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Palisade Peach Festival returns to Colorado’s Grand Valley

Caitlin Row
crow@gjfreepress.com
Feast in the Fields dinners will be hosted at Z’s Orchard and Suncrest Orchard on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 15-16. According to Palisade Chamber of Commerce's website, Friday's events are already sold out.
Free Press File Photo |

GO&DO

WHAT: Palisade Peach Festival

WHEN: Thursday through Sunday, Aug. 14-17

WHERE: Downtown Palisade

COST: Daily, $5 per adult and $3 for children; two-day (Friday & Saturday), $8 for adults and $5 for kids

INFO: http://www.palisadepeachfest.com

In celebration of Grand Valley’s famous peach crop, the 47th annual Palisade Peach Festival returns to Riverbend Park. This year’s events are scheduled Thursday through Sunday, Aug. 14-17, with activities spanning peach cuisine, agri-tours, eating contests, kids activities, the popular recipe contest, a parade, live music, and more.

“It’s one of our favorite festivals where everything is truly peachy,” said Barbara Bowman, Grand Junction Visitor and Convention Bureau’s division manager.

Friday and Saturday hosts the festival’s main events, with other community gatherings scheduled Thursday (ice cream social and street dance) and Sunday (Palisade Farmers’ Market). Plus, the Grand Junction Rockies game on Wednesday, Aug. 13, will showcase a designated “peach” area in (you guessed it) section P for $7 a seat. And Palisade’s Mayor Roger Granat will throw out the first ball — in this case a peach.

Daily admission to Palisade Peach Festival costs $5 per adult and $3 for children. Two-day tickets cost $8 for adults and $5 for kids.

Feast in the Fields dinner events — where Palisade wines are paired with four-course meals on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 15-16 — are also filling up fast, Bowman noted, with most participants traveling in from the Front Range. Tickets are still available for Saturday only, costing $105 per person.

According to Palisade Chamber of Commerce communications manager Melissa McKay, attendance at this year’s peach fest is projected to be 17,000 heads per day, which is up from last year’s 14,000.

“As many as 25,000 people come,” with many of those travelers from the Denver area, Bowman added. “It’s such a signature event for the valley, one that we thoroughly enjoy celebrating with the community.”

High Country Orchards & Vineyards (3548 E 1/2 Road, Palisade) is just one local peach producer welcoming visitors during the festival.

“We generally don’t make it to the festival because we’re packing peaches,” High Country Orchards & Vineyards owner Theresa High said. “Most people want to come to the orchard after they’ve done the festivities in park.”

High, like many other valley producers, expects to pack peaches daily through the end of August.

“We produce 30-40,000 boxes and sell into Whole Foods for the most part,” she explained. “We also have special accounts in Arizona and Texas. Most of the peaches are exported out of the valley.”

For those wanting to taste High Country’s peaches locally, just stop by the orchard store.

‘The peaches are fabulous this year,” High said. “Very big and sweet, just a bit late coming on. This crop looks like the biggest and best in about seven years.”

For more information about Palisade Peach Festival and a full schedule of events, visit http://www.palisadepeachfest.com.


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