Lead Vegas Wears Its Winter Whites

By Ted B.K. Halley, Lead Vegas Contributor

With more snow on the way, ditch the travel plans and stay in Lake County this weekend, because there’s plenty going on right here in your own backyard: Lead Vegas!


Historic Harrison Avenue starts to take on its winter coat as more snow moves in this weekend.

The neon lights of historic Harrison Avenue might be burning bright through the haze of fresh snowflakes this weekend, but that just makes for good photos! As Friday night’s party lens comes into focus, it’s clear that the spot for good fun will be tonight will be at the Legendary Silver Dollar Saloon.

If you haven’t stepped inside Lead Vegas’ Irish bar in a while, Carey Nall and his Groovespeak band should give you reason to do so tonight. The lead anchor-man brings a new mix of merry music makers to the stage with some soulful, funk-a-delic sets that are sure to put some dreadlocks in your broom skirt. Come, listen to their hip, happening sound and take a spin out on the dance floor among the Dollar’s legendary shamrocks. The place will be packed, so get there early to grab a table. Music starts at 9 p.m. The Legendary Silver Dollar Saloon is 315 Harrison Avenue in downtown Lead Vegas.

If you’re looking to grab a bite to eat before the night’s revelries, you don’t have to go very far. After a long work week or day of winter fun, get your weekend off to a good start with the Friday Fish Fry at Wilde’s Green Hour. Fill up on a hearty plate of cod and potatoes as you catch part of the “Phish Phry” music set  with DJ Spaceboy. Tonight he’ll be throwing down “A Salute to Phish in Philly” as homage to Super Bowl 52 this Sunday.

If your palate is craving something more spicy, then stop in to Manuelita’s Restaurant, just a couple doors down from the Silver Dollar. Federico and his crew serve up some savory dishes from fish tacos to carne asada. Y la cerveza es muy fria!

With a forecasted guarantee for freshies overnight at Leadville’s ski hill, be sure to catch the Après action at Katie O’Rourke’s Pub in the lodge at Ski Cooper. Leadville music legends George Finnell and Sam Galey take to the stage from 3 – 5 p.m. Stop in after a day on the slopes for a beer-on-tap and some toe-tappin, and hand-clappin good times. 

Once you get back into town and have the kids set up with a sitter for the night, why not paint the town red in Leadville’s former red light district with some red-solo-cup beer pong action?  That’s right, join the laughter down at Leadville’ s historic Pastime Bar and Café. Did you know that this is the last operating establishment where there once were 64 saloons during Leadville’s heyday mining boom? The place is like a museum itself; and word is they just pulled on old blackjack card table out from behind an old wall during recent upgrades! Old stuff is kwel and The Pastime honors Leadville’s history while bringing folks what they expect today, including their always award-winning “best burgers in town!”  The beer-pong games start at 9 p.m. and the competition can be fierce, so round up the gang and head on down to The Pastime Bar & Café, located at 120 W. 2nd Street,  just down the way from Earl’s dispensary in Lead Vegas!


The sunsets over Leadville’s historic Pastime Bar & Cafe on West 2nd Street in Leadville. Photo: Leadville Today/Danielle Orcutt

Hopefully, by the time Sunday rolls around, you’ve saved some energy for the BIG GAME! That’s right, this Sunday, Feb. 4 is America’s biggest sporting event as the New England Patriots defend their championship against the Philadelphia Eagles in SuperBowl 52. The game will be played in Minneapolis, which puts the Leadville kick-off time at 4:30 p.m. MST.

No doubt all of Leadville’s watering holes, from The Scarlet to The Manhattan will see full bar-stools and have all the necessary big screens to catch all the action, but Periodic Brewing captured the NFL prize mention with the following specials posted on their Facebook page:

Come watch The Big Game on Sunday Feb. 4 at Pb Leadville. Featuring $12 Taco Bar beginning at 3 p.m. Plus, Wear Any NFL Team Shirt for 1/2 OFF Pint-sized Beers *from NOON until Game ends. Join us for beer and football on our big screens.

Leadville’s Brewpub is located at 115 E. 7th Street, just a half block east off historic Harrison Avenue.


