Let’s face it, many people who grew up on Colorado’s Front Range tend to think of Grand Junction as that far away cowtown town that’s practically in Utah. Of course, that reputation has slowly been changing thanks in part to the growing popularity of and interest in local food.
Colorado’s western slope is a place where local food has been a way of life long before it became trendy. It doesn’t hurt that food grows relatively easily here when compared to other parts of Colorado, so sourcing locally is a little less complicated for chefs.
On our trip earlier this summer, we had the delicious pleasure of dining at two of Grand Junction’s most foodie restaurants. These two eateries, 626 on Rood and Bin 707 Foodbar, have set the bar high for farm-to-table cuisine (and for cuisine in general). Continue reading
There’s a little spot on Colorado’s Western Slope that’s home to flocks of sheep, fields of vegetables and orchards of fruit. Things move a little slower here and that’s just the way the people of the North Fork Valley like it. There are no freeways and very few stop lights; it’s a bit like going back in time, but better.
Mountain Harvest Festival is a celebration of the bounty of Paonia and the North Fork Valley, and you’re invited to participate in this annual event that’s a little earthy, kinda quirky, a bit country and entirely authentic.
This is a four-day festival that kicks off with food, which makes sense. There are Harvest to Table Dinners at Remedy and the Living Farm Cafe on Thursday night. These dinners feature locally grown, chemical and additive free food.
This festival is hosting a lot of local talent including writers, artists and musicians, and Thursday night is no exception. Harvest of Voices showcases both rising stars and award-winning writers reading from their works.
Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Mountain Harvest Festival are chockablock with events; I won’t name them all here, but I do want to highlight Saturday Sundown Swing, a ticketed event that features five venues and nine bands. From acoustic to rock, there’s a little something for everyone on tap. Buy an all access ticket (or entry to just one venue) here.
In addition to loads of music, this festival has a farmers’ market, grape stomp, kids area, a Wine Makers Dinner, a chili cookoff, hula hoop contest, local brews, ciders and wines, farm tours and more.
I’d highly recommend renting a bike from Cirque Cyclery in downtown Paonia and participating in Saturday’s Farm & Wine Tours. We had a blast exploring the area’s farms by bike during our 2016 visit (read about it here).
I am delighted to be attending the festival this year, because, despite the fact that I try not to play favorites, the North Fork Valley is one of my favorite spots in Colorado. I hope to see you there!
Mountain Harvest Festival
September 21-24, 2017
Free & ticketed events
Featured Festivals spots on HeidiTown are paid advertisements. If you’d like to have your festival or event considered for a feature contact TheMayor@HeidiTown.com. Thank you!
If you’re planning to celebrate the harvest season, why not do it in one of Colorado’s most bountiful areas? Mountain Harvest Festival takes place in the North Fork Valley, an area that is brimming with small family farms and vineyards.
I didn’t know about the North Fork Valley until three years ago, and the region has stolen my heart. It is located in Delta County on Colorado’s Western Slope. It’s 40 minutes east of Delta, which straddles Hwy 50, the road connecting Grand Junction and Ouray.
Farm-to-table has been part of everyday life in the North Fork Valley long before it became trendy. It is made up of three communities; Paonia, Hotchkiss and Crawford. Mountain Harvest Festival takes place in Paonia, but celebrates the entire region.
The four-day event kicks off on Thursday, September 22, with a variety of activities including a Farm-to-Table dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, The Living Farm Cafe.
Things really get going on Friday afternoon. There’s a pumpkin contest, bike parade, a Drink Locally event at Town Park and live music.
This festival is a celebration of all things local, including food, music and art. After all, the North Fork Valley isn’t only a great growing region, it’s a place where artists flourish as well, and there are a number of area art schools.
On Saturday there’s a smorgasbord of events planned. Don’t miss the Cirque Bike Farm Tours at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. We did a bike to farm tour with Cirque while we were in town earlier this summer (read all about it here). You can also do self-guided farm and winery tours while in town for the festival.
