Parachute Oktoberfest goes big
IF YOU GO...
What: Parachute Oktoberfest
When: Gates at 5 p.m. on Friday, activities from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday
Where: Cottonwood Park
How much: Free to visit park; $10 for concerts; $10 for unlimited rides on Saturday. Tickets available at Parachute Town Hall and Western Slop Alpine Bank locations. For more information, visit http://www.parachutecolorado.com.
As recently as two years ago, Parachute’s annual Oktoberfest was basically a 300-person community barbecue, according to community development specialist Derek Wingfield. Last year, the town took over as the main sponsor and was able to draw in 2,500 people.
This year, for the first time, Oktoberfest will be a two-day event with live music, games and rides, fair food and beverages, fireworks and more.
“This is a first,” Wingfield said. “The town had more resources, so we were able to grow the event.”
Wingfield said they’ve pre-sold tickets to people in Montrose, Grand Junction, Denver and even New Mexico. He thinks the live music by Jon Pardi, Brothers Osborne and Jay Ketchem is playing a big role in getting people to come to Oktoberfest.
“A lot of the phone calls we’re getting are coming for Jon Pardi,” he said. “And Brothers Osborne, just shortly after we signed them, they went No. 1 on the country charts. It should be a pretty cool show.”
Tickets for the concert are $10 — a great deal considering Pardi alone is playing for $15 the day before, and Pardi and Brothers Osborne are heading out on tour on Oct. 8 with tickets at $40.
“It was pretty special to get what we got,” Wingfield said.
After the music and fireworks on Friday, families can enjoy a day at Cottonwood Park on Sunday with a zip line, hamster balls, bump ‘n’ jumps, more live music and the world’s largest inflatable slide, which is three and a half stories high.
“I can’t wait to see this thing,” Wingfield said of the slide.
Wingfield said he’s happy to have more activities this year, which will hopefully cut down on wait times.
In addition to providing two days of food and fun to Parachute and surrounding areas, Wingfield said the real purpose of amping up Oktoberfest is to showcase the town to potential business owners and encourage economic growth.
“We’ve kind of dove in head-first to showcase the town,” he said. “The whole goal of the event is economic development. We’re trying to bring people into the town. We’re trying to diversify our economy and attract new business.”
Oktoberfest sure is a fun way of doing that.
“Last year everybody said the atmosphere was the highlight,” Wingfield said. “It’s a great, affordable family day.”
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