5 Things to Do This Weekend (Oct 22, 23) in Colorado Springs

5 Things to Do This Weekend (Oct 22, 23) in Colorado Springs

Fine Art & Craft Show - Sat Oct 22, 9am-4:30pm, Sun Oct 23, 10am-4pm Lewis Palmer High School

Admission: $5. Hosted by Creative Crafters, this art & craft fair has everything from handmade and commercial wares to yummy food items. For more information: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Strange Parade, Tribute to the Doors - Sat Oct 22, 7:00pm at Stargazer's Theatre

Admission: starting at $12. A Doors tribute band is about to rock the Stargazer's Theatre. Starting at Karaoke nights at CU Boulder, this band developed into the band it is today. For more information visit: http://stargazerstheatre.com.


Great Pumpkin Festival, Sat Oct 22 10-3pm, West Colorado & 25th Street, Old Colorado City

Admission: Free. A pumpkin weigh-off, Sidewalk Sale, costume contest, Giant Kid's Zone and more. Great fall festival for the whole family. For more information: http://shopoldcoloradocity.com.


Breckenridge Craft Spirits Festival, Fri -Sun, Various locations around Breckenridge

Admission: Various. If you love the Great American Beer Festival, and you are a fan of spirits, this is the festival for you. The 3-day event hosts lectures, tours open houses and an after party on Saturday night. For more information: http:breckenridgecraftspiritsfestival.com


Citizen with a Country, Sat Oct 22 7:30pm, Sun Oct 23 at 2:30 pm, Pikes Peak Center

Admission: from $23, Kids free with purchase of an adult ticket. The Colorado Springs Philharmonic presents this wonderful mix of Dvorak and Brahms which looks at life's greatest tragedies, a thwarted love affair and the fight for a country's independence. More information can be found at: http://www.csphilharmonic.org/.


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Bringing Awareness to Teen Suicide

Bringing Awareness to Teen Suicide

Suicide, is a sad topic no one wants to talk about. But I have to write about it because it's affecting our teens in Colorado Springs. You see, teen suicide is on the rise here. As of mid-October there have been 13 teen suicides in ...El Paso County.  In 2015 there were 14 teen suicides here. Our very own Academy School District 20 recently launched a "powerful partnerships and suicide prevention campaign" in order to bring public awareness to this sensitive issue. Rampart High School even performed a play about it. But the big question is WHY? What is going on here? What is happening to our teens? 


I've read about different theories and speculations. Some say our kids are depressed because we are a military town full of deployed parents who have to leave their families a lot. They say that's troubling our kids. I'm not convinced the problem stems from this. I know deployment is stressful, but military families have faced deployment for decades, and yet never was there a time when the teen suicide rate was this high.  


Others theorize that suicide is contagious. According to a recent article in Newsweek Magazine, "Decades of research prove that a startling range of emotions and behaviors can be contagious—from moodiness to yawning. Young people are especially susceptible; they obsess over fads and fashion trends and copy illicit behaviors from peers, such as smoking, drinking or speeding. Or suicide." According to this theory, the kids are copying one another.  I'm not convinced this is the reason.  Copying has been around forever. Why would it suddenly increase now?  


I am the mother of a teenager.  My daughter attends high school here in the Springs. I've watched and listened to her. Here's what I think:  

1. These kids are under more pressure than ever before. They're under pressure to perform well, almost perfectly. Example: school teachers are constantly talking about grades. Every time these kids take a quiz or turn in an assignment, they are immediately given an update as to their current grade, how many points are being added or subtracted because of that quiz or assignment. They can't do a project without worrying about how it will impact the grade. They walk around paranoid, for fear of making the "wrong" move or not being "good enough." They are reminded daily of each grade in each class. When I was in school, we got report cards which showed our quarterly grades.  We weren't reminded on a daily basis of how we were measuring up. Shame on our system for doing this to them. A fellow mom, whose daughter is in a few classes with my own, said "I've never seen Naomi (name changed) so stressed out. She can't relax under all this pressure to perform."  


