Colorado Goes to Jupiter

junoIf you caught any news over the 4th of July weekend, you might have heard that scientists successfully maneuvered the Juno spacecraft into the atmosphere of Jupiter after a 5 year journey from Earth. Despite the fact that Jupiter is bigger than all the other planets in our solar system combined, we know very little about it. The mission of Juno is to send back data that will change that.

When people think of space exploration, they mostly think about Florida, where Cape Canaveral has been the site of so many launches, and Houston, the place you call when you have a problem. But Colorado has a big hand in Aerospace Technology and scientific research into the other parts of the Universe. The Juno craft was built at the Lockheed Martin plant in Jefferson County, west of Denver, and controlled in a joint effort with the Mission Control team there, and the Jet Propulsion Lab in California. Lockheed Martin is the largest of many companies in Colorado that work on aerospace technology.

Of course, the whole point of the Juno mission is to allow scientists to learn more about the huge planet. Some of the people anxiously awaiting data from Juno are in Boulder at the University of Colorado Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP), led by Professor Fran Bagenal. Bagenal and a group that includes CU faculty, and graduate and undergraduate students, are excited to learn more about the magnetic field around Jupiter that creates the aurora at Jupiter’s poles. They will also be measuring the amount of water in Jupiter’s atmosphere. The hope is that this knowledge will not only expand the knowledge we have of Jupiter, but shed light on the planets in other solar systems.

The Banjo Billy Bus remains firmly on Earth. While doing nothing to expand our knowledge of astronomy, we can increase you knowledge of the history of Denver and Boulder. We are on our Summer schedule, with 2 tours a day in Denver and Boulder. Come blast of for some fun with us!

It’s Summer Music Season

One of the great pleasures of Summer is to be outside enjoying some good music with your favorite food, beverage and people.  The Summer outdoor music season in the Denver/Boulder area has already begun. We want to help you enjoy it.

There are far too many outdoor music festivals to feature here, so we are going to focus on some of our favorites. Of course, west of Denver is the world’s greatest outdoor music venue, Red Rocks. And there are several others in and around Denver where you can pay to see first rate national acts. We want to feature a few of the free venues.

In Denver there is jazz every Sunday night at 6pm at City Park.  The Clifford Still museum will also be hosting outdoor concerts once a month. Also, there is free music at Elway’s in Cherry Creek on the patio on Wednesdays featuring local bands including The Samples. For a list of all outdoor concerts in Denver check the Visit Denver site.

In Boulder, the highly popular Bands on the Bricks continues in front of Read more

It’s Bolder Boulder Time!

Memorial Day means the beginning of summer, the Indy 500, and you can now where those white shoes you’ve had in the back of the closet since Labor Day. On the front range of Colorado, Memorial Day means it is time to lace up the running shoes for the Bolder Boulder.


Since the first Bolder Boulder in 1979, the annual Memorial Day race has grown into on of premier 10k races in the country. Top professional runners from around the world come to compete in the elite category. But it is not just for the speedy. 50,000 people are expected to run, jog, walk or skip the course, ending to the cheers of family and friends at CU’s football stadium, Folsom Field. Unlike most big races, in Boulder the elite runners start after the rest of the participants are done, which allows them to finish the race in front of thousands of cheering fans in the stadium. And to make the experience great for everyone, the runners are sent off in waves, with the early waves requiring proof of having achieved a time that puts you with the rest of the wave. So, if you’re fast, you don’t have to swerve around walkers.

If you haven’t registered yet, it’s not too late. You can even register the morning of the the race. The wheelchair race starts at 6:50, and the first wave of runners goes off 5 minutes later. And if you’re not a runner, you can volunteer, or just join the thousands of people who will line the streets for the race. Either way, it’s great fun.

Banjo Billy takes Memorial Day off, but not the days before. Come out and join us in Denver and Boulder this Friday through Sunday, then go YEEEHHHAAAWWWW for the runners on Monday!

It’s Boulder Startup Week

Looking to be the next Mark Zuckerberg? Then you should probably be in Boulder this week.

It is Startup Week in Boulder. This is a week when startup businesses, aspiring entrepreneurs, programmers, investors, and anyone else with an interest in growing a new business can come to Boulder for information and networking opportunities. Activities include seminars, bike rides, golf, running, meetings, beer drinking and even some cannibis related events (it is Boulder, after all!).


One of the highlights is the Techstars Demo Day, when 11 companies that have been working in Boulder on their products present them for the public (and investors, of course!). This is a tough ticket to get!

Boulder has become a sort of mini Silicon Valley, with a great number of small high-tech companies planting their seeds here in hopes of becoming something substantial. Larger tech companies have also set up offices in town. It appears that the young, educated workers this industry needs to develop products is attracted by Boulder’s mountains, weather, outdoor activities, beer, and, probably, cannibis.

Banjo Billy welcomes the next generation of billionaires to Boulder. Of course, even if you have a flip phone and an AOL email address, you can still come on the Banjo Billy Bus and learn about Boulder and Denver. Join us.

Need a Ride? Try B-Cycle in Denver and Boulder

Want to get around Boulder and Denver in the most fun way possible? Want to take advantage of the vast system of bike trails in those cities? Want to get some exercise on the way? Try B-Cycle.

bcIf you live in either Denver or Boulder you have noticed the bike rakes around town, and seen plenty of people enjoying a ride on the red bikes with the basket on the front. There are 87 B-Cycle stations scattered around Denver, providing 700 bikes for short term use. In Boulder, there are 40 stations and 300 bikes. Boulder B-Cycle recently released figures saying they had 84,000 riders in Boulder last year. The bikes are popular with both tourists and residents in both cities, and have become even more useful as they have added more bikes since the programs began.

How does it work? Prices and rules are a bit different in each city, but basically you take your credit card out and put Read more

Take The A-Train….to DIA!

In 1940, Billy Strayhorn wrote a song called “Take the A Train” for the Duke Ellington Orchestra. To anyone who has heard it, the beginning chords alone are instantly recognizable. The A Train that Strayhorn was writing about was a subway train to Harlem. Now folks in Denver can take their own A Train, not to Harlem, but to Denver International Airport.


Only in America would a city build an airport over 20 miles from downtown and not build a train line to it, but it has been done all over this country. Finally, over 20 years after it opened, the Denver RTD has completed the train line from the beautifully remodeled Union Station to DIA. The train will make the trip on only $37 minutes, and cost only $9, which makes it a bargain compared to any other form of transportation to downtown. Trains will run every 15 minutes from minutes from 5AM to 7PM, and every 1/2 hour at less prime times. First train leaves at 3:15AM, and the last leaves at 12:30AM. The train starts running on Friday, April 22. This is the kind of airport transportation that a great city like Denver deserves. If it had free wifi it would be perfect!

Unfortunately, the Duke Ellington Orchestra won’t be serenading you on your trip, so we added a link to a video of a performance by The Duke below. The Banjo Billy Bus won’t give you a ride to the airport, but it will give you the best tour of Denver or Boulder you’ll ever have! We hope to see you soon.




Summer Concerts at Red Rocks TOTALLY ROCK!!!!

There is much to look forward to as Summer approaches: baseball, beaches, boating, and enjoying some great music outdoors. The Denver/Boulder area has quite a few outdoor music venues, and we will fill you in on many of them here as the weather gets warmer. But the king of all outdoor music venues is the spectacular Red Rocks Amphitheater.


It all began about 160 million years ago, when gradual earth movement slowly raised the sandstone ledges from what had been the prehistoric ocean floor. Thus was created a natural amphitheater.

In the early 1900’s John Brisbane Walker had a vision of it as a place for performance artists, and produced several concerts at the site on a temporary stage. In 1927 the city of Denver bought the land, and the idea of developing the Read more

Spring Must Be Here: It’s Baseball Season!

It happens every Spring…well, unless there is a strike or a lockout. The weather gets warmer, the days get longer, and the baseball season starts. Here in Colorado the Rockies start their 20th season in their beautiful ballpark in the Lodo district of downtown Denver, Coors Field.


The Rockies are not expected to be very good this season. In fact, they are likely to be one of the worst teams in baseball. However, they do offer up a few excellent reasons to head to a Rockies game. Despite a pitching staff likely to be by far the worst in the world, they have 2 outstanding players in right fielder Carlos Gonzalez, the third baseman Nolan Arenado. These are 2 of the best players in the game, and Arenado’s glove alone is reason to watch him play. Also, they play in a wonderful facility, Coors Field, which offers excellent views of the field, and of the Rocky Mountains behind the left field wall. Get a ticket in the upper deck on the first base side to enjoy the sunset!

Spring also brings the Banjo Billy Spring schedule, with tours on Fri-Sun in Denver and Boulder. If you are heading to a Rockies game, head downtown early and take the Denver tour first. What a day of fun that will be! And you can yell YEEEHAAAWWW on the bus and at the ballpark!

Spring Has Sprung, And So Has Our New Web Site

Hello folks, and welcome to the new Banjo Billy web site. We had been using the previous site for 8 years, and decided it was time for a few changes.  We think the new site is a little easier to use, and easier to find the information that you want. There are links to buy tickets easily found on every page, for when you are ready to hop on the bus. One of the main reasons for the new design was to make the site easier to use on mobile platform and we are pretty sure we have achieved that goal. We hope our customers enjoy using it.

We have also updated information about our team, and we added a new product!


ANNOUNCING BANJO BILLY’S BOULDER BREWERY TOUR! We have been doing private tours in Denver to some of the excellent craft breweries there, and now we’ve added the same type of tour in Boulder, where craft brewing began in Colorado. We have several excellent breweries lined up to serve beer and teach about the brewing process to our guests. That ought to get you to YEE HAAAWWWW!

SPRING SCHEDULE BEGINS THIS WEEK!  April is here, and that means we expand the number of tours we do in Denver and Boulder. You can now hop on the Denver tour at 1 and 3PM Friday-Sunday in Denver, and at 2 and 4PM the same days in Boulder.

Thanks again for all the support we get from our guests and the communities we deal with, and to Patrick Sandoval for designing our new web site.


Star Wars’ BB-8 Is From Boulder!

You may not have heard of this small art film called Star Wars: The Force Awakens which opened quietly just before Christmas, but a few people have seen it. In fact it had the highest grossing weekend of any movie in history. You might also be aware the George Lucas, the creator of the Star Wars franchise, was one of the first film makers to see the commercial potential of extensive merchandise ties to his films.

Of course if you want to sell a lot of merchandise, you need cute characters to sell, and the cutest this year is the droid BB-8, who appears to be a soccer ball with a turret. The BB-8 you may have found under your Christmas tree this year came from a Boulder company called Sphero, which specializes in making “connected toys”. Read more