Peach Festival is an important fundraising opportunity

Debra Wilde drove from Denver to enjoy the Palisade Peach Festival. Her first stop was to buy pies from the Palisade Band Parents booth.

For many local organizations the Palisade Peach Festival is their biggest fundraising opportunity of the year.

The Palisade Lions Club will sell more than 2,000 fresh frozen peach daiquiris this weekend and use 47 four-gallon buckets of peaches. They’ll also have a pancake breakfast Saturday morning. Together, the sales will earn $12,000, nearly half of the organizations total funds for the year.

“This is one of two big fundraisers for us,” said Bill Floryancic, past-president of the club. He came up with the idea to sell daiquiris in 1990. They’re made with his secret recipe.  “At that time, there wasn’t much peach stuff being sold, ” he recalled.

The club puts their funds back into the Palisade community by supporting a variety of projects, including park benches and shelters in Riverbend Park.

The Palisade United Methodist Church, a landmark for the past 105 years, sells slices of homemade pie, cobbler, and fresh peach ice cream. It takes six weeks to bake enough supply for the popular festival but it is the church’s best money making project. The money is used for every day operations of the church and is a crucial part of the church’s annual budget.

Smaller groups also hope to earn a few bucks at the festival. The Palisade Band Parents organization started baking 360 peach pies this week with oatmeal crumble, lattice or traditional tops. They sell the pies for $15 each and they sell out fast.

“They’ll all be gone by 1 p.m. on Saturday,” guessed Lisa Houston, a volunteer parent.

The event will earn at least $5,500 and is used to help the band attend out-of-town competitions including the state championship. “This is a high achieving band and we’re proud to support them,” Houston said.

Phoebe Stoy’s club has the same idea. A member of the Palisade Knowledge Bowl, Stoy was busy selling tiny plastic peaches to festival-goers Friday afternoon. The peaches will be dropped into the Colorado River and race for prizes donated by Palisade area businesses such as the Wine Country Inn.

“We need to get over $2,000,” Stoy said while explaining that her team has their sights set on another national competition this year in New Orleans.

There are a lot of us out here that depend on this festival for money, Floryancic said, “It’s what keeps it like a small town.”


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