2. Social media is not helping these kids to feel good about themselves. Sites like Instagram or Facebook show classmates and friends in happy, unrealistic photos of a perfect life. They show smiles and laughter and post about the good time everyone is having. They give an unrealistic view of how people should look and how life should be. These kids feel inferior when they read all that. They compare themselves to the images and feel they can't measure up.


3. Today's parents are putting so much pressure on their kids to perform, get good grades, excel at a sport, volunteer. It's too much. In speaking with one parent at last night's parent/teacher conference, she was happy to inform me of her daughter's great grades, playing a variety of sports, and volunteering with out local junior police program. Her other daughter, a high school Junior, is learning how to fly airplanes. I was exhausted just hearing about it. Parents are pushing their kids to excel at levels which are almost impossible. 


As a Realtor, I've even had buyers call who are moving here from out of state and have already determined which school district they want for their kids, purely based on district ranking. Not that there's anything wrong  wanting the best for your kids. I certainly do. But have we gotten too focused on rank and achievement? Ironically, one of the best ranking schools in our area, which is located in one of the best ranking districts in our area happens to have the HIGHEST suicide rate of all the schools in El Paso County. It's no coincidence. With such an emphasis on "turning out the best" perhaps we have ignored the pressure these kids feel to be the best, to outperform, to set higher standards than ever before.


I'm no expert on how to raise a kid or how to keep them from doing the unthinkable. And my heart goes out to all those parents and families who are facing such. But I have to believe the pressure these kids are under is so heavy that the burden is often too much to bear. Colorado Springs is a great city with an awesome public school system. But as parents we are ultimately responsible for ensuring our kids are okay. We have to pay attention to what they say and how they behave. And we have to let them know it's okay to be scared or imperfect. After all, aren't we all?

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5 Things to Do This Weekend (Oct 15, 16) in Colorado Springs

5 Things to Do This Weekend (Oct 15, 16) in Colorado Springs

Tchaikovsky: Francesca da Rimini- Sat Oct 15, 7:30pm Pikes Peak Center

Admission: Various. Composed in just three week, this amazing, dark and explosive performance centers on the haunting torment of lover's illicit pleasures. Probably not an all ages show, but a definite must for Tchaikovsky fans. For more information:http://csphilharmonic.org/


Maker Faire - Sat Oct 15, 10:00am-4:00pm at Library 21c 1175 Chapel Hills Dr

Admission: Free. Attention all DIY fans, this faire is for you. In it's third year, the Maker Faire is a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker Movement. It’s a place where people show what they are making, and share what they are learning. For more information visit:https://coloradospringsmakerfaire.com/.


Sugar Plum Food & Gift Mart, Sat Oct 15 10-6pm and Sun Oct 16 11am-4pm, Colorado Springs Event Center 3960 Palmer Park Blvd

Admission: Adults $6, Kids 16 and under Free. Are you one of those people that likes to have all of their Christmas shopping done by Thanksgiving? The Sugar Plum Mart will definitely help you achieve that goal. This is one of Colorado Springs' largest holiday markets full of hand crafted wares, gifts, jewelry and clothing. Mr. and Mrs. Claus will even be there for photos. For more information: http://sugarplumgiftmart.com.


2016 Catwalk for Cancer Fashion Show, Fri Oct 14, 6pm, Garden of the Gods Club

Admission: $125. Cocktail reception followed by dinner and a fashion show modeled entirely by cancer survivors and their caregivers. All proceeds benefit the Oncology Services at UCHealth Memorial Hospital. For registration and more information: https://mhf.thankyou4caring.org/catwalk.


Japanese Cultural Festival & Bazaar, Sat Oct 15 10am-4pm, University Center at UCCS

Admission: Free, donations accepted. The Taiko drum and shamisen/bon dance performance will get you in the mood for this Festival full of original Japanese housewares, craft items, art, gift items, yukata, and second-hand kimonos. Sushi and Japanese snacks will also be available. More information can be found at: http://www.japanamerica.org/.


