroller you have (to make maneuvering easier), bring snacks and water bottles, and plan to take time for breaks. It’s like a big theme park, with lots to see and do and all the excitement, it can be overwhelming, so take so time for short breaks during your visit.

This is truly the Con with a Cause and DCC is proud of it! Get ready to hear a lot about Con4aCause, because when you visit Denver’s Comic Con, you are supporting all the work they do to support literacy, all year long. You can be a part of something truly different than you’ll experience anywhere else, and something truly great.
For more information on ALL things DCC, go to denvercomiccon.com
To learn more about their year round programming, visit classroom.popcultureclassroom.org

Denver Comic Con
June 15th-17th 
Colorado Convention Center

· Buy Tickets
· Learn How to Meet your Favorite Celebrities
· Get Epic Photo Ops Pre-Sales
· Where to stay while visiting Comic Con
· Find out all about Booktopia at the DCC
· Get the most up to date guest list
· And much, much more… go to denvercomiccon.com

Visit Downtown Parker

Summertime in the city is a magical time and our little corner of the world is no exception. There is never a dull moment in Downtown Parker and you won’t want to miss these opportunities to get out and enjoy our beautiful town during this beautiful time of year.

First Friday Art Walks in Downtown Parker
Downtown Parker is teeming with art and culture! Beginning in June and continuing through September, take some of that in by heading Downtown on the first Friday of each month this summer to enjoy local artists and their creative work. From 5:00-8:00pm, stroll from the corner of O’Brien Park down to the Parker Station Building, across to the Old Schoolhouse and continue to Pikes Peak. Take in beautiful art of all kinds including paintings, photos, jewelry, glass, wood & cork pieces and so much more! This FREE event is brought to you by the Parker Creative District and the Downtown Business Alliance of Parker. For more information, visit www.downtownparker.com

Parker Farmer’s Market
Each Sunday, from 8:00am-11:00am, Mainstreet in Downtown Parker transforms into a bustling marketplace with over 70 vendors with everything from fresh meats and produce to gifts and specialty items. Make a date of it by enjoying brunch first or grabbing lunch after, and maybe head to the library and Discovery Park! For more information go to www.parkerfarmersmarket.com

Movies in the Park
Bring the whole family to O’Brien Park for FREE movies in the Park, presented by Parker Adventist Hospital. Come early to claim your spot and enjoy games, music, concessions and be sure to check out the vendors. Maybe even head out a little earlier and grab a great dinner from any one of the fantastic restaurants along Mainstreet! Movies in the Park are presented July 14th, August 4th and September 8th. The event begins at 6pm and movies start at dusk.
This year’s line up will be July 14th – Wonder, August 4th – LEGO Batman Movie and
September 8th – The Emoji Movie. For more information, visit parkeronline.org

Free Concerts in the Park
Join your neighbors in the summer sun as Parker Arts presents the Discovery Park Summer Concert Series. Another amazing season of FREE summer concerts have returned to the Discovery Park amphitheater! This state-of-the-art venue features an open-space design, monumental art pieces, an interactive water fountain for the kids, and more! You are free to bring your picnic baskets and coolers, lawn chairs (no higher than 32”), and blankets (no larger than 8×8) to enjoy the open green space and soak in the sounds of summer, but due to its open space design, no alcoholic beverages are permitted. Dress for the ever changing Colorado weather. Shows are on, rain or shine! This space is open to patrons of all ages. Food trucks will be on-site during the concerts, which begin at 6:00pm. For more information, go to parkerarts.org
This summer, don’t miss:

June 14 – Last Men on Earth
June 21 – The Radio
June 28 – Soul School
July 5 – HomeSlice
July 12 – Soul X
July 19 – Wash Park
July 26 – That Eighties Band
August 2 – Tunisia

Downtown Parker Wine Walks
Once again, the Parker Chamber proudly presents one of the most popular events of the season! Downtown Wine Walks are a great way to get to know the amazing Parker Chamber merchants Downtown, all while enjoying samples of what could be your new favorite wines! You probably run into a few friends and make some new ones too! Tickets for the event are $20 and include a wine glass, map of the wine walk and 10 1 oz. samples from participating merchants.
Mark it on your calendar, June 29th, July 27th, Aug 24th, Sept 28th, Oct 26th, & Nov 30th from 5-8pm. *Must be 21 or over, please bring valid ID. For more information, visit parkerchamber.com

Douglas County Libraries – Parker
Be sure to check out all the amazing events and activities for children, teens and adults all summer long at the library – many free of charge! Parker offers everything from Toddler Time, Bark for Books and Chess Club to author visits, Brews and Books and much, much more. Go to dcl.org for a full list of programming and to register for upcoming events.

