Occasions to cut loose plentiful in Grand Valley

Mark your calendar for these occasions to eat, drink and cut loose.

April 28 to May 1: You can earn your beers by riding in the New Belgium Brewing Fruita Fat Tire Festival, or skip the ride and just enjoy a New Belgium brew and carnival food after noon each day until 10 p.m.

The folks at Over The Edge Sports said there will be vendors selling Indian tacos, turkey legs, gyros, ice cream and zippy potatoes and dogs.

Info: http://www.fruitamountainbike.com.

May 6–8: Main Street will come alive Mother’s Day weekend at the Art & Jazz Festival with music by local and national performers, artist demonstrations in a variety of mediums and artwork for sale.

This three-day outdoor festival features street vendors, live music, extended shopping hours and food.

I plan to catch the Hazel Miller Band on the second night of the festival.

Info: http://www.downtowngj.org.

May 7: Viva el Vino, sponsored by the Junior Service League of Grand Junction, is a wine-tasting event with more than 15 booths (and one beer booth) and a silent auction from 6:30–9:30 p.m. at the Two Rivers Convention Center. Tickets are $60 per person.

Info: http://www.gslgj.com.

May 8: Mother’s Day Wine, Buffalo and Chocolate Lover’s Trail from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Tour Leroux Creek Vineyards, Liliputian Winery and High Wire Ranch, all in the Hotchkiss area. Sample locally made wine, chocolates, truffles, spa products and buffalo and elk sausage.

Info: 970-872-3019.

June 9 through Sept. 15: Summertime’s signature event in Grand Junction, the Downtown Farmer’s Market is a 15-week event series that draws an estimated 5,000 visitors per week.

Farmers, artisans and food vendors will sell their wares as throngs shop and listen to live music.

A co-worker of mine tells me I can’t miss the very-popular burritos prepared by a group from the Amish community.

Weekly event highlights are available in the Wednesday editions of The Daily Sentinel.

Info: http://www.downtowngj.org.

June 10–12: The Palisade Bluegrass and Roots Music Festival, held on the banks of the Colorado River, announced its lineup recently and it’s pretty impressive.

Some of the headliners will be Split Lip Rayfield, 2011 Grammy nominee David Lindley and The Greencards, an Aussie duo who have performed with Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson.

Save some money for the local wines, microbrews and food vendors. Tickets run from $25 a day to $85 for three days. Info: http://www.palisademusic.com.

July 19–23: Get your fill of funnel cakes, corn dogs, cotton candy and other carny food at the 145-year-old Mesa County Fair.

Last year, the fair added a winemaker’s competition and Reeder Mesa Vineyards and Stoney Mesa Winery came away the big winners.

Info: http://www.mescountyfair.com.

Aug. 5–6: More than 15,000 people a year drive out to the small town of Olathe for the Olathe Sweet Corn Festival, where you can munch all the cobs you want for the price of admission.

Headliner bands this year are The Guess Who and country singer Aaron Tippin.

Tickets, which are good for both days, are $19 for adults and $4 for children.

Aug. 18–21: The Palisade Peach Festival is dripping with everything that is juicy and ripe.

The four-day event has plenty of opportunities to gorge yourself, take orchard and vineyard tours, watch cooking demonstrations, feast in the fields and learn fun facts. Did you know the peach is a member of the rose family?

Nearly all events are free.

Info: http://www.palisadepeachfest.comSept. 15–18: Thousands of wine lovers make the annual pilgramage to taste the nectar of western Colorado at the Colorado Mountain Winefest.

This year’s celebrity chef and sommelier are Kevin Kidd and Evan Faber from the award-winning SALT bistro in Boulder.

Info: http://www.coloradowinefest.com.

HARD BOILED: The Easter Bunny is getting some help this year from Colorado farmers, who are donating more than 300,000 eggs to food banks across the state. Give them a hand.

QUOTE: “The food here is terrible, and the portions are too small.” — Woody Allen

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Send tips and ideas to Tess.Furey@ gjsentinel.com.



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