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5 Things to Do This Weekend (Oct 8, 9) in Colorado Springs

5 Things to Do This Weekend (Oct 8, 9) in Colorado Springs

Revolutionaries - Sat Oct 8, 7pm Broadmoor Community Church, Sunday Oct 9, 2:30pm First Christian Church

Admission: $25, $5 age 21 and under, $20 65 and older and active military. Pulitzer price winner Joseph Schwantner leads this performance of Beethoven's "Ah Perfido! for Soprano and Orchestra" with soprano Katherine Johnson and "Symphony No. 2 in D Major". For more information:http://chamberorchestraofthesprings.org


John McCutcheon - Sat Oct 8, 7:00 at Black Forest Community Club 12530 Black Forest Rd

Admission: $15 members, $25 non-members. When Pete Seeger calls someone "one of our country's best songwriters", you know he is bound to be good. John has been writing songs and creating music since he was 15. With 36 albums and 6 grammy nominations, John has a huge collection of work from ballads, historical songs, children’s songs, love songs, topical satire, fiddle and hammer dulcimer instruments, and even symphonic works. For more information:www.blackroseacoustic.org.


Haunted Brew Fest, Sat Oct 8 1-4pm and 5-8pm, Colorado Springs Event Center 3960 Palmer Park Blvd

Admission: $30, VIP $45. Beer and Boos? There is a pun in there somewhere. This group has partnered up with the Colorado Ghouls Gulch & Sanitarium Haunted House to provide you with a spooky experience while tasting some of our city's best brews. Discount tickets will be available for entry to the haunted house next door. For more information: http://hauntedbrewfest.com/.


Pikes Peak Studio Tour, Sat & Sun Oct 8, 9 10-5pm, various locations

Admission: Free. This only happens once a year, so put this one on your calendar. A combination of fine art and grand crafts for sale, works in progress, food and drink, lively conversation and welcoming artists. For a map and more information: www.pikespeakstudiotour.com.


The Grimm Spectaculathon, Fri Oct 7- Oct 15 7pm, Fountain Community Theater

Admission: $10 and under. A fun-filled play for the whole family! An energetic cast will try to make sense of the well-known (and some not so well-known) stories collected by the Brothers Grimm and with audience participation, this will be a memorable event and fun for the kiddos. Tickets can be purchased at: http://www.fountaintheater.org/.


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5 Things to Do This Weekend (Oct 1, 2) in Colorado Springs

5 Things to Do This Weekend (Oct 1, 2) in Colorado Springs

Creek Week - Sat Oct 1, 12-2pm, Legacy Loop Plaza

Admission: Free. This weekend concludes Creek Week in Colorado Springs where the Fountain Creek Watershed was given a little attention and love. This is the 3rd annual event where people get together to pick up trash and help cleanup the Fountain Creek Watershed. For more information, http://fountaincreekweek.com/.


Colorado College Hockey vs Mount Royal, Sun Oct 2, 6:07pm, Broadmoor World Arena

Admission: $9 and up. Nothing says fall like a little ice hockey. Colorado College opens the 2016-17 season on Sunday, Oct. 2, with an exhibition game against Mount Royal University at The Broadmoor World Arena beginning at 6:07 p.m. The regular season begins on Friday, Oct. 7, with a two-game series against UMass in Amherst, Mass. For tickets, http://www.broadmoorworldarena.com/.


Palmer Lake Art Group's Annual Fair, Fri Sep 30, Sat Oct 1, 9am - 5pm, Palmer Lake Town Hall

Admission: Free. This art fair has been going on for 43 years, so you know it has got to be good. Local artists, quilters and jewelry makers sell their products to benefit D-38 high school art scholarships. For more information: http://palmerlakeartgroup.com/


Bikes, Blues, Brews & BBQ, Sat Oct 1, 4-9pm, Buffalo Lodge Bicycle Resort

Admission: Free. Whether you like cruising on two wheels or not, you still have to check out this place and their Saturday community party is the perfect time to do so. The Buffalo Lodge Bicycle Resort, or The Buff is a family-owned vintage hotel with a western theme. They organize rides and hold events for all members of the community. For more information: http://bicycleresort.com/.


USAF Academy Band's Rampart Winds, Sun Oct 2, 2:30pm, Benet Hill Monestary

Admission: Free. Off Highway 83 in the thick Ponderosa Pines, you can experience the Academy's Rampart Winds. With a mix of patriotic classics and armed service anthems, this concert will make you proud to be an American. Register at www.benethillmonastery.org .


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