PACE Center
The PACE Center isn’t just a great place to catch a show, it’s also home to adult and youth classes, and summer camps. Of course you won’t want to miss this summer’s production of Hairspray, so get your tickets now! Check out parkerarts.org for a full description of concerts, camps, and classes and to get your tickets for upcoming shows!

To stay in the loop on all the great things going on in Downtown Parker, be sure to check out www.DowntownParker.com!

Camping Tips

The great outdoors is calling…are you and your family ready to listen? No matter if you are a complete camping novice or a seasoned outdoor enthusiast, Colorado has some of the best camping around. With many affordable and family-friendly locations to camp in Colorado (some just down the road) you really have no reason to not get outdoors! Here are some of our favorites.

Chatfield Reservoir
When visitors see Chatfield’s beautiful rolling foothills, expansive reservoir and abundant wildlife, they can’t believe the park is located just outside the Denver metro area. Their campground has full service sites available offering water, sewer and electric hookups or sites with electric only. Over thirty sites have new detached tent pads. cpw.state.co.us

Cherry Creek Reservoir
Easy to get to and with year-round camping available, Cherry Creek is great place for a quick week end trip or longer excursion. Their campground boasts deluxe full hook-up sites as well as basic tent sites. Showers and laundry facilities are also available. cpw.state.co.us

Jellystone Park™
Right down the road in Larkspur is a Yogi Bear™ themed, family-oriented, pet-friendly private RV park and campground. Located north of Monument and south of Castle Rock right off I-25. In addition to camping they have many guest activities including disc golf! Jellystonelarkspur.com

Eleven Mile
With nine separate campground areas, Eleven Mile provides a very wide range of outdoor experiences. From full hookup sites with electricity to more secluded non-electric back country sites, you will find a great place to enjoy the outdoors with the family. cpw.state.co.us

Golden Gate Canyon
Only a short drive north, Golden Gate Canyon offers such amenities as electrical hook-ups and tent-sites in two different campgrounds, stocked fishing ponds, picnic sites and the Panorama Point Scenic Overlook, where visitors can see 100 miles of the Continental Divide.
cpw.state.co.us

5 Must Follow Camping Tips From Our Readers

Change your clothes (especially your socks) before you get into the sleeping bag. Fresh dry clothes will keep you warmer at night while you sleep.

At night, put your food in the car…not your tent. Critters love a midnight snack and you don’t want them waking you up to eat.

Dry ice in the bottom of your cooler will keep your ice from melting and help stop the “food soup” that your cooler usually ends up with.

Put a magnesium spark tool and dryer lint in a zipper lock style plastic bag to keep it dry. Very light and handy when matches aren’t available

Make a “camping box” and fill it with everything you need – plates, cups, matches, toilet paper, etc. Makes packing for your trip easy…it’s already done!

Patio Dining in Parker

Takoda Tavern – 12311 Pine Bluffs Way Happy Hours weekdays from 3-8pm and drink specials on the weekends pair perfectly with a menu that includes the famous Takoda Nachos, Blue Buffalo Fries and scrumptious sandwiches and burgers. In the not so distant future, the all new Takoda Tavern will feature Parker’s only rooftop patio!
www.takodatavern.com – 720.851.5302

Vines Wine Bar and Bistro – 19501 E. Mainstreet
Started in 2005, Vines has really become one of Parker’s favorite gathering places. Recently, the patio was upgraded with an outdoor sound system and ceiling mounted patio heaters, so you can linger a bit longer on the patio, even into the cooler evening hours!
www.vineswinebar.com – 303.736.VINE

