Summer seats — Find the best seat in the house with these suggestions for local events

The best seats at Avalon Theatre are the front row of the balcony, said Jeremy Herigstad, marketing director for the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra.

From this spot in James M. Robb-Colorado River State Park Fruita Section you can see the Fruita fireworks set off from Snooks Bottom Open Space on July 3.

Picnic tables about 15–20 yards from the screen is a popular spot at the Glade Park Movies Under the Stars.

For those attending a Jazz Among the Grapvines concert at Two Rivers Winery, a seat on the lawn near the stage is the place to be.

JUCO baseball fans sitting in the first two rows of bleachers next to the bullpens have the best seats in Suplizio Field, according to Jamie Hamilton JUCO tournament chairman.

The best seat for the Palisade Bluegrass & Roots Festival is a camping chair beneath a tree near the stage at Riverbend Park.

From a chair between the water slide and the deep end of Lincoln Park-Moyer Swimming Pool you can see all of the pool area and still be in the shade.

You’ve got your ticket to the Alpine Bank Junior College World Series in one hand and a hot dog in the other. Now, all you have to do is find a seat.

For some fans, where they watch the baseball games and how they got the seat is as much a part of family tradition as who makes the Thanksgiving turkey.

Jamie Hamilton, JUCO tournament chairman, said he knows people who have sat in the same seats for at least three generations.

Five years ago, JUCO changed things up and allowed reserved seating. But general admission tickets remain and people can still line up for that mad rush when gates open and they can claim their seats.

But JUCO isn’t the only event where people are looking for the best seat in the house.

Summer ushers in a different sort of entertainment: watching movies under the stars, enjoying lazy days by the swimming pool or listening to live music by the Colorado River or near a vineyard. And finding the best seat just makes it better.

So here is a look at some of the best seats of summer for a number of upcoming local events.


The best seat for JUCO, which runs Saturday to Saturday, May 28 to June 4, is the first two rows of bleachers next to the bullpen down the left field or right field line, Hamilton said.

There, fans can interact with the players on the field. It’s a unique experience for fans to talk to players during a game or listen is as they are warming up, Hamilton said.

Children have even been known to get autographs during games. (


For those 80- or 90-degree summer days, retreat to Lincoln Park-Moyer Swimming Pool where Larry Manchester, recreation supervisor with the city of Grand Junction, said the best seat is a squatty lounge chair pulled up under a tree between the water slide and the pool’s deep end.

From that location, people can see the entire pool out of the sun’s direct rays.

The Lincoln Park pool is open 1:30–7:30 p.m. daily except for Wednesday when hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 3–7:30 p.m. (



When it comes to watching the Palisade Bluegrass & Roots Festival, it’s all about the shade, and Riverbend Park’s cottonwood have got you covered, literally.

The best seat to enjoy the festival from is in a comfortable camping chair beneath a tree near the stage, said Frank Watt, Palisade’s public works director. (



The Jazz Among the Grapevines summer concert series at Two Rivers Winery & Chateau provides a live music experience that is different from the large, multi-day festivals in the area.

The jazz series is best enjoyed from the lawn near the stage while holding a glass of wine and nibbling on cheese and crackers, said Allyson Witham, operations manager for Two Rivers.

The wine is for sale at the venue, and attendees need to bring their choice of food from home.

Concerts in this series are on the third Tuesday of the month through August. (

Other music series to take your seat to include:

■ Live in the Vines at Wine Country Inn. (

■ Hear It Through the Grapevine series at Grande River Vineyards. (

■ Garden Groove concert series at The Botanical Gardens. (

■ Fruita’s Thursday Night Concert Series on Thursday nights during the summer in Fruita’s Civic Center Park. (

■ Colorado Riverfront Concert Series features three concerts at James M. Robb-Colorado River State Park, Fruita Section. (



Watching movies under the stars is a treat at the Glade Park’s Movies Under the Stars every Friday from June 3 to Aug. 26 (except for July 1) behind the Glade Park Volunteer Fire Department, 16400 DS Road.

Kathy Shipley, part of the group who puts on the series, said the best seat is at one of the picnic tables set up probably 15–20 yards from the screen. Those seats go fast because pre-movie concessions — sales from food and drink is the primary fundraiser for the fire department — along with live music and games attract crowds hours before a film starts at dusk. Admission is free. (

Others places to view a night movie outside include:

■ The Movies in the Park showing of “Goosebumps” was rescheduled for Friday, June 10, at Lincoln Park. The event is free. (

■ Tru Vu Drive In in Delta ( and The Star Drive-in in Montrose ( also offer outdoor movie experiences.



Fourth of July fireworks are expected. But what about third of July fireworks?

Fruita sets off its annual display at dusk on Sunday, July 3, and the best place to see the show is from the large group picnic area at the southern most point of James M. Robb-Colorado River State Park, Fruita Section, said senior ranger Shannon Wadas.

Bring a camp chair and a picnic and set up in a large grassy area with unobstructed views of the fireworks display set off from nearby Snooks Bottom Open Space.



Not everything in western Colorado happens outdoors.

For example, the 101st Army Band will play at 7 p.m. Monday, June 20, at Avalon Theatre, and the rock band Kansas will play at the downtown venue on Thursday, July 28.

When attending events at the Avalon, the best seats are the front row of the balcony, said Jeremy Herigstad, marketing director for the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra.

Some people prefer the aisle while people like the middle seats, he said.

In fact, added Ron Wilson of Sandstone Concerts, the front row of the balcony is closer to the stage than home plate is to second base on a professional baseball diamond. (


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