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.

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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.

 

 

http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cb2w2m1JmCY

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.

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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.

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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!

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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

How Other Countries Celebrate Christmas

Here in the United States we celebrate Christmas with trees, Santa Claus, presents, and lots of food. And, for many of us, by getting snowed in at the airport trying to get home to see our parents, and sleeping on a bench in O’Hare airport. To religious Christians it is a sacred day, but to many other Americans, it is another fun American holiday.

These traditions all seem normal to us, but might seem odd to people from other cultures. We decided to check out some of the more unusual Christmas traditions around the world. Here are a few: Read more

The Science of Chocolate?

Chocolate, the food of the gods. Dark, white, milk. Makes a tasty bar or a great dip for fruit. Cheers up the sad and spreads love. But where did it come from?

We usually write about events happening soon on this page, but when we heard about this we had to spread the word. From February 12 through May 8 next year, Chocolate: The Exhibit will be at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. This exhibit promises to  “place chocolate under the lenses of science, history, and popular culture”.  We are guessing it will taste delicious too! Read more

Boulder and Denver Kick off the Holidays with Parades of Lights

Coloradans are a hearty breed. While a parade at night in December might seem like a bad idea to a lot of people, it certainly will not deter the folks in Denver and Boulder for turning out for the Parade of Lights.

Denver’s 9NEWS PARADE OF LIGHTS is so popular that it will take place on Friday and Saturday, December 4 and 5. The parade starts at 8pm on Friday and 6pm Saturday at Civic Center Park, heads down 17th to Arapahoe, then back up 15th to Glenarm. Read more

The Toys of Your Childhood are at the History Colorado Center

Did you ever have a Slinky, walking the stairs without a care, when you were a kid? Did you copy funnies from the newspaper with Silly Putty, then throw your Super Ball against the wall until you got bored and went and played with Gumby? If so, you are old. But you and your kids and grandkids might enjoy the Toys exhibit currently at the History Colorado Center in Denver.

The Toy’s of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s exhibit is will be at the History Colorado Center until the end of January. Like most good museum exhibits these days, you can not only learn about these toys, but about the people who invented them and how experts today view them. (Maybe those Rockem Sockem Robots you had when you are a kid is the reason you wanted to punch that guy in the Blue Man Group?). And, of course, you can play with them. A fun, nostalgic trip to the days when toys weren’t necessarily safe for kids of all ages. Read more