Artisan Pizza Co. – 12311 Pine Bluffs Way Voted Best of the Best in 2017, Artisan Pizza allows guests to be the artisan of their own Neapolitan-style pizza and fresh salads in a fast, casual dining setting. Can’t decide how to personalize your pizza? Choose a signature pizza or salad from the menu to pair with a Colorado craft beer, wine, Pelegrino or soda.
artisanpizzaco.com – 303.840.0518

Parker Garage – 19420 Mainstreet Restored to its landmark state a few years ago, Parker Garage’s Chef Duy Pham has created a menu that is refined in its selections and carefully thought through to the last detail. The choices for Brunch, Lunch and Dinner will keep you coming back to
try something new again and again.
www.parkergarage.com – 720.389.8105

Rory’s Diner – 11020 S Pikes Peak Dr
Located in the heart of Downtown Parker in the Victorian Peaks building, Rory’s Diner offers incredible breakfast, lunch and dinner offerings all available on their amazing outdoor patio. Don’t forget to stop by next door at Rory’s Soda Shop to pick up an old fashioned flavored soda, shake or malt!
www.Rorysdiner.net – 720.708.2889

Tailgate Tavern -19552 E. Mainstreet A wide variety of food on the menu, live music on Friday and Saturday nights, weekly events like $5 Burger Mondays and Wingsday Wednesday are just some of the reasons TheTailgate is a Parker staple. If late nights aren’t on the menu, try breakfast at the Tailgate with 2 for 1 drink specials on the weekends.
www.tailgate.com – 303.841.7179

Going on a Fun Family Hike

Colorado offers some of the best hiking and outdoor fun to be found. Many of these amazing hikes are right in our own back yards. No matter your skill level, from taking a stroll on a paved trail to roughing it with lots of boulders and hangs, within a short drive you can find some fun hikes. Pack up the family and head out to enjoy our wonderful environment. Here are some of our reader’s favorite places to enjoy a fun family hike.

CASTLEWOOD CANYON
Conveniently located right here in Douglas County, Castlewood Canyon boasts some of the best nature watching around. A great number critters and birds populate the area and can easily be seen on your family hike. In addition, Castlewood has a variety of trail types ranging from mild paved walking trails to moderately technical trails. If you are feeling adventurous, Castlewood also has rock climbing available with skills areas for beginners to advanced. cpw.state.co.us

CHATFIELD STATE PARK
Just up the road is Chatfield State Park. Known for its reservoir, Chatfield also has awesome hiking and paved trails that include biking, hiking and even horseback riding. In addition, Chatfield also boasts an really cool RC Plane airport for those remote controlled plane enthusiasts. The trail system at Chatfield also connects to other systems so you can reach it completely on trails, if you are one of those super long runner or biker types. cpw.state.co.us

ROXBOROUGH STATE PARK
Tucked at the base of the foothills is a beautiful display of red rock formations and vast amounts of wildlife known as Roxborough State Park. Definitely worth the drive, Roxborough has a wide variety of hiking trails for all skill levels. The family will have a great time wandering through the many picturesque areas and watching the wildlife. Be sure to bring your camera. cpw.state.co.us

WATERTON CANYON
If you are a dirt hiker or off road biker, then you won’t want to miss Waterton Canyon. Located on the west side of Douglas County, Waterton has a great six mile dirt road that goes up the canyon and is perfect for your hike or ride. If you want to get more technical, many more advanced trails connect that will offer great challenges while you take in the ample wildlife of the area. cpw.state.co.us

HIDDEN MESA OPEN SPACE AND TRAIL
Ride or hike this 1224-acre open space buffer between Castle Rock and Franktown. Embark on this soft-surface trail from the trailhead at the old homestead at Parker Road. Follow the farm lane as it crosses over Cherry Creek and then winds up to the top of the mesa where it loops around viewpoints, rock outcroppings, grass and shrublands, as well as pines and junipers. douglas.co.us

Local Business Spotlight: The Chicken Shack

The Chicken Shack
11211 S. Dransfeldt Ste 134
720-504-5044
thechickenshackparker.com
Open Monday-Saturday 10:30am-9pm, Sunday 11am-8pm

Molly and Gus Velez opened the Chicken Shack here in Parker nearly three years ago, on August 28th, 2015. It was important that they open the doors to their business in the same community they call home.

