Each August, Palisade’s peaches become juicy beacons to swarms of people who come to the small town just east of Grand Junction for the Palisade Peach Festival for a weekend of activities that celebrate the delicious, fuzzy fruit. President Obama even brought his family to the 2012 festival.
The tradition of having a peach harvest festival goes back decades, at least as far as Peach Days in the late 1800s. Although the carnival rides are a new addition, at least one thing that could be found every year is an abundance of peach-infused foods: pie, ice cream, preserves, salsa, brandy, wine and lots of peaches themselves. Each year, there are cooking demos and a peach-eating contest to help facilitate the consumption of as many peaches as possible while they’re still fresh and tasty.
There are several additional staples too. Each year, the Palisade Lions Club hosts a pancake breakfast where the community comes together to fill its stomachs with eggs, sausage and pancakes smothered in peach syrup. The proceeds of the pancake breakfast go back into improvements for the community.
Following the pancake breakfast, the Peach Queen and her court and the Town Grouch parade through downtown Palisade. There is also other live entertainment kicked off by an ice cream social and street dance. The Palisade Peach Festival is held the third weekend of August every year at Riverbend Park in Palisade. Mark your calendar to join in and celebrate the one time of year that Palisade’s peaches are perfect. To learn more about the Peach Festival, including a schedule of events, click here.