Leadville’s Periodic Brewpub on E. 7th Street in Lead Vegas!

That will put-a-fork-in-it for what’s happening in America’s Highest City! Make it a good weekend, whether you do it all, or drop in for an appearance here and there, all eateries and saloons appreciate your patronage in the one and only Lead Vegas: Leadville, Colorado!

Leadville Today Contributor Ted B.K. Halley is looking for affordable housing in Leadville Today, but simply refuses to fork over personal information and data to an outside consulting firm! So for now, it’s couch surfing. Let him know if the surf’s up in your neighborhood!


Dream Becomes Literary Reality in Leadville

Leadville Author Laurel McHargue shared a fantastical dream she had in 2015 with a friend, and her friend told her to write a book about it.

Waterwight-Flux-eBook“That was my motivation for “Waterwight: Book I of the Waterwight Series,” said McHargue. “I’d never written fantasy adventure before, and it seemed like a fun challenge. Oh, and that same friend, author Carol Bellhouse, came up with the title!”

With the success of her first book and readers asking for more, McHargue was excited to see where her characters would take her. “I could have left the first book as a stand-alone, but I loved the idea of doing more with Odin, an ancient god introduced in Book I.” She went on to explain that while she was a cadet at the United States Military Academy, West Point, cadets would often chant Odin’s name with the hope that he would deliver rain. “Sometimes it worked, and we’d get out of doing parade practice,” she said.

The second book in the Waterwight trilogy explores both Odin’s ethereal realm and his “brother” Kumugwe’s sea realm as the protagonist, Celeste, continues her quest to find home and answers.


Leadville author and educator Laurel McHargue teaches students at Greater Heights Academy in Leadville the art of the Haiku poem writing. Photo: Hope Online Learning.

“Kumugwe is an ancient sea god known as the ‘Copper Maker,’ and his presence in this book acts as a contrast to Odin. It also helps to explain questions that arise in the first book,” said McHargue.

As a former English teacher, McHargue taught several semesters of mythology. “There are vast numbers of ancient gods to study,” she said, “and their histories contain amazing tidbits for storytelling.

In a Kirkus review, Waterwight: Book I has been compared to Neil Gaiman’s “Coraline.” McHargue said she enjoys creating dreamlike worlds, “probably because my own dreams are so memorable.”

When asked about the concluding book in her fantasy trilogy, McHargue said to look for it before school starts in the fall of 2018. “There’s a lot more to explore before this magical adventure ends!”

Laurel McHargue writes in Leadville, Colo. All of her books are available on Amazon.

Quilting, Sewing Programs in Leadville Today

It’s the time of year when handmade, handcrafted items take center stage for holiday gift-giving. So if you have wanted to spend less time in front of a computer screen and more time working with your hands, then consider joining the TQL (talk, quilt, laugh) Quilt Guild.

LAC_Holiday Fair 2017_2

Nancy Boeve, a member of the TQL Quilt Guild proudly stands in front of one of the group’s creations during the Arts & Crafts Fair. The group meets twice a month in Leadville.

“I first joined the group years ago when I was making a quilt for a new grandchild, explained Nancy Boeve during the recent Holiday Arts and Crafts Fair where the group had a booth. “I had never quilted before, so I was hesitant, and now I enjoy the creativity and company!”

The group meets once a month, on the second Wednesday (Dec. 13) at 9 a.m. They share quilting knowledge, exchange technique tips and enjoy each other’s company. A second meeting is also planned on the fourth Tuesday at 10 a.m. which is considered a work day for unfinished sewing projects.  Dues are $12 a year. The Quilt Guild meets at the Lake County Public Library in the AMEX Room, please use the back entrance.

Sew and Sew in Leadville

It’s no secret that the days of Home Economics class has been pushed aside for more technological studies, but that doesn’t mean you should throw that shirt out just because it’s lost a button. Therefore, if you still long for the days of mending instead of trashing, or want to teach your child or grandchild the value in learning to chain stitch or run the foot pedal on a Singer, then consider heading downtown, to one of historic Harrison Avenue’s newest businesses.

New Leaf Sewing supplies

New Leaf Studios in downtown Leadville offers everything from sewing supplies to sewing classes starting in January. Photo: New Leaf Studios Facebook Page.

