by Kyle Stielow,
Signing Time Academy International Associate Director – Midwest Region

During the holidays last year, I kept reading about all the wonderful Signing Time concerts with Rachel Coleman. With our 17 Signing Time Instructors here in Colorado, I thought, “We can do this!” I also thought that since the state is divided by the Rocky Mountains, we should do two events – one for the western slope and one for the front range. Then I went a little crazy (OK, a lot crazy!) and decided that since families may be driving a long way, why not put on a Kid’s Fair so they can make it a day-long activity! The last step was a conference call with the Instructors. They were in, and the Signing Time Family Fun Fair and the Rachel Live! Concerts were on their way.

A grand time in Grand Junction

After we started looking for vendors, we found out the PBS Kids Fest was the morning of our event. This made for an extremely busy day for the Instructors and volunteers. We set up a Signing Time booth at the PBS event and had a blast. We then moved the booth over to our event at the Western Botanical Gardens. The Kids Fair was on the front lawn of the gardens and the concert was in the amphitheater. The weather was HOT!! Even so, we still had fun, especially with all of our animal friends from the Grand Valley Zoological Society. At 4:00 the fun really got rolling. Rachel hit the stage in her orange shirt and the new flip flops she had purchased on account of the HEAT. After Colors of the Rainbow and several other songs, Rachel sang the Silly Pizza Song and gave us a sneak peek of a new song that made us all cry! It was a great day!

Thank you to all of the Signing Time Academy Instructors, my parents,  Moms for Moms, volunteers, and all of our sponsors and vendors that made this event a success. After a wonderful concert and meet and greet session, we loaded up and drove to Denver.

Dazzled in Denver

Our day in the Denver suburb of Highlands Ranch started off very peacefully – in fact, there was a huge yoga session happening in Civic Green Park when we arrived! The Highlands Ranch Metro District sponsored the event and gave us use of the amphitheater for the concert, space for the Kid’s Fair vendors, and water fun to cool off in the heat. Just after lunch, the clouds rolled in and cooled things off. They brought thunder and wind as well, but the sun came back in full force just as the concert started. I was afraid I was going to have an orange and green puddle on stage – a melted Rachel and a melted Hopkins!  Once Rachel started signing and singing, the kids did not care about the heat at all! They were dancing and singing and signing. We had a Turtle Rock dance party on the stage that included a conga line. At one point, there was a crowd on stage while Rachel was down in the audience! Then came an AMAZING Silly Pizza Song signing duet with Rachel and a young signer from Arizona.  I heard so many Signing Time success stories and saw so many families dancing and signing together.  The clouds rolled in just as Rachel finished the concert. We were all thankful for the cloud cover until the lightning decided to join the party…I guess I did say everyone was welcome. The Signing Time fans lined up under the pavilion to keep out of the pending rain as they waited to meet Rachel. Even with our weather challenges, we had a wonderful day! I want to thank the AWESOME Signing Time Academy Instructors; the Instructors’ families and friends; my parents; Jules+1;  our sponsors and vendors; Highlands Ranch Metro District (especially Pam and PJ); RBCB Productions; our sound guys, Ben and Shawn; Applewood Plumbing, Heating and Electric; Macaroni Kid; and the Signing Time fans for helping to make our day a success.