Archive | June, 2011

I Believe that Catfish Are Our Future, Fry Them Well and Let Them Lead The Way…

30 Jun

Each star represents the nine brave and courageous souls who have entered the Denver Catfish Festival VIP Raffle.

Greetings, Fellow Catfish Enthusiasts!

 Like finely-ground cornmeal through a flour sifter, so are the days ‘til the Ninth Annual Denver Catfish Festival.  Time is passing quickly now, Enthusiasts, and there is much to report!

  • Your “Ask the Chairman” questions have been coming fast and furious over the past month; luckily, I’ve been able to respond to 50% of them this week.  I will answer the remaining question as soon as humanly possible.   Click here for the latest.


  • The Denver Catfish Festival Steering Committee is back from last weekend’s three-day retreat at Red Rocks Amphitheatre.  Most notably, Sunday’s Practicum on Tailgating and Auditory Entertainment had the participants truly enthralled and proved to be the highlight of the weekend (with enormous apologies to certain committee members who only attended on Friday and Saturday.)  Certainly, we were there to have fun, but we were also there to learn; and learn we did.  And did.  And did.  Major thanks to that aged and wise band of minstrels from Athens, GA for their euphonious contribution!  
  • Catfish Festival Merchandise: Due to child labor-related problems with our suppliers in Southeast Asia this year, Ninth Annual Denver Catfish Festival merchandise will be exclusively available at the Festival itself!  Please conduct yourselves in an orderly fashion at the Shwag Table; our Staff Pettifoggers representing Festival Security have spent a good portion the last year defending those pesky brutality charges after the koozie melee at the Eighth Annual Denver Catfish Festival.  Thank goodness those things are foam and not metal…
  • The Denver Catfish Festival VIP Experience Raffle: Entries have been pouring over us like a cascading waterfall over a sunbathing Giant Nile Catfish; if you want the opportunity to be one of the most important people at a given place/festival, this is your big chance!  Email denvercatfishfestival (at) gmail (dot) com with “ENTER ME” in the subject line, then cross your fingers, pray to what or whomever you prefer to pray to, and maybe, just maybe, you’ll be very important!
  • We have received countless stunningly impressive Catfish-inspired Haikus to date!  But, as Andrea True (avid catfish enthusiast, pop singer, and film star) would say, “More! More! More!” Please send us your entries as soon as you can!  (You can still enter up until 3:00 PM on Festival Day, but you risk the Judging Committee being unable to make out your scribbling due to your, or possibly our, level of ‘festival happiness’ at that particular time.)  


  • Note: The Festival Management Staff is off to The Festival Fatherland, Shreveport, Louisiana, for the next several days on a research mission to locate the finest, most delicious catfish in the Ark-La-Tex and to arrange their safe passage back to the Festivalgrounds in Denver.  We’ll also immerse ourselves in the local culture, which essentially involves excellent company, damn good food, cold, cold beer, drive-thru daiquiris, and military-grade firework munitions (our search for Catfish-shaped fireworks is ongoing.)  Here’s to hoping for only minor burns this year!     

 Want a Free DCF9 beer coozie?  Be the first to email me with the name of the modern poet I’m respectfully ripping off below!

The Festival comes

On little catfish fins.

It sits looking

Over propane fryers

On silent flippers

And then moves on.

(The answer is Carl Sandburg.  Way to be lightning-fast, David L.!)



Joe T., Chmn.

“We’ll see YOU at the Ninth Annual Denver Catfish Festival!”

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

The Denver Catfishfestivalgrounds

3156 Geneva St., Denver, 80238

Gates: 12:30

First Filet-hits-oil at 1:12 PM MT


2 Jun

It was a Vision Quest, not to be confused with the stellar '80's Matthew Modine/Linda Fiorentino film of the same moniker.

Greetings, Fellow Catfish Enthusiasts!

We at Your Denver Catfish Festival Steering Committee utilized the now-departed Darling Month of May to travel, both physically and metaphysically,  in the Name of Fried Catfish.  As Chairman, I’ve had the pleasure of going forth on enlightening spiritual quests and reemerging rested, rejuvenated and reinvigorated in our committee’s ongoing mission to make The Ninth Annual Denver Catfish Festival the most awe-inspiring Denver Catfish Festival EVER!

It was in the wild and dangerous beauty of the Southern Utah desert,  exposed to the rugged elements  save a loincloth, several Miller Lites and a pack of smokes (and a bic, of course) that I tread for hours upon the rocky firmament through searing sun and into starlit darkness.  I sat upon a rock, dry winds enveloping me; I considered the vastness of the Universe, and I wondered at the myriad of catfish species who swim there.