New Leaf Studios is a community sewing center and fiber arts studio. They carry sewing and craft supplies, provide services, offer local sewists and craftspeople a showcase for their work and sell a variety of original hand-crafted gifts and accessories. So if you’re looking for anything and everything from alterations, to repairs and sewing lessons, or simply need a place to do your own sewing, New Leaf Studios is ready for your business.

New Leaf Studios is located at 420 Harrison Avenue in downtown Leadville. They may be reached by phone at 719-486-0907, connect with them on their Facebook Page, or visit their website.

Artists’ Talents On Display in Leadville Today

Broken Arrow 4H Fashion

Leather Worker Featured for 321 Fridays

On Friday, Aug. 4, Harperrose Studios and the Leadville Arts Coalition will present leather worker Lauren Bramhall for the last of the 321 Fridays summer artist series.  Bramhall plans to demonstrate several of the final steps to complete leather rings during the 4-8 p.m. event at 601 Harrison Avenue, in Leadville.

Lauren cutting leather 2

August 4 marks the last 321 Fridays for the summer, featuring leather worker Lauren Bramhall and sponsored by the Leadville Arts Colaition and Harpperrose Studios in downtown Leadville.

A three year Leadville resident, Bramhall has helped Ann Stanek at Harperrose Studios for two years, so many locals are familiar with Lauren and her jewelry.  Two years ago, she began working with leather when her boyfriend bought her a leather ring, and she thought, “I can make that.” She proved herself correct, and has become accomplished making rings, bracelets, earrings, and pendants.  Her favorite part is the finished product, as that makes all the time-consuming steps worth it.

In the process, Lauren quickly responds that she has learned, “Patience.” Working with leather cannot be rushed, and Lauren says, “It takes time to figure out and perfect a product. Bramhall calls her style modern Southwestern.  She integrates stones and silver into her work, and she has many new pieces prepared for her 321 Fridays event. Also, it will be possible for someone to actually customize his/her own ring during her demonstration. 

Originally from the Dallas area, Bramhall’s Colorado experience started at CMC Timberline Campus with a AA degree, and will continue this fall as she heads to Western State University to study silversmithing.  This evening provides a great opportunity to give Bramhall a Leadville thank you, and a sincere best wishes as she broadens her artistic future. Keep up with Lauren on Instagram or Etsy: bindandbestow.

Lauren leather bracelet 2

A leather bracelet by Lauren Bramhall

Enjoy Lauren’s work, her demonstrations, and light refreshments on the first evening of Leadville’s Boom Days weekend.  Again, many of the Harrison Avenue businesses will be staying open late Friday, Aug. 4, to promote the arts/artists and just general fun. The Leadville Arts Coalition plans to serve wine, and donations go towards the Kiddie Korral repainting project: Do Something Awesome Today! 

Grand West Supports Local Ceramicist

It’s always nice to see a Leadville business support a local artist directly by using their talents to creat some of their marketing goodies.

So it’s worthy of a note that Grand West Village Resorts (GWVR) new coffee mugs are not only in stock and available for sale in their office northwest of town, but they were crafted by a local favorite.

“We have some beautiful handmade mugs produced by Marjorie Westermann as mementos for Leadville visitors,” explained GWVR General Manager Dave Horning.

Grand West Mug

you can find these beautifully crafted coffee mugs by Leadville artist Marjorie Westermann at Grand West.

Westermann a long time resident of Lake County,  is a local ceramic artist, whose works of art are familiar and beloved in the Leadville community.

It was over a year ago when I first approached her about taking us on as a client, explains Horning.  Unfortunately, a shoulder injury put off her ability to fill an order for over half a year, but good things are worth waiting for!  And just like your visit to Leadville, no two mugs are alike! They can be purchased at the GWVR office for your personal use or given as a memorable gift. Grand West is located at 99 Grand West Drive, north of Leadville.

Ice Palace Pavilion Gets Mural

The pavilion at Ice Palace Park received a beautiful new mural by Leadville Artist Amanda Good. The work was commissioned by Lake County, reported the Leadville Arts Coalition.