A festival farmers’ market will take place throughout the weekend and the Drink Locally event in Town Park happens Friday through Sunday. In addition, Mountain Harvest Festival has loads of live music schedule, farm-to-table dinners, yoga, bike Olympics and so much more.
Mountain Harvest Festival is a feast for the eyes, heart and stomach.
And here’s a warning: If this will be your first visit to the North Fork Valley, you may fall in love. Because what’s not to love about a region filled with vineyards, rolling hills dotted with sheep and trees heavy-laden with fruit? In a recent magazine article I dubbed the region “the land of milk and honey,” and that’s not an exaggeration.
If you’d like to experience this Delta County’s North Fork Valley to the fullest, you need to attend Mountain Harvest Festival in Paonia, Colorado.
Mountain Harvest Festival
winner of the Governor’s Award for Best Small Community Festival
September 22-25, 2016
Some events ticketed/Most events are free
Featured Festival spots on HeidiTown.com are paid advertisements. Interested in having your festival or event considered for a feature? Email TheMayor@HeidiTown.com.
This week’s a little screwy, but that’s okay. Radio is not an exact science and neither is blogging. This post usually goes up on a Monday, but this week it’s being posted on a Friday, but that’s okay too because most of what I talk about in this segment are festivals in mid-April.
As you know, my radio segments on KRFC 88.9 FM are now recorded and aired every other week instead of weekly.
In this week’s segment I discuss great events happening in mid-April. In fact, the second week in April is so busy you’ll need a couple clones to do everything. I also share a bit about my trip to Ouray, Colorado.
As you know, Ryan and I did a lot of traveling this winter and every trip has a special place in our hearts. Grand Junction, however, has a special place in our stomachs. If you are a fan of eating and drinking, you’ll want to get out a pen and paper and take notes on this post.
We’d driven by Grand Junction and Palisade a number of times over the years, but had never stopped, so we had no idea what we’d been missing.
So without further ado, here’s a two-day Grand Junction/Palisade itinerary, influenced greatly by our March trip.
Before heading out to Grand Junction, call and make dinner reservations at Bin 707 Foodbar. Arrive Grand Junction and check into your hotel. We stayed at The Clarion. It’s a simple, freeway hotel, but they provide a free shuttle to downtown and there’s a nice little bar at the attached restaurant, Pantuso’s Ristorante.
Utilize free shuttle ride to downtown. If you are a little early, browse Art on the Corner and do a little shopping. We were impressed without how busy downtown Grand Junction gets on a Friday night – every restaurant was packed and the sidewalks were bustling with people.
Bin 707 Foodbar is a little slice of culinary heaven in the heart of Grand Junction. They serve up locally sourced food in a contemporary, yet comfortable environment. Engage your knowledgeable server to learn about the menu.
We started with an assembly of charcuterie and artisan cheese. Charcuterie is the craft of salting, curing and smoking meat. There was a rich pate made in-house with fresh herbs, prosciutto cut so thin you could see through it and headcheese made by the Chef of Bin 707. All the cheeses were from Colorado including the Ashley from MouCo Cheese Company in Fort Collins, a personal favorite.
We didn’t stop with the cheese and meat plate. We ordered up fried oysters served with aioli sauce, roasted beet salad (a customer favorite) and grilled cheese flatbread with arugula salad. I felt like I was on an episode of Top Chef and I gave everything top scores.
We paired our food with local wine and ended our meal with two unique deserts. I’m not a big desert person, but my beet ice cream was sweet and earthy at the same time, an amazing combination. Ryan ordered the Momofuku Crack pie, and they might actually spike it with an illegal substance because it’s that freakin’ good.
We got up early, had the free breakfast buffet at The Clarion and then headed to Powderhorn Resort for a morning of skiing. The resort is about 45 minutes from Grand Junction. However, if you’re making this trip during the spring or summer, head to the Colorado National Monument to some morning hiking and bighorn sheep hunting. Hunt with your camera, of course. I wrote about our experience at the Colorado National Monument in a previous post here.
After burning some calories, it’s time to start eating and drinking again. Grab a quick lunch at Pablo’s Pizza in downtown Grand Junction and now it’s time for