Deep into the lonely night, when the last Miller Lite was exhausted and with but one smoke remaining, and with the ongoing frustration of only sporting a loincloth (and therefore having no convenient place to put my lighter) rapidly easing away from my mind, a spirit guide appeared.

This Guide, who I would soon know as The Official Spirit Guide of the Ninth Annual Denver Catfish Festival, slowly materialized from the vast ether of wind and darkness.  The dust clouded my eyes; at first I couldn’t make out its shape, enveloped in stars as it was, but as it hovered closer, I was able to capture the vision of what, or who, was before me:

A three-foot, 26 pound Walking Catfish with slick skin and dark, shining eyes, clad in a little purple and gold Evel Knievel jumpsuit.   He wore Yellow Diamond slippers on his front walking flippers, and a tiny purple baseball cap with the following words etched on the front in gold leaf:




He floated forward and greeted me with a hand/fin shake.  “The name’s Vern,” he muttered in a gravelly, low voice, ” short for Veronica.  Mom always wanted a girl.” He smiled, nodded to himself and paused.

“I’d be awfully pleased if you’d consider giving up that last Marlboro.”

“Well, this is my last one,” I responded sheepishly, “but I guess I could share it with you. No hot-boxing, though, OK?”

“Fair enough.”

After fumbling for the lighter and cursing the lack of pockets afforded my loincloth, a brief silence ensued.   I then summoned the courage to ask my question.

“What is our Path, Vern?  What’s next for the Denver Catfish Festival?”

“Well,”  he replied with an surefooted confidence, “I’ll keep this quick.  You don’t have a logo yet.  You’ve screwed around for months because you’ve got the image software loaded on Mrs. Chairman’s old Dell, which is on its last legs, and you’ve been too lazy to download the free version of PrintShop from CNET onto your laptop.

The 2011 DCF Logo is within you.  It is your happy delusion that Catfish Enthusiasts identify the logo with The Festival.  Without it you are all lost, alone in a sparse desert, devoid of seafood and hush puppies.

You must go forth from this wilderness.  Remember what you’ve learned here.  And for the sake of all that is Festive, get your ass in gear.”

He mustered a fart, exhaled a drag, and, back into the ether from whence he’d appeared, was gone. 

He left only a rapidly dissipating cloud of powdered cornmeal behind.

I awoke snug in my Vanagon the next morning, bewildered as to whether or not any of that madness had really, truly happened.  I reached into the hem of my loincloth (it’s a nice loincloth) and found, hanging by a loose thread, one extinguished cigarette butt–with brown muddy lip marks on the filter.


A week later, back in the desert and just prior to celebrating the nuptials of Festival Elder (and DCF3 Haiku Contest Winner) Dave and lovely bride Alma, another Festival Elder Dave and I sat on a patio overlooking the beautiful Colorado River.  We pondered, based on the flow of the river at that time, how many Channel and Flathead Catfish were racing past us at any given moment.

A Tree, A Rock, A Cloud, A Miller Lite, A River, and of course, Catfish. Whitman looks down from the Little Writer's Colony in The Clouds, green with envy.

It was somewhere in these stoic moments that Vern again greeted me, this time from somewhere deep within, and plastered the Official Logo of The Ninth Annual Denver Catfish Festival upon my forehead.

It appeared to us in a Vivid Dream, realized in just a few moments through the magical aid of PrintShop.

Catfish Enthusiasts, The Official Logo of The Ninth Annual Denver Catfish Festival has been created!  Major thanks to Mrs. Chairman and Mrs. Chairman’s brother for doing the heavy lifting! 

Soon you will have the ability to plaster it on everything you own, including (but not limited to) vehicles, children, bicycles, toasters, windows, cubicles, lingerie, Trapper Keepers, and spiked leather wrist bracelets!

The Ninth Annual Denver Catfish Festival is only 50 days away.  Entries for the Festival VIP Experience are coming in by the truckloads, don’t get left behind!

Also, the Catfish-Inspired Haiku count is down this year, which we can only attribute to the dry winter and cold, moist spring.  Hopefully with the recent change in the weather, your Haikus will begin flowing to our inbox like the mighty spring snow melt of the Rockies!

We’ll see YOU at…

The Ninth Annual Denver Catfish Festival

July 23rd, 2011

First Filet-Hits-Oil at 1:12 PM MDT!


Joe T., Chmn

“Ask Me About The Spiritual Path to The Ninth Annual Denver Catfish Festival!”

%d bloggers like this: