Archive | July, 2012

Yet Another Denver Catfish Festival Miracle

18 Jul

Greetings, Fellow Catfish Enthusiasts,

I was working with our Denver Catfish Festival Procurement Division this morning on brew selections for this year’s event, and happened upon the Argonaut Liquor Keg List.  While perusing their offerings, searching of course for the least expensive best possible selections on the list, I happened upon something unexpected:


I was taken aback; I had to catch my breath and re-read the selection:


There it was on my Denver Catfish Festival laptop, in glorious black and white pixels, for all to see.  I consumed the words as though I’d just taken my first cool, refreshing, delicious sip of Louisiana’s Finest Nectar. 

I sat back and considered that Saturday Red Rocks Widespread Panic show in 2010, back in my nefarious tobacco days, when I was out of cigarettes and happened to find an unmolested one on the ground at our tailgate.  As I picked up the little white treat, joy and elation infecting my soul, Festival Elder Jeff M. witnessed the score and proclaimed,

“The Universe Provides, Man.”

While this premium beer goes against our thrifty and economical nature, the birthday of one of our long time staff members happens to fall on this special weekend, so we’ve decided to find wiggle room in our sizeable but closely managed budget to offer this Manna from the Piney Wood Heavens of Abita Springs, Louisiana as a special gift to said staff member.

We at The Denver Catfish Festival owe the Universe, Argonaut Liquors, and The Abita Brewing Co. a debt of thanks (as well as a debt of cash.)  They have worked in concert to once again Provide, and we can happily announce that we will be proudly offering Abita Amber on tap at The Tenth Annual Denver Catfish Festival .

Other Notes:

–Out of minor respect and fairly genuine sympathy for our Ohio State and Oklahoma guests, we will not be running repeats of the 2003 and 2007 BCS Championships on-screen during this year’s festival.  We’ll instead have “Ole War Skule: The History of LSU Football” on a continuous loop throughout the day.  Consider this an excellent opportunity to be the envy of everyone you encounter at football gatherings throughout the fall by boning up on your LSU conversational skills before the season starts in 45 Days 11 hours 39 minutes and 15 seconds (and counting.)

–Due to Saturday’s weather forecast of a 96-degree blast furnace with zero humidity and no chance of precipitation ever, we will be bringing back the Official Denver Catfish Festival Kiddie Pools, so be prepared to stand awkwardly in calf-deep water with your fellow festivalgoers.

More to come!


Joe T., Chmn.

“Ask Me About How Louisiana Beer is Better than Your Local Beer At The Tenth Annual Denver Catfish Festival.”


A Denver Catfish Festival Miracle

16 Jul

I am a well-healed Giant Catfish, and I visit your dreams to grant wishes for more refrigeration capacity.

Greetings, Fellow Catfish Enthusiasts, 

It’s Catfish Festival Week! 

We at The Denver Catfish Festival were hard at work this past weekend in the ongoing effort to make absolutely sure that your Tenth Annual Denver Catfish Festival Experience is a transcendent spiritual journey, unbound from the toils of meager daily existence and buttressed by the uninhibited ingestion of The Catfish, that extraordinary, piquant freshwater delicacy, acting in subtle but absolute harmony with his able amigo, the steadfast and rhapsodical hush puppy.

To that end, a few updates:

1. The Denver Catfish Festival inaugural Half-Marathon was run on Saturday.  Participation was high; however, the half-marathon was revised down to a 1/64th marathon due to widespread physical exhaustion.  While puzzling, we believe that this abbreviation of stamina could have been caused by the ongoing heat wave coupled with the realization that “fry-loading,” while similar in philosophy to “carb-loading,” did not result in the elevated physical performance we expected.  We are as baffled by this outcome as you are, and have ordered additional research.  Still, we offer our congratulations to all who participated!

2. The Merry Catfish Festival Carolers were out en masse over the weekend, performing at the 7-11 on Havana and I-70, EZ Pawn at Colfax and Uinta, and U.S. Plasma Services in Globeville.  We’re happy to report that there were no negative interactions with patrons or police, and that the Catfish Carolers were able to raise donations of $4.79 for ongoing fry-loading research.