They saw an opportunity to bring a non-franchise business to Parker. There are, of course, lots of places you can grab wings and chicken tenders, but The Chicken Shack takes that casual dining experience to a whole other level. All their chicken is fresh, never frozen. Their wings and chicken fingers are hand breaded daily. Wings can be ordered breaded or unbreaded and the tenders are available hand breaded or grilled. Once you’ve decided how you’d like your chicken, the real tough decisions have to be made. The Chicken Shack has 31 sauces to choose from, yep, over two dozen ways to make your chicken that much more delicious. We haven’t even talked about the scrumptious Buffalo Chicken Fries yet. Ah, decisions, decisions.

Coming from a small town in Wisconsin, Molly and Gus recognized that same hometown feel here in Parker and prides themselves on being that “Mom and Pop Shop” establishment for their customers. They take a lot of pride in their customer service and want everyone to feel like family when they walk through the door. So much so that they already know their regular customers favorite sauces when they walk through the door to grab lunch or dinner.

Even though you can quickly grab a meal at Chicken Shack, it’s nice when you can sit and chat a bit. They really love getting to know their customers and getting involved with the community. One of the things Molly and Gus love to do is partner with local schools to sponsor fundraising nights and donating gift cards and meals to our community. In addition to giving back, one of the perks of owning their own business affords them the flexibility to make their own hours, including closing on major holidays to allow employees time with their families. One of the best perks for Molly and Gus is having their family be a part of the business, that family involvement is extremely important to them as well.

Now, if you haven’t had the chance to pop in, you should definitely try their most popular item, the Buffalo Chicken Fries. Imagine a layer of french fries, with fresh hand breaded (or grilled) diced tenders, covered with your choice of any of their sauces (most are made here in the restaurant), then topped off with their very own homemade ranch, and finished with shredded jack cheese. Is your mouth watering yet?

The Velez’s believe, for those that own their own businesses, that business should be your passion and something you love to do everyday, then it’s no longer considered work. You’ll be able to tell that making delicious food is their passion, with your first bite of your next meal from the Chicken Shack and you’ll be the hero of the day when you show up to your next summer get together with a tray of pure tastiness – complete with those amazing sauces!

Local Business Spotlight: The Perfect Fit

The Perfect Fit – Children’s Footwear
10350 S. Progress Way, Suite 101
720.758.6108
www.perfectfitshoesforkids.com
Open Sundays 10am-4pm, Mon-Fri 10am-6pm & Saturdays 10am-5pm

Most parents will agree, children seem to outgrow their shoes nearly by the time we get them home after purchasing them. Finding the right fit, especially for little ones just learning to walk, is important and not always easy and making the trek to a good shoe store with little ones is usually more of a chore than anything else. That’s where The Perfect Fit – Children’s Footwear comes in to ease the burden. Lindsay, a mother herself, saw a need for a place for parents to get high quality shoes for their children, without spending a ton of time in the car or an arm and leg on the purchase. The Perfect Fit takes all the guess work out of finding the right size and will help you get the correct width, length and support in shoes for any season and occassion.

Whether it’s sneakers or sandals, dress shoes or uniform shoes, The Perfect Fit carries the best brands for all of them including Stride Rite, Skechers, Livie & Luca, Bearpaw, Pediped, Keen and Sperry, just to name a handful. The Perfect Fit also stocks speciality socks and laces, knee-highs, glow in the dark and even glitter socks!

A Parker resident herself, Lindsay relied on her past experience, knowledge of the industry, her entrepreneurial spirit and love of children when opening up her store in the same community she lives with her family. She takes great pride in using her expertise to provide the very best in customer service. She stands by her service so much so that she offers a full refund (of unworn shoes in the original packaging, with receipt) within thirty days of your purchase. The Perfect Fit will also price match the brand specific site of the same style, color and sizes they carry (see store for details and restrictions.)

The Perfect Fit likes to take care of their customers, not just for their first purchase, but with every purchase and offers a very simple loyalty program for their customers. By registering with just your name and email, you will earn 100 points that can be applied toward your first purchase (of non-sale shoes) and after you will earn 1 point for each dollar spent. You’ll earn $5 off a purchase with 100 points (which don’t expire and can be used or accumulated for a larger discount.)

