Sink your teeth into something fresh and juicy this summer at the Palisade Peach Festival! One of Palisade’s oldest traditions, the Palisade Peach Festival has been celebrating their famous peaches for more than 50 years. With everything from biggest peach contests and orchard tours, to live music and chef demonstrations, this three-day festival has everything to satisfy your peach appetite and entertain you while you enjoy the beautiful outdoors, right on the Colorado River.
Start in Downtown Palisade on Thursday evening, August 15, for an ice cream social. After you’ve had your fill of ice cream topped with fresh peach slices, kick up your heals at the street dance with live music in the Downtown Plaza.
Friday morning starts with orchard tours. Stroll through mazes of shady peach trees and learn what makes Palisade the ideal place for growing such perfectly juicy peaches. Now that you know a bit of peach intel, stroll over to the festivities at the Palisade Riverbend Park. This park is surrounded on both sides by the Colorado River and sits in the beautiful shadow of Mount Garfield, the highest point in the Book Cliffs range. This large and grassy park is shaded with large oak trees, nourished by the river, providing you escape from the sun.
The Festival is packed with activities so plan your day accordingly. Be sure to check out the biggest peach contest to see why this area is famous worldwide for not only the sweetest and juiciest peaches, but the biggest too! Last year’s peach took the crown weighing in at nearly two pounds!
Expand your pallet and master a new dish with demonstrations from well-known Colorado chefs who know just how to slice and spice a peach. The demonstrations share everything from making simple peach deserts to complex sauces like bourbon peach BBQ sauce. The best part is, you can taste each creation as you learn and you will be empowered to try these culinary delights at home.
Plan to get your exercise Saturday morning with the Just Peachy Run. This fun 5k and 10k race makes its way around Riverbend Park with a scenic, mostly flat course that can be enjoyed by runners of all ages and skill level. Along the sidewalk and dirt trails, the route runs along the Colorado River and has stunning views of Mount Garfield and the Grand Mesa. There is also a 1k race for kids. The races end just in time for the start of Saturday's festivities. Grab a peach to refuel as you head toward the Festival.
On top of all the other peachy activities taking place, there will also be a car show where collectors and craftsman display their hot rods, some of which are truly one of a kind. Admission is $2 for adults, $1 for kids, or $5 for a family. All proceeds go to supporting the Palisade High School Band.
If you’re feeling up for a challenge, step up to the table and enter a peach eating contest to see how quickly you can devour an entire Palisade Peach. If you’re looking to really show-off, we dare you to try it with no hands.
Ready for something savory? Sample peach inspired BBQ creations handmade by pitmasters who will surprise you with their creative ingenuity as you taste their unique culinary combinations.
Both Friday and Saturday will have live music throughout the day on the “Peach Jam” stage, located at the eastern end of Riverbend Park. Catch performances from folk and bluegrass bands including Donny Morales and the Big Wind, Hunter and the Dirt Jacks, and the Trampolines. The festival winds down on Sunday with the Palisade Farmer’s Market.
Book your lodging now so you can attend the Palisade Peach Festival. Experience a unique small-town tradition framed by one of the most beautiful backdrops in Colorado. For places to stay, explore Grand Junction’s affordable lodging, and see everything else Colorado’s Grand Valley has to offer.
Find more fun-packed annual events on page 38 of the Grand Junction Visitor Guide!