3.  This year’s Catfish Festival MVP Luncheon, held at Jose’s Burrito Cart at 17th & California in downtown Denver was highlighted by a keynote address from Max J. (Co-MVP ’06) and Paul B. (Co-MVP ’08) entitled “Catfish Absenteeism and Excuse Cultivation–How to Not Be There and Still Claim to Be From Louisiana.”  The jocular group of local dignitaries and Festival Elders in attendance were appropriately regaled by colorful tales of festival avoidance.  

4. In an ongoing effort to minimize the staggering amount of cans and bottles that we (and our neighbors) deal with every year, we’re getting a couple of kegs of really excellent premium top-notch local micro craft artisan cheap beer this year and will provide stack upon stack of cheerful plastic cups with which to imbibe.  So, come thirsty and hungry and let’s try to reduce our  fin-print.


If you’re still reading at this point, you are most likely puzzled by the title of this post and are thinking to yourself, “Dearest Chairman, none of this literary handiwork would, by even the most optimistic reader, be viewed as a miracle or even slightly miraculous in any way shape or form, outside of the more general miracle that is each new day in our wonderful world.”

I understand your confusion, and offer the following:

The Denver Catfish Festival Grounds are extremely well-equipped to handle our ardent event; however, there has been something missing, something that has bothered your Chairman for quite some time. 

I should first mention that I’ve been quite happy with all of our equipment over the years, and although our tiny beer fridge would be more suited to a dorm room than a festival setting, the old girl has been a steadfast performer, cooling items with ardor and aplomb and nary a complaint.  However, she’s just not big enough.  To that end, I’ve searched for months–nay, years–for the perfect, larger fridge, one that truly befits our festival and its patrons. 

Sure, Craigslist occasionally offers some interesting possibilities, but due to my general cheapness and lethargy over having to actually go somewhere and pay some stranger upwards of $80 then move something back to the Festival Grounds and clean out that stranger’s accrued fridge nastiness, I’ve been unable to find the perfect match.  I’ve tossed and turned.  I’ve awoken in cold sweats, trembling and gasping.  I’ve begged the Giant Catfish, occasional visitor to my dreams, to change my fortunes with regard to household refrigeration capacity. 

And finally, on Saturday, The Giant Dream Catfish granted my wish.

Due to the peerless conversational acumen of Mrs. Chairman, who learned of  a perfect fridge’s existence at a Saturday birthday party and which led to its generous donation from The Patterson Foundation (striving to create a more just and verdant Catfish Festival,) we now have a beautiful, clean, full-sized Kenmore Elite on the grounds!  She’s big and lovely and up to the challenge, currently humming along and keeping multiple beverages and a freezer full of ice cream treats happy and cold.  This miracle of free refrigeration could not have been realized without the help of my neighbor and friend Jared, who offered the use of his strong back and new pick’emup truck in the endeavor to bring her on home. 

She descended from heaven (well, Golden) on the bed of a mighty Toyota truck.

So you see, Dear Festivalgoers, miracles do take place.  I think the main point is that if you whine about something, I mean really whine about it and wallow in a fetid pool of your own laziness long enough, good things really can happen in this life!


Joe T., Chmn.

“Ask me about added leftover space at The Tenth Annual Denver Catfish Festival!”


10 Jul

Are they gonna play an actual song, or just noodle the whole time??

Greetings, Fellow Catfish Enthusiasts,

It has come to our attention, through our esteemed Denver Catfish Festival Minister of Information and the magic of that behemoth Book of The Faces social networking site, that “Fitness on The Rocks”, an annual feelgood daybreak ripshred-a-thon at Red Rocks Amphitheater, will be taking place on the morning of Saturday, July 21st, 2012. 

July 21st, 2012, as you may have gathered, is also the date for The Tenth Annual Denver Catfish Festival. 

