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, (www.blueskiesinn.com) 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: http://www.manitouchamber.org/
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.