Festivals: Palisade Peach Festival

As you make your vacation plans for the summer, don’t forget about the Palisade Peach Festival. Dates are Aug. 13 - 16, with a special peach night at the Grand Junction Rockies baseball game on Wed., Aug. 12 to get folks in the mood, and all the regular peach festival activities beginning on Thursday, Aug. 13.

Last year’s festival was the most successful ever, with more than 15,000 people in attendance for the festival in the park portion. Attendees included locals, as well as visitors from across the state, across the country and even across the world. So far, no interstellar visitors have indicated they’d like to attend, but since Palisade peaches are an out-ofthis- world flavor, that could be next.

Thursday activities include the ice cream social and street dance in downtown Palisade. The peach queen will be crowned and the town grouch will be declared. Lots of free ice cream and peaches will be consumed.

On Friday, peach fest activities at Riverbend Park will start at 4 p.m. There will be live music, plenty of peaches and plenty of vendors. Music at the festival will continue until 10 p.m. Suncrest Orchard is hosting a Feast in the Fields dinner on Friday night, which will be catered by the chef from Berna B’s in Grand Junction.

On Saturday, the Lions Club will hold its annual pancake breakfast, the peach parade will make its way through Palisade and the always tasty peach recipe contest will take place in the Palisade Community Center at Veteran’s Memorial Park. The festivities down at Riverbend park will include the peach eating contest, live music from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., cooking demos featuring Colorado chefs creating peach cuisine, a tug of war, peach giveaways, vendors and even a few farmers selling peaches.

The Palisade Chamber of Commerce worked with the culinary school at Western Colorado Community College, asking students to enter a recipe contest. The winning student will also be one of the chefs at the park, demonstrating her creation, zippy peach egg roll.

Most of the farmers at the festival will be selling peaches in small quantities, but if you’re looking to buy a box of peaches, they’ll be happy to give you directions to their orchard. Most of them will also give a discount if you chat with them at the festival and then go find their orchard for larger quantities of peaches on Sunday.

Suncrest Orchard is hosting a second feast in the fields on Saturday night, partnering again with Berna B’s but with a different winery than the one featured for Friday’s feast.

On Sunday, the Palisade Chamber hopes that all peach festival visitors will come to downtown Palisade for the Sunday Farmers Market. There will be no activities at Riverbend Park that day, which will give visitors plenty of time to visit area orchards and vineyards.

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