While we at the Denver Catfish Festival feel that the morning of the The DenCatFest is best served with quiet reflection, quality time with loved ones, and final catfish-inspired haiku touch-ups, we are, in the spirit of such a Special Day, willing to dig into our very own trough of Red Rocks-related knowledge and experience in an effort to offer guidance to anyone attending this athletic yet eerily pagan ritual prior to The Tenth Annual Denver Catfish Festival. 

1.  The first step, and this is crucial, is to get those last two cigarettes in before hitting the stairs up to your seat.  Tromping up the stairs with a cigarette in hand makes it much more difficult to hold your hands on your hips or behind your head and gasp for air at eight-step intervals.  Once at your final resting place, errr, your seat (or technically the stairs area near your seat–smoking *tobacco cigarettes* is forbidden in the main area,) you can re-immerse yourself in Flavor Country.  It’s our understanding that you’ll be doing the other athletes a favor here, as apparently there’s some kind of trendy public aversion to smoking.  Plus, the less you smoke at Red Rocks, the more cigarette butts you’ll be able to flagrantly throw hither and yon at The Tenth Annual Denver Catfish Festival!  

2. From our experience, the best time to run at Red Rocks is to the bathroom and back during the drum solo.  We’ve not been notified of what musical act will be performing during Fitness on The Rocks, but they will certainly have a long and arduous drum solo.  Running to take a leak before said solo has ended is an excellent time to increase blood flow, really get those legs pumping, and not miss the next actual song.  And bring a couple of beers back for your friends.  You haven’t bought yet and it’s your turn.  Yes, PBR is fine, unless you pass one of those guys selling New Belgium Summer Wheat.  Man that stuff is good.  And good for you–because it’s a summer wheat beer, it’s made for exercising.  And it’s good for settling the palate before the consumption of catfish and hush puppies consumes your afternoon!

3. Always be on the lookout for overly intoxicated hippies.  The vertigo-induced faceplants down rows of seats and flights of stairs are an entertaining but grizzly reminder of how randomly dangerous the place can be; furthermore, the cloud of detritus kicked up by such a calamity can be quite harmful if ingested.   We know what you’re thinking and do agree that hippie faceplants are an important and whimsical part of the Magic of Red Rocks.  And whether the venerable venue is hosting a communal morning workout or a three-night String Cheese run, the hippies will be there in force, and a hearty portion of them will be wrecked beyond belief and, lamentably, prone to injury.  To any hippies planning on attending the Denver Catfish Festival, we will have our traditional “Hippie Paddock” set up for your enjoyment.  Just look for the Bronze Beige Metallic Vanagon Westfalia.  That thing attracts hippies like stinkbait attracts catfish.

4. To members of The Tenth Annual Denver Catfish Festival Friday Night Setup Crew who are planning to attend FitRocks the next morning:  Sweating out the bourbon, corn dogs, heavy metals, lead paint, and styrofoam burnoff ingested during Friday Night’s Festival Set-up is a great way to “clean out the pipes” and get back on your feet so that you can all return to the Festival Grounds happy, alacritous, and ready to eat, drink, drink, eat, dance, eat, and eat as much tender, delicious fried catfish and hushpuppies as your hearts desire.  We at The Denver Catfish Festival applaud your dedication to your bodies, whether it be in destroying them through exercise or elevating them through fried deliciousness!

Fitness on The Rocks

Perky people exercise

Chasing catfish ghosts.


Catfish and Red Rocks

Fried goodness, rippin’ workouts

They’re unlikely pals.


We at The Denver Catfish Festival hope that these suggestions will bring an even greater enjoyment to your July 21st, and can’t wait to see you at The Tenth Annual Denver Catfish Festival! 


Joe T., Chmn.

“Ask me about the Denver Catfish Festival-approved Ab-Smasher!”

PS: See the italicized poetic verses up there?  Those are Catfish-Inspired Haikus!  Send us one and win something badass! 

The Power of Catfish Compels You!

8 Jul

Greetings, Fellow Catfish Enthusiasts!

