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Best of the West: Reader’s Choice Entertainment

Published on: April 15th, 2011

Photo by Gray Box Studios

This year, we’re giving our Best of the West winners the red carpet treatment: The readers have spoken, the critics have made their picks and several local celebrities have added their two cents. Here are our picks for the best Boulder County has to offer.

The envelope please…

Festival

Lafayette Peach Festival : East County

Standing at one end of the Lafayette Peach Festival, which takes over South Public Road each summer, you can see the full spread of booths, food, vendors and endless crowds of people. Peaches are everywhere, but it’s the community pride that seems so bountiful.

Boulder Creek Festival : Boulder

Along with the Bolder Boulder, the Boulder Creek Festival puts a standstill on the normal comings and goings of the city. For three days, the Boulder Creek path becomes a carnival of booths, bands, visitors and locals. Be sure to enjoy it, it goes back to normal come Tuesday.

Music Venue

Nissi’s : East County

You’ll become a regular once you step foot in this fat and sassy joint. From flirty cabaret to saucy solos, this venue will have you bumping and grinding on anything you can find as the walls echo unforgettable musical performances.

Boulder Theater : Boulder

Adorned with colorful light shows and plenty of romping space, this vintage venue is sure to fill your night with excitement as it lures in the hot shots of comedy and music.

Gallery

pARTiculars : East County

PARTiculars is not just a showroom for the work of local artists, it’s owned by 23 different local painters, sculptors, photographers and craftspeople. It’s how artists do the locavore thing. Plus, our readers dig the numerous classes
and camps.

Art & Soul : Boulder

You may not “get” the art that covers the walls and you may not totally understand the artist’s point of view or message. But Art & Soul consistently shows pieces that are magnificent in beauty and quality. Sometimes
ignorance is bliss.

Museum

Longmont Museum : East County

What can we say? We were totally blown away by this year’s exhibit of Nickolas Muray photos of Frida Kahlo at the Longmont Museum. And we’re guessing our readers feel the same way. Longmont’s biggest cultural center increasingly attracts high-quality exhibits that continue to surprise us, and we love them for it.

Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art

Basking in the glow of gallery lighting and colorful pieces of thoughtful art, the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art offers something unique: artistic edge. With endless out-of-the-box creativity, BMOCA never ceases to provoke and inspire.

Theater Company

Longmont Theatre Company : East County

Community theater can be unforgiving, but Longmont Theatre Company does great theater and they do it with skill. There’s nothing cliché about it, especially with a great selection of shows like 2010’s Rabbit Hole and the upcoming Lucky Stiff.

Colorado Shakespeare Festival : Boulder

The Colorado Shakespeare Festival is a feast for the culturati of Boulder County. With high-caliber actors and directors, the undeniable, eternal talent of the Bard and of course, the ideal Boulder setting, it’s really no surprise our readers dig the theatrical offerings of
this local festival.

Politician

U.S. Rep. Jared Polis

Jared Polis has won this award the last two years. We get why: He works on a diverse selection of policies that impacts Boulder County residents, including his recent anti-bullying legislation and a bill that regulates the natural gas drilling technique called “fracking.” Let’s just say, he’s fracking awesome.

Chef

Bradford Heap

By eating at Colterra, you learn Bradford Heap is a skilled chef with a thoughtful, graceful culinary sensibility and a love of local produce. By eating at Salt, you know Heap is smart, cool and kinda sexy. While his restaurants can’t tell us everything, they do tell us Heap knows his way
around the kitchen.

Teacher

Mrs. Chizzick, Barnard D. Ryan Elementary School : East County

Kindergarten teacher, Lynn Chizzick, builds strong relationships with her students, so she can cater to their varying needs and developing skills. Parents say, “Mrs. Chizzick loves what she does, and it shows.” Her positive attitude and warm personality brighten the halls at Ryan Elementary, and she works hard to ensure a strong learning foundation
within her classroom.

Koral Walters, Mountain Shadows Montessori : Boulder

Throughout Koral Walters’ 19 years at Mountain Shadows, she’s proven herself a powerful educator. One co-worker said she “has left a piece of her heart in every child she ever taught.” Walters challenges her students while encouraging an environment of growth and compassion.

Neighborhood

Old Town Louisville

No surprise here. Sorry, Louisville, you’ve just become that girl in high school who’s crowned homecoming queen, head cheerleader, prom queen and valedictorian. With great shops like Fuzzy Antler, restaurants like Empire and Waterloo, and events like the Louisville Street Faire, your charm and old-fashioned-hipness make you the coolest kid in school.

Private School

Alexander Dawson

To call Dawson a school is like calling Google a business: undermining the hugeness of its influence and impact. And with experiential education, classes are rigorous but often take kids off campus. It’s totally worth the $19,200 in tuition.

Public School

Peak to Peak Charter School

With a college prep, liberal arts focus and a stellar college counseling center, Peak to Peak students work to meet the high expectations set here. The school consistently ranks on national lists of best schools. The only downfall? Just check out the waiting list.

Reason to Live Here

Sunshine

Oh, Colorado, how do we love thee? Let us count the ways. No. 1: Sunshine, 300 days of it to be exact. And being a whole mile closer to the sun, Coloradans receive optimum amounts of Vitamin D, making them happier than those other, less shiny states.

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