Famous Moose on the Prowl in Woodland Park

Annual Event Setting Records In 2023; Gaining Support by Local Artisans and Shoppers

Trevor Phipps

Woodland Park’s famous “Moose Is Loose” citywide, winter sales and promotional event recently kicked off for yet another year, with a grand conclusion set for this weekend.

On Feb. 11, the sale had its grand opening celebration at Tweed’s Fine Furnishings on a sunny and beautiful winter morning. The Moose made his big return in dignified style, with dancers from Dana’s Dance Studio performing shortly after he was introduced. During his grand arrival, the beloved Moose unveiled a special painting as a way to introduce this year’s theme for the three-weekend long event.

According to event sponsor and owner of Tweeds Fine Furnishings, Tanner Coy, this year’s theme for the citywide sale entitled, “Painting the Town: The Art of Mountain Living,” is one of the best the event has showcased over the last two decades. Coy said that the theme is a fun way to celebrate the artistry that is in the everyday lives of people who live in the mountains.

“For instance, there is an art to baking at altitude, there are different bake times and recipes to properly bake a dish at 8,500 feet versus somewhere lower like 2,500 feet,” Coy explained. “There is art in that. So, we get to celebrate the bakeries and restaurants in town that deal with that challenge and we get art out of it.”

Coy gave another example of dancing at high altitude. “Dancing requires a high level of endurance and at high altitude it’s difficult to do,” Coy said. “If you can dance at 8,500 feet, then you can dance really well at 2,500 feet. It takes more to be a dancer here than in other places.”

He also said that the area is a unique hub for art in general. “The amazing mountain artists that we have living around here and what they produce is incredible,” Coy continued. “The paintings of Pikes Peak, mountain scenes and wildlife and the photography of the area and where we live. It’s all on sale right now. There is an art to living at this elevation and living in the mountains. So, that is what we are celebrating this year.”

For the three weekends of the sale (which ends this weekend), several businesses in the area have special deals for the event. Restaurants have good specials and discounts, and there are a slew of prizes up for grabs.

One of the perks to the event is the Moose Pass, which shoppers can get stamped at every participating business that they visit. Once anyone has received five stamps on their Moose Pass, they can turn it in to Tweeds and enter to win a $500 shopping spree at all of the 22 participating businesses.

There is also a poker run that takes place during which shoppers who are filling up their Moose Pass can draw a playing card to build a poker hand. “The good thing about that, that if you don’t like your poker hand or you don’t have a good hand you can keep visiting businesses and drawing cards to make your hand better,” explained Coy. “We have a dozen prizes that we give away for the best poker hands turned in.”

The three-week citywide sale also comes with a handful of special events throughout its duration. The first weekend was the grand opening event with the Moose appearance, Moose Is Loose bag giveaways and a 15 to 75 percent off sale at Tweeds.

Last Saturday, the second annual “Moose Is Loose 1- Mile Fun Run” took place starting at Tweeds and ending at Memorial Park. Coy said that the first year the tried it, in 2022, the run was extremely popular and so they wanted to bring it back.

This Sunday, the event will end with a special Art Walk and a Coffee Crawl. During the Art Walk, visitors get a chance to take a stroll down Woodland Park’s Main Street and check local artisans at six participating locations.

The Coffee Crawl then commences in the afternoon with two ways to participate. This year is the first time this event has been added to the annual sale.

“You can either go from business to business on your own, at your own pace, ordering the things you want, and fill out the Coffee Crawl card, and get stamps as you go for a chance to win prizes at the end,” Coy said. “Or, you can pay $29 and go on the Curated Crawl, which is a guided, curated event. And the drinks are prepared by each of the restaurants and in some cases they are food and drink pairings which are included in the ticket price.”

Coy said that possibly due to the great weather on the event’s opening day, the Moose’s grand arrival on Feb. 11 was a record breaking day for the event at Tweeds. He said that this year the Moose Is Loose kickoff weekend sale was the best the store ever experienced.

Visit Mooseisloose.com for a list of participating businesses, sales, and events.