Make shoe shopping with your kids something you look forward to, not something you dread. Head to The Perfect Fit – Children’s Footwear and let them help you get your kids into shoes they love that are good for their feet!

THEBOOKENDS with Pam & Becky The Ghostwriter By: Alessandra Torre

Helena Ross is a very successful romance novelist. She started publishing at a young age and most of her novels have become international bestsellers. At thirty-two years old she has recently learned that she has a tumor and only about three months to live. She has one focus and that is to write one more story. This final book is different, and difficult to write because it will be her confession.

Becky: Oh my! I picked this book thinking that it would be a nice easy read for the beginning of summer. What I discovered is a real gem of a story that was much more than I expected. Right away we meet a disagreeable woman that is not easy to like. She is angry, bossy and difficult…but she is also lonely, broken and lost. What were your first impressions of Helena and this story?

Pam: I thoroughly disliked Helena at the beginning of this book! The author created a story full of twists and turns that had me feeling numerous emotions. At first I was focused on her poor treatment of everyone she encountered. However, as her story started to unfold, I began to question my first impression of this character. Early in the story we are introduced to her publisher, Kate. Helena’s treatment of her was appalling and certainly made me feel sympathy for Kate. What were your initial thoughts of Kate’s character?

Becky: Kate has a somewhat small role but was instantly very likable and I too felt bad for how she was treated. She didn’t want to upset Helena because she was her biggest client so Kate quietly accepted her role as the punching bag to Helena’s behavior. Let’s be honest, Helena was horrible to most people she encountered. She considered Kate her “monkey” and Helena’s husband was her “pet”. I had to laugh at the laminated sign on the front door to her home though. It was a list of seven rules including “If you are here on a social call, go away.” That pretty much sums up Helena. Due to her diagnosis she doesn’t have time to write this last novel on her own. She has decided that her rival, Marka Vantly, an equally successful romance author is the only acceptable writer to help her tell this last story. They have exchanged several hateful emails over the years but Kate can’t deny the talent Marka possess. Were you surprised that Helena was able to ask for help not only from a rival but a ghostwriter that she will reveal all of her secrets to?

Pam: I was very surprised that she chose to ask Marka to serve as her ghostwriter. There was certainly no love lost between these two, based on the nasty emails they exchanged. However, perhaps she realized that what drove her antagonism of this author, was a hidden jealousy about Marka’s success. In the end, she felt that only the best author should be entrusted with this job, even if this meant dealing with someone she had deeply disliked. Kate feels that Marka will not even respond, but follows Helena’s instructions and reaches out. Were you surprised when Marka agreed to meet Helena?

Becky: I was completely surprised that anyone would agree to help this grumpy lady. Marka doesn’t need the money and is already busy with a demanding writing commitment. Yet, agrees to assist in the completion of Helena’s last story. From this point on, it is like peeling an onion. There are many layers to Helena’s story and we get a glimpse into Marka’s life as well. I was completely sucked into the story and enjoyed the slow release of information as we get to know how Helena became an isolated, tough woman. Did your opinion of Helena change as her secret was revealed?

Pam: The author did an amazing job of peeling this onion! My first impression of Helena continued to change and evolve as I learned more about her story. Her past and the events that led her to be this person were shared a bit at a time. This style completely captured my attention and made it difficult to put the book down! As we continue to get to know Helena, we also become better acquainted with Kate. We begin to understand her relationship with Helena and why she puts up with this challenging client. Did you feel that Kate’s character began to emerge as the story progressed?

Becky: This sweet character is revealed as we move through the story and it would be easy to somewhat disregard Kate because the primary story is much more enticing. I’m glad that I didn’t rush through her scenes because she balanced the intensity of Helena’s story. This author usually writes romance books so it was surprising to see this well developed story of suspense. Would you consider another novel by Alessandra Torre?

Pam: I definitely would read another novel by Alessandra Torre. I really enjoyed the way this author built the story and kept me completely engaged. I hope our next pick captures our attention the way this story did! Join us as we read The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks.