Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Mumbo Jumbo Gumbo Cook-off and Manitou Springs Carnivale happen Saturday, February 9, 2013!

The Parade starts at 1 PM. The Cook-off is in Soda Springs Park. This event is highly individualized. Come and do your thing!

Last year Blue Skies Inn guests paraded their stuff. All you need is a costume!

Can't say it any better than that!

A few years ago, one of our couples even had a Carnivale Wedding!

2013's Fruitcake toss was cold! Nevertheless, Mr. Fruitcake's latest incarnation (He's kind of like Dr. Who that way) was there at Manitou Springs High School dodging fruitcakes launched from air guns, trbuchets, arbalests, slingshots and other traditional means. To discover what we mean by "traditional," see the Secret History of Fruitcake Tossing after the pictures.

Mr. Fruitcake chooses to stand _behind_
the line of fire at
Manitou Springs High School.

"Duck, Mr. Fruitcake!!"
Wearing a helmet was the best idea, ever! 
 Manitou Springs High School.
Ooops! CO2 cannons have trouble working at 15 degrees so no cakes were launched from them.
The New Mr. Fruitcake is awarded his first honor - an offical Fruitcake Honor Guard teeshirt. Thanks, Floyd!!

The Secret History of Fruitcake Tossing

Implosion danger! Keep 'em moving!

In the Middle Ages, alchemists concocted fruitcakes not for food (I mean, get real!), but as part of a fiendish military experiment. They theorized that if a critical mass of fruitcakes could be assembled in one spot and left long enough for the weight of the cake to begin crushing the fruit, a gravitational implosion would occur. This implosion would create a mini-Black Hole which would propel the fruitcakes and any persons unfortunate enough to be around them out of this Universe and into a new, expanding, parallel Universe where the "primal soup" would consist of nothing but fruitcakes -- like a warmer and more vitreous version of Washington DC.
The thought of being mashed into a fruitcake universe was too horrible for even Medieval people to contemplate. In a famous lost chapter to The Inferno, Dante placed the Fruitcake Universe on the 30th level of hell, where bad cooks were condemned to endlessly heave leaden loaves into fiery ovens with only strangely chewy fruit to sustain them.
Medieval armies carefully separated their fruitcake munitions to keep them under critical mass and in constant motion. When a castle or town proved too well defended to storm, they would hurl fruitcake over the walls. The defenders were then confronted with the possibility of being sucked into a Fruitcake Universe, or (and worse yet) running out of food and being tempted to actually EAT a fruitcake. It is an historical fact that castles and towns subjected to fruitcake warfare ALWAYS surrendered, and thus the alchemists' theories were never put to the test.
But why take chances? Even today, our tradition is to not let fruitcakes sit at rest too long. We send them to relatives, who in turn send them on. The darned things are dangerous. Can't let too many of 'em assemble in one place.
That is why Manitou Springs has elected to promote the civic duty of all good people to keep those fruitcakes in motion, and dedicate St. EPR Bell's Day (the first possible Saturday after the first plausible Wednesday in January, skipping any year when Schroedinger's Cat is determined to be alive) to the tossing of fruitcakes.
Guests at BLUE SKIES INN are invited to spend a few relaxing evenings with us to prepare for, or recover from performing their (you must admit) unusual civic duty of hurling and heaving.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Mr. Fruitcake Dances Again!

Every small town is known for *something* that makes it totally unique, and Manitou Springs is proudly known for its wacky, wildly creative events. The first event of 2012 is the Great Fruitcake Toss on January 14th, 10am to 2 pm at the Manitou Springs High School Track. If you’ve never attended, this activity may warrant just a little explanation.
The day is filled with many fruitcake tossing events that require physical skill or a powerful launching device. You will see children free-style tossing, and you will see adults, some of them aeronautical engineers, shooting ancient fruitcake well into the foothills with carefully crafted cannons or trebuchets. In the past, there have been many award categories, including "best dressed fruitcake." Weight classes have been designated because in the early days of this contest, some fruitcake tossers added gravel to their recipes for fruitcakes that would travel further.