We at The Denver Catfish Festival hope that the long, hot summer finds you well and trust that you’re making final preparations for the Tenth Annual Denver Catfish Festival, which is now a mere 12 days away!!!

Our esteemed colleagues at The Denver Catfish Festival Biological Research Consortium recently unearthed some interesting (and a tad disgusting from our somewhat culturally insensitive perspective) information regarding the giant Goonch Catfish (species bagarius yarelli) of India.  The Goonch is not only the big fish in some pretty mighty rivers, but is also a sacred spiritual animal of the same ilk as their land-bound bovine brethren.  Apparently when dead bodies are burned and the ashy remains dumped into the Kali and Ganges Rivers, the Goonch are there to consume those remains and are then charged with transporting the souls of the dead upriver to a holy place where those souls are recycled and placed into new folks.  Such is the Indian Circle of Life.

We at the Denver Catfish Festival have similar, if opposite, beliefs.  When you attend the Denver Catfish Festival and revel in the consumption of delicious (non-Goonch) catfish filets, hush puppies, and coldbeer, and then stick around for the oft-bizarre and never-predictable Catfish Festival After Dark, you end up catching a ride home with a sober friend or jocular cabby and thereby transport the souls of those consumed catfish back to your home where they are shed (usually with haste,) flushed off to a holy place, and eventually are spiritually recycled into new catfish which grow fat and happy in anticipation of the Next Denver Catfish Festival.  Such is the Denver Catfish Festival Circle of Life.  

However, very rarely the circle is left incomplete, more like a “C” of Life, if you will.

The Denver Catfish Festival Biological Research Consortium has investigated a few reports of catfish souls remaining attached to the festivalgoers who transport them.  Signs of what The Elders called “El Bagre Diablo” (“catfish possession“) are fairly easy to identify, are not life-threatening, and can easily be exorcised.  

Signs that a Denver Catfish Festival Attendee is experiencing a case of ‘El Bagre’:

1. Begins to grow thick whisker like antenna on his or her cheeks.  Be careful not to confuse this with some vain attempt at growing a hipster handlebar mustache, which is usually accompanied by a lame hat, fixed-gear bicycle, unusually skinny jeans, and a condescending attitude regarding food and popular culture. 

2. Shows an insatiable desire to seek nourishment from the bottom areas of sinks, showers, tubs, pools, and other domestic bodies of water.  This “bottom feeding mentality” does not affect other areas of the subject’s life such as dating habits, which are usually caused instead by either an unhappy self-image or a geographical lack of quality prospects. 

3. Replaces bedding sheets and blankets with folded layers of paper towels, then resting and/or sleeping atop them. This behavior occurs after bathing in whole milk, rolling repeatedly in corn meal, and seeking out strong heat sources. 

The subject may also report strange dreams involving swimming effortlessly in murky water coupled with predatory behavior towards other fish, as well as an insatiable appetite for sushi.

What To Do When You’ve Identified a Case:

Remain calm.  Do not inform the subject that you’ve diagnosed their condition; you will only cause undue stress.  Find the nearest accredited Catfish Shaman.  The Shaman will be able to assess the level of possession and provide next steps.  If a Catfish Shaman is not available, find the nearest, largest river or lake available and release the subject into the wild.  Who knows—maybe they’ll attend next year’s festival in a completely different capacity!

Bob? Are you in there? Will you hand me my Rogaine?

 In other news, the Catfish-inspired Haiku Contest is getting hotter than hot hushpuppies straight out da fryer!  Your submissions are coming in at a furious pace and the judges cannot wait to feast their eyes upon your poetry stylings!   The winning three haiku artists will win stunning, life-altering prizes.  If you have not submitted your haiku yet, please do it!  Now!  Per the FAQ’s, we will be accepting submissions up to 3 PM on Catfish Festival Day. 

More updates to come!


Joe T., Chmn. 

“Ask Me About Avoiding El Bagre Diablo at The Tenth Annual Denver Catfish Festival!”

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