Monday, December 19, 2016

Kinder Realm hosts kids' contest with an impressive prize

Posted By on Mon, Dec 19, 2016 at 6:01 PM

Kinder Realm, a downtown kids' furniture store, is well-loved for the handcrafted, interactive and unique pieces it showcases. Now, owner/designer James Carlin is offering one of his most impressive (and expensive) home furnishings as a contest prize.

Carlin's kids’ cottages stand out from the rest of his unique pieces, partly due to size and partly due to sheer artistry. These two-level, full-size play houses are crafted from fine wood, with painted murals and detailed accents that give them a sort of fairytale feel.

Nothing inspires creativity in kids like a real-life fantasy cottage. - COURTESY KINDER REALM
  • Courtesy Kinder Realm
  • Nothing inspires creativity in kids like a real-life fantasy cottage.

Most of us would've killed for something like that when we were young. Luckily, your kids just have to complete a couple challenges.

Ages 4-12 can compete in the creativity contest, and one winner will receive the full cottage set, furniture included. The best part is that the contest isn’t just for artists, but for children who excel in writing, math and science — celebrating any kind of creativity.

Ensure before entering that your home can accommodate the cottage’s size. It covers a 6’x8’ floor space and stands 7’ high. Plus, it's designed to be used inside a bedroom or playroom. Good news: it can be used outdoors provided there is a raised platform and a roof to cover it from the elements.

If that sounds good to you, check out the abridged requirements below, and make sure you read the full contest rules before your kids start their tasks.

The deadline for entries will be Feb. 15.

To the applicants: To enter the competition, your challenge is to choose any two of the four tasks listed below and write or record your responses.

1. Design a mathematically-based or scientifically-based puzzle or game.

2. Write* a short story with at least three characters. The story must cover a time span of more than one day and it must come to a definite conclusion. The story must evoke any particular emotion of your choice. This story must be no longer than 1000 words.

3. Create a visual artwork in any media you like – drawing, painting, sculpture, collage, mosaic (any material).

4. Approach this fourth task as though you are an architect and design a unique living environment or an individual structure, intended for either some specific person (it could be yourself, or not), some particular group (such as deaf children, lovers of the desert or forests, or maybe apartment dwellers – just to name just a few), or you could intend your design for a non-human subject or group (such as a real animal or a fantasy creature or group of creatures).

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Friday, July 24, 2015

Make way for the Pet Rock Olympics

Posted By on Fri, Jul 24, 2015 at 10:52 AM

  • Carolyn Franks / shutterstock

Question: How many times in past years have you cursed yourself for forgetting to take part in the Colorado State Fair’s Pet Rock Olympics?

Don’t let it happen again! Pre-registration is now open for this year’s competition, which will award winners with a total of nearly $250 in cash prizes — plus ribbons! — to winners in the “Best Dressed” and “Farthest Distance Roller” categories.

While the judging itself won’t take place until August 30, now is definitely the time to register and start training. Some ground rules to bear in mind:

* Contestants must bring their own rocks. (None will be provided.)

* All rocks must be free from man-made or caused alterations.

* Previous “Best Dressed” winning rocks are not eligible for competition in 2015.

* The rock traveling the greatest distance from start to stop, with no pushing or nudging, will be declared the winner.

• The farthest roller becomes the property of the Colorado State Fair. (Hmmm…)

You can find more information here.
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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

UPDATE: Good at math? Love pizza? Win $250.

Posted By on Tue, Oct 14, 2014 at 12:42 PM

A spokesperson for Poor Richard's wants to make a slight change to the contest rules we just posted: each pizza can have UP TO five toppings. Sorry about that. Carry on.

——- ORIGINAL POST, TUESDAY, 12:42 P.M. ——-


Poor Richard's
is challenging its customers to do a little math.

The question: How many different combinations can you get on a Poor Richard's pizza? Each pizza can have any number and any combination of 32 toppings, but it must have only one of the three varieties of cheese offered, only one of the three varieties of crust options, and only one of the two sauce options. 

Got an answer? Drop it off with your name and phone number at the restaurant in the "pizza math geek" box. A winner will be drawn from the correct answers on Nov. 26.

In addition to collecting a $250 gift card as a prize, the winner will also be named on the Poor Richard's Facebook page.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Indy Music Ballot Goes Live

Posted By on Wed, Jun 18, 2014 at 12:14 PM

  • image: spirit of america

Yes, it’s Year Four, and Indy Music Awards voting begins… now.

You’ll find all of the 2014 nominees, along with write-in categories, on page 36 of this week’s issue, as well as online right here.

The ballot takes all of five minutes to complete — and much less if you limit yourself to the five-vote minimum — so why wait?

Voting runs through July 13, results will be announced in our August 27 Local Music Issue, and winners will go on to perform at this year’s Indy Music Festival on September 4.

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Monday, December 9, 2013

Local pool players attempt Guinness world record

Posted By on Mon, Dec 9, 2013 at 1:23 PM

"NAPA of the Rockies Iron Men" - COURTESY RACHELLE BIBER
  • Courtesy Rachelle Biber
  • "NAPA of the Rockies Iron Men"
Little did I know Colorado Springs' claim to fame may now be as the home of Guinness World Record holder for longest consecutive hours of pool played. Since Friday evening at 6, four teams of two have been facing off at Corner Pocket West, trying to beat the world record of 74 hours and 50 minutes previously set by two men in the United Kingdom in 2011.

Sponsored by the North American Pool Shooters Association (NAPA) of the Rockies, the teams have been playing not only for bragging rights but for charity as well, says Evelyn Rubino, local player supporting the teams. Two teams dropped out at 14 hours and 36 hours, with one enlisting donations for Dreams for Kids and the other for the Susan G. Komen foundation. 
"NAPA of the Rockies Iron Men" - COURTESY RACHELLE BIBER
  • Courtesy Rachelle Biber
  • "NAPA of the Rockies Iron Men"

The two remaining teams consist of local pool players Dave Miles and Shawn Terrell, playing for the American Diabetes Association, and Drew Rieck and Keith Pulley playing for the Home Front Cares. With four types of donations offered on NAPA of the Rockies' website, these "NAPA of the Rockies Iron Men" hand selected their organization because they wanted to raise money for a good cause, says Rachelle Biber, NAPA lead operator of two counties in the region. 

Shooting to break the world record tonight before 9, the remaining teams hope to top out at 100 hours going into tomorrow night. And, as it turns out, this is not the first world record to be set in our home town. 
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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Contest looking for best nature photos

Posted By on Thu, Oct 24, 2013 at 3:57 PM

  • RMFi

I would like to think I'm a pretty good photographer. But reality disagrees. My smart phone is filled with ghastly pictures of my otherwise-beautiful friends, color-drained landscapes, and, naturally, a million grainy shots of my cat.

Pretty sure none of those are going to win a contest.

Those of you with actual talent, however, could win a contest. Get your photos in by tomorrow, and you could be a competitor in the Rocky Mountain Field Institute's photo contest. All the details are below.

Selfies and cat pictures are apparently not appreciated.


Rocky Mountain Field Institute launches its first juried photo contest. The theme for the competition, “NATURE!” challenges photographers of all skill levels to think about the dynamic between humans and the environment. Ranging from passion to rage to thrill to despair, our relationship with the environment is complicated by natural disasters such as wildfire and flooding. Categories include:

Reaction: images of the force of nature, including fires, floods, or other damage.

Rebirth: images that highlight the efforts to overcome devastating natural events.

Rejoice: images that showcase the beauty of our natural areas and the wonderful outdoors we enjoy.

Recreate: images that capture humans enjoying nature.

Youth: images encompassing the theme of the contest, taken by those 17 and younger

RMFI is looking for powerful images that capture the multi-faceted relationship between people and the natural environment. 2 images from each category will be selected as finalists. These images will be exhibited throughout November (including our annual Fall ShinDIG at the Garden of the Gods Visitor Center Nov. 7th), culminating in a final exhibit on Saturday, November 30, 2013 at the Business of Art Center (515 Manitou Avenue, Manitou Springs, CO). A grand prize winner will be chosen by public vote and announced at the final exhibit. The final exhibit is an Indy Give! event hosted in partnership with the BAC, UCCS Gallery of Contemporary Art, Medicine Wheel and Concrete Couch.

HOW TO ENTER: Entry fee is $10/jpeg. 3 jpegs for $25. Thereafter, $7.50 for any additional images. Please submit entries to Please pay entry fee online at or mail/deliver payment to RMFI: 815 S. 25th St, Ste 101, Colorado Springs, CO 80904. Deadline for submission is October 25, 2013.

Top entries will be decided by a panel of professional photographers and artisans. Chosen entries will need to be printed, mounted and framed by photographer to be displayed throughout November (name and contact information may be included). Prizes include much laud and fanfare from RMFI, your name in lights and in our e-news, and the prestige of having won.

For more information or questions please contact 719-471-7736 or

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

CC versus DU: It's a raise-off

Posted By on Wed, Oct 23, 2013 at 3:13 PM


As the Colorado College Tigers gear up to take on the long-rivaled University of Denver Pioneers, another competition is brewing.

Drawing upon alumni sources, the two are facing off in the new annual giving challenge to see who will be the first to rally up 1,500 donors by November 7. As it stands, the scoreboard shows CC in the lead, with 1,360 donors and DU bringing in only 761.

With only a couple weeks left before the two take the competition to the ice November 8, CC alumni may be coming out on top. And it isn't no surprise with CC's witty video performance overshadowing DU's cheesier rendition of a promotional ad.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Color your cover yet?

Posted By on Tue, Sep 25, 2012 at 4:26 PM

There's a Waldo Canyon Fire-themed cover, a One Direction-themed cover, another blanketed in sequins, even one modified into a diorama, complete with hand-sewn clothes. One individual played up the "gothic" in our image of choice: "American Gothic."

These are some of the 30 entries we've received so far for our Fall Arts Preview coloring contest, in which we asked readers to show us their take on the oh-so-iconic "Gothic" by Grant Wood. The painting is one of the most parodied pieces of artwork around, up there with David and the Mona Lisa. But really, the work has invited personal experience and modification since its debut in 1930. As it happened, Wood caught a lot of hell about the painting from Iowans (who though he made them look like sour "puritanical Bible-thumpers") and it's also been written that Wood saw the painting as a satire of American life, not the effigy of all things red, white and blue as it's often known for today. Really, for all its fame, and all its straightforward-ness, "Gothic" is still quite successful in bringing out something different in everyone.

Colorado Springs Independent coloring contest
  • Colorado Springs Independent
  • Can you beat this?

Which is why you should enter the contest if you still haven't. The deadline for submissions is Sunday, Sept. 30 by 5 p.m. (Click here for rules, drop-off information and more.)

The contest is open to all ages; to date, the youngest entry hails from a 3-year-old named Haven, the oldest from a 90-year-old named Arveen. Should either of these two win their age categories, Haven will be rewarded with kid-themed goodies, including Batman Live tickets, while Arveen will be able to drink and carouse with the beautiful people at our Best Of party in December. All the winners' works will be published in the first Best Of issue Oct. 17 and will be posted online.

Take a look at this video for examples of entries, as well as a contest pitch from the ever-camera-ready Jack Ward:

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Wednesday will become Independent's Day!

Posted By on Tue, Mar 27, 2012 at 4:50 PM


The Independent is breaking up with Thursday and moving to Wednesday. Now you will have 24 more hours to plan your playtime and see our latest news and columns, starting Wednesday, April 11.

Breaking up is hard to do and we don't want to do it alone. So, share your best Break Up story in the "Independent Break Up" Sweepstakes! With a $100 Restaurant Gift Certificate up for grabs, we invite you to submit your Break Up story to this blog announcement by 5:55 p.m., Monday, April. 9. Or you can mail your story to our office, or just drop it by the building at 235 S. Nevada Ave. Limit of 100 words or fewer, explaining why your Break Up story is the best. Or you can e-mail it to

On Wednesday, April 11, we'll announce the winning story in our first Wednesday issue.

The winner will receive $100 to a local restaurant so you can take your new partner out on the town or have a great location for your next Break Up!

Individuals are welcome to submit their Break Up story, but only locals in the Pikes Peak region (to include El Paso and Teller counties) are eligible. The Independent retains the right to use any submitted story in Independent-related forums including, but not limited to, print, social media, and The creator retains all remaining rights.

Again, deadline is 5:55 p.m., Monday, April. 9. Please send further questions to

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Your kid's chance to be a famous hero

Posted By on Thu, Jan 19, 2012 at 11:31 AM


Considering the fact that Colorado has seen drastic cuts to both higher ed and K-12 education, and considering that the state's K-12 system has long been one of the most poorly funded in the nation, a chance for kids to win a $30,000 college scholarship and a $50,000 technology grant for their school may generate some excitement.

Add that to the fact that your kid could get his or her 15 minutes of fame through this little contest, and well, it's almost irresistible. I speak of the Doodle 4 Google contest.

You know how on holidays, Google decorates the icon on its homepage? Well, basically, your kid's drawing could decorate that icon on a regular day if he/she wins this thing. Think of it as an essay contest with pictures. The theme is “If I could travel in time, I’d visit ...”

Unfortunately, it's not open to the young at heart — only kids in grades 5-12. Sadly, this means all my years of developing my talent, doodling through boring meetings, is a total waste. Sigh. But your little one still has a chance, so read on:

Doodle 4 Google: “If I could travel in time, I’d visit...”

Starting today, we’d like to invite K-12 students in the U.S. to participate in our fifth annual U.S. Doogle 4 Google contest. Draw your rendition of the Google logo and you may see it on the ultimate gallery: the Google homepage. The winning doodler will also take home a $30,000 college scholarship and a $50,000 technology grant for his or her school.

The theme for this year’s contest is “If I could travel in time, I’d visit...”. That could mean visiting a past, present or future setting—whether it’s traveling back in time to the signing of the Declaration of Independence, to the future to witness everyday space travel, or to just a few moments ago to relive a poignant experience.

Building on last year’s record-breaking participation (107,000 entries!), we’ve made a few enhancements to the 2012 contest. First, we’re opening Doodle 4 Google up to an even wider audience—with a winner from every state. There will be five finalists and one winner per state, so everyone will have a local doodle champion to cheer on. >From these 50 State Winners, we’ll find 5 National Finalists and the lucky National Winner.

We’re also partnering with Crayola this year and the winning doodler’s artwork will appear on a special edition of the 64-crayon box—a first!

Participating is easier than ever, since we’ve eliminated the registration step. All you need to do is submit your child’s or student’s artwork by March 20 with a signed and completed entry form.

Contest judging starts with Google employees and a panel of guest judges—including multi-platinum singer Katy Perry, Phineas and Ferb creator and executive producer Jeff “Swampy” Marsh, and recording artist Jordin Sparks, as well as other great illustrators and artists—who will help us pick the state finalists and winners. Then, on May 2, we’ll put the 50 state winners up for public vote. All 50 State Winners will be flown to New York City for the national awards ceremony on May 17, with the winning doodle appearing on May 18.

The doodles by the 50 State Winners will be displayed at The New York Public Library's historic Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on 42nd Street in an exhibition open to the public over the summer. We’ll also be partnering with museums across the country to display the artwork of the state finalists in areas near their homes.

For more details, check out, where you’ll find full contest rules and entry forms. Happy doodling and good luck!

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Friday, January 6, 2012

WeBrand winners check in

Posted By on Fri, Jan 6, 2012 at 4:33 PM

At noon Friday, the local convention and visitors bureau closed its competition for city logo submissions from the local public.

A couple hours earlier, the Indy entered the last leg of its foray into the branding business by doling out prizes in its WeBrand competition.

On Friday morning, Robert Crum and Jeff Gonyea, creators of the “Live adventure” brand that earned the most votes in our readers’ poll, stopped by the office to pick up their winnings. They received $555 for their slogan and logo design, and $200 for the slogan alone. They also received additional prizes compliments of West Side Tattoo, including a trip to Las Vegas and a tattoo gift certificate.

Even more exciting: They got to do the classic check-acceptance photo with our executive editor, Ralph Routon.

Grip ’n grin: Crum, Gonyea and Routon.

Crum and Gonyea have also submitted their winning design to Experience Colorado Springs via its official RFP, and we wish them luck in that competition.

Crum and Gonyeas winning brand.
  • Crum and Gonyea's winning brand.

As for WeBrand, all that’s left to do is to randomly choose the winner of the prize pack among all competition voters. To find out who takes the CC hockey tickets and gift certificates to the Stagecoach Inn and Tony’s Downtown Bar, pick up Thursday’s paper.

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Community contest: WeBrand the Springs

Posted on Thu, Nov 17, 2011 at 1:56 PM

OK, here's the deal:

As has been well-documented in the 48 hours since the big unveil, "Live it up!" — our Castle Rock-sourced, $111,000 branding brainchild — is a big letdown.

So let's give the city other options. Your options.