Sally, the innkeeper at Blue Skies Inn, ( has an art degree. How does that factor into an event that features engineering and physical prowess? Someone needed to create a totally unofficial, tremendously silly mascot, so she created Mr. Fruitcake. Yes, there is a bit of engineering in his design, so Sally used her building construction skills to make a wooden framework which supports a fruitcake made of artist’s canvas - all the better to paint with giant candied fruit and nuts. We took a photo for you with the giant fruitcake being pulled from an oven, just to simulate the "real" cooking process.

To complete the costume, the performer (whomever can be talked into being a dancing fruitcake for the day) dons a black hooded sweatshirt and black jeans under the fruitcake costume. A pair of nice yellow leather gloves complete the Winter ensemble.
Mr. Fruitcake can be helpful by fetching fruitcake missives gone astray, but he also likes to tease the fruitcake tossers, pantomiming their particular launching styles. It’s an ego trip, too, as many young ladies and children clamor to have their photos taken with Mr. Fruitcake who generously gives his autograph to all who ask. We have heard that he is already busy practicing his dance moves for this year’s Toss.
Hope to see you on January 14th - ask for the $20 lodging discount at Blue Skies Inn. Bring a fruitcake if you have one, or borrow one from us.

Dance, Mr. Fruitcake, dance!!

[Originally published by Sally, January, 2012]

Historic 1873 Carriage House - Good for Another 150 Years!

[This is a post Sally made on our old blogsite 12/03/11]

For those of you who watched our 1873 Carriage House being restored over the last two years, we *finally* finished it. Yahoo!

What originally started as a $500 interior paint job quickly grew to a complete rebuild. After popping off the old den panelling that had been used in an "improvement" in the late 1970's, we were surprised to find hay in the wall cavities. Mucking out the barn was a funny way to start the construction project. ... and no, we didn't find any ponies. We didn't find the walls' bottom plates, either, so we lifted the structure on posts and car jacks, and built a new foundation for the ancient structure.
However, we found lots of messages that had been left in those old walls. Someone celebrating a holiday in years gone by had written, "HAPPY NEW YEAR 1900!" The main carriage house was built in 1873 at the same time as the original Briarhurst, the home of the founder of Manitou, Dr. William Bell. The date of the lean-to additon was always a mystery, but it was solved when we had to repair a wall. Workers had written the 1917 date of their work on a board as well as their names and daily rate of pay. Several other interior boards had been used to test ancient paint colors. We are quite relieved that pale pink, the color on an old board, was *not* used to paint the carriage house.  We found that the most satisfactory color for our new exterior paint job was a lovely reddish sandstone color that we call Garden of the Gods Camo.
Tomorrow, Dec. 4th, our inn will be on the Old Colorado City Historical Society's B & B Tour, a fund raiser for their History Center. We are proud to have the oldest structure on the tour. Come visit!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Luau in Manitou Springs

It's GOOD to be the King!

[Posted by Sally on our old blog 9/17/11]
 On Saturday, September 24th, King Kamehameha will be the special visitor from Hawaii’s royal past at the Manitou Luau. It’s hard to find a photo op as whimsical as this!

Sally, innkeeper at Blue Skies, created his costume and helmet from fabric - King Kamehameha’s actual ceremonial cape was constructed of hundreds of thousands of tiny yellow and red feathers. Kamemeha’s subjects gathered the feathers from the jungle floors of Hawaii’. Meet our respectful imposter and click a photo while posing with him!

Time: September 24, 2011 from 12pm to 6pm
Location: Soda Springs Park in Historic Downtown Manitou Springs
Street: 1000 Manitou Avenue
City/Town: Manitou Springs
Website or Map:
Phone: 719-685-5089

Featuring a traditional Hawaiian Luau done Manitou style with roast pig, grilled Mahi and all the side dishes. Ride the surfboard simulator, and enjoy live entertainment and a Polynesian review.
Tickets are $25.00 for Adults and $12.00 for children 11 and under. Kids 3 and under are free.
Tickets will be available for pick up at the Chamber office or at the gate the day of the event.
$10 discount this weekend at Blue Skies Inn if you say "Dude!" while booking.