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Dining in Parker has come a long way.

It’s amazing how far Parker has come in the more than 20 years that I’ve lived here – as far as dining options.

When I first moved here in the 1990s, there were just a few chioices: The Parker House on Parker Road, the Warhorse Inn in downtown, maybe a Mexican food restaurant or two, and a couple of chain sandwich shops.

Now there’s an abundance of choices – everything from frozen yogurt, cupcakes and sandwiches, to Japanese, Greek, Indian, Thai and Italian food, to fine dining atop a hotel. It’s a rare occasion when you can’t find a Parker eatery to satisfy the food craving that may exist on any given day.

In addition to all the restaurants, Parker offers some pretty fantastic festivals that include mouth-watering fare as well. These events start with Parker Days in June and are followed by Labor Day weekend’s Smokin’ Brew BBQ with its fantastic smokin’ good beef, ribs and chicken, and then later in September at the Parker Oktoberfest and its authentic German dishes.

There’s so much good food to be found here, you rarely have to leave town for a scrumptious meal.

And as you’ll see in this issue, Parker also offers a huge assortment of restaurants that offer outdoor seating. Please consider our local eateries as you head out to dine on our beautiful fall days.

And consider heading to the PACE Center over Labor Day weekend for some smokin’ good BBQ and to O’Brien Park on Sept. 19 & 20 for an authentic German time. Both offer good eating for good causes.

The information for these events is included in this issue of Parker Lifestyle, as well as a number of healthy alternatives to counterbalance all of that food, including an overall slimming program at Parker Med and Day Spa. If you’d rather be more physical, consider participating in a fundraising run or hike through Castlewood Canyon, or fundraising walks to support the Buddy Center or to fight hunger.