Roamin' the Range entertainment guide for February 2012

For the shortest month on the calendar, even in this leap year, February has a lot to celebrate – Groundhog Day, Super Bowl, Valentine’s Day, Presidents’ Day, Mardi Gras — and some politics, too. Here are a few ideas to beat the cabin fever this month.

Republicans caucus Feb. 7

To let Colorado Republicans help select the party’s presidential candidate this year, state precinct caucuses have been moved to Tuesday, Feb. 7.

Precinct caucuses pick delegates who go to the party nominating conventions. No delegates will be formally pledged to specific candidates at this time, although a non-binding presidential preference poll will be conducted, just in time for the 10 o’clock news.

The state Democratic Party holds its precinct caucuses on the traditional first Tuesday in March – “Super Tuesday” is March 6 this year.

The statewide primary election is June 26; the general election, Nov. 6.

You must be affiliated with a party to vote in the primary or participate in a caucus. You can find out your precinct number and check your registration status online at larimer.org/elections.

Helen Thorpe speaks for ELTC Feb. 9

Author and journalist Helen Thorpe will keynote the annual fundraiser for the nonprofit Education and Life Training Center in Fort Collins on Feb. 9. Word Play Literacy Theater takes place at the Drake Center, 802 W. Drake Road, from 7 to 9 p.m., with desserts and beverages as well as a book signing.

Thorpe’s first book, “Just Like Us,” won the 2010 Colorado Book Award for Creative Nonfiction. It describes the lives of four Mexican girls pursuing the American Dream; only two have legal documentation.

ELTC provides job skills training and literacy classes for Northern Colorado, and is the lead agency for the Circles Larimer County self-sufficiency program. Thorpe is also married to Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper.

Tickets for the event are $50 each, and may be purchased by calling ELTC at 970-482-4357. Info: www.eltcenter.org.

Love is in the air in Livermore

The Livermore Community Center comes alive with the 12th annual Valentine’s Day dance Saturday, Feb. 11, starting at 7:30 p.m. The band is the ever-popular Barely Getting By, and tickets are $10 adults, $18/couple. A romantic dinner/dance package is also available from the nearby Western Ridge Resort. Info: 970-222-4161.

Girl Scout Cookies on sale now

Thin Mints, Samoas and Tagalongs, oh my! If it’s February, it’s Girl Scout cookie time.

Sales of the old favorites and some new varieties kicked off on Jan. 22, according to Debi Metheny, product manager for northern and northeastern Colorado for the Girl Scouts of Colorado.

And this year’s fundraiser won’t look like your mother’s cookie activity. Ordering ahead of time then waiting to pay $3.50 per box on delivery is so 20th century. In 2012, it’s Cookies Now; you pay your money and get the goodies right at your door.

“Parents are really excited about this change,” Metheny said. “In our never-at-home culture, it eliminates the hassles of going back to deliver cookies and collect the money.”

Don’t worry if you don’t have cash on hand. Some young cookie-preneurs can also take credit and debit cards, if they have the requisite smartphone and data plan and received training.

“It’s up to the individual troop,” said Metheny, who oversees annual cookie sales by more than 500 troops in 12-plus counties.

Pretty high-tech for a 100-year-old. The Girl Scouts celebrate their centennial this year with a new lemon cookie called Savannah Smiles that pays tribute to founder Juliette Low’s Georgia birthplace.

Old-fashioned booth sales start on Feb. 10, and will continue through March 4. To find a Girl Scout cookie outlet near you, go to www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org, where you can download the Booth Sale Mobile App, or call Metheny at 970-212-2349.

Catch the Stars of Tomorrow

This year’s Stars of Tomorrow talent show on Feb. 25 features a real-life star of today.

“American Idol” finalist Haeley Vaughn, a Poudre High School graduate, will perform as well as help judge the K-12 performers who take the stage at the Fort Collins Lincoln Center, 417 W. Magnolia St., starting at 6 p.m. The grand prize winner will receive a $1,000 scholarship; first-place winners will be named in elementary, middle school and high school categories.

Sponsored by the Fort Collins Kiwanis, the show’s proceeds will benefit the Kayla Foundation, a local community fund that supports Poudre School District and other nonprofit student music programs.

Tickets are $10, children 4 and under free, available through the Lincoln Center box office at www.fcgov.com/lctix or 970-221-6730. Info: 970-372-8978 or fortcollinskiwanisclub.org.

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