Call it the "WeBrand the Springs" contest. With $1,100 up for grabs, we invite you to submit your best Colorado Springs logo-and-slogan pairing, and/or your best Colorado Springs promotional video (limited to 90 seconds), to by 5:55 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 15. Or you can mail your work to our office, or just drop it by the building at 235 S. Nevada Ave. We also ask for an artist bio (25 words or fewer) and an artist statement (of 100 words or fewer), explaining why your work projects the most fitting image of the Springs.

We will select anywhere from five to 10 finalists in both categories. On Thursday, Dec. 22, in print and at, we'll present the logo-and-slogan finalists. We'll also present the video finalists at

From there, selecting a winner will be up to you. You'll get to vote for your fave at, in a poll active from Dec. 22 through Tuesday, Dec. 27.

The highest vote-getter in the logo-and-slogan category, and the highest vote-getter in the video category, will be declared winners in our Dec. 29 issue. And we'll invite the winners to come along when we present their work to Experience Colorado Springs, the convention and visitors bureau, later that day.

Each winner will receive $550. That totals $1,100 — 1 percent of what it cost us to get "Live it up!"

Bust it out, people ... let's show what happens when the inspiration comes from within!

Individuals or groups are welcome to submit as many ideas, as often, as desired. But only locals in the Pikes Peak region (to include El Paso and Teller counties) are eligible. All submissions become the property of the Independent. The Independent retains the right to use any submitted logo in Independent-related forums including, but not limited to, print, and The creator retains all remaining rights.

Again, deadline is 5:55 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 15. Please send further questions to

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Friday, August 5, 2011

Win two tickets to the Gonzalo Bergara Quartet, with Mango fan Django

Posted By on Fri, Aug 5, 2011 at 12:11 PM

  • GBQ

I like gypsy jazz, you like gypsy jazz, we all like gypsy jazz — it's just a question of tickets. Well guess who's got two tickets to next week's concert at First Congregational Church and is giving them away? This guy!

So if you're free at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 11, comment by 5 tonight with your real name and the name of the world-famous musician who jazz pioneer whom Jean "Django" Reinhardt supposedly called "my brother." We'll randomly draw a winner from among the correct answers, and leave their name on this blog.

Good luck, swing kids.

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Friday, June 17, 2011

The "What If Festival" returns — and you can be a part of it

Posted By on Fri, Jun 17, 2011 at 7:31 AM

The “if” clouding the probability of the wildly successful “What If Festival” returning for another round has been removed and it's been announced that the festival will return on Saturday, Sept. 10.

The “What If Festival,” which drew 15,000 people in its inaugural year, will again feature Colorado Springs’ “tech-enthusiasts, art-makers, garage inventors, do-it-yourselfers, performers, musicians, scientists, mathematicians, culinary magicians, robot builders, urban farmers, student creators, innovators, [and] engineers” in a smorgasbord of imagination that Ingmar Bergman could not deny.


For “virgin” innovators, the challenge is to create an “experience” for viewers that will hook them into your whale of an idea. Propositions are due by July 15 and applications can be filled out here.

Proposals must have both creativity, which the website defines as “our inherent, but sometimes un-fostered ability to create something that is, in some way, new rather than limited,” and innovation, “[the] creation of something that is both imaginative/creative and usable.”


For more information about the festival, check out its website here.

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

We want haiku: Win $20 to Pinkberry Frozen Yogurt

Posted By on Wed, Jun 15, 2011 at 10:42 AM


You may recall we told you Pinkberry Frozen Yogurt opens tomorrow at 7335 N. Academy Blvd.:

According to owner Wes Becker, who also runs two Denver Pinkberry shops with business partner Scott Adams, nearly 1,000 people showed up for his May 2010 grand opening on Colorado Boulevard. The product's popularity continues to expand internationally, now under the fold of Maveron, whose co-founder is Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. ...

He adds that Pinkberry distinguishes itself with yogurt made fresh in the store daily, and with fresh-cut fruits. See the nutrition page on the corporate website for a full ingredient list by flavor: Sugar content is high, but calories are relatively low.

Now you have the chance to win a $20 gift card and sample an early adopter of the insane yogurt craze. Leave your best yogurt-related haiku — signed with your real name — as a comment on this blog, before 4:30 p.m. today, and the best contribution, as voted by our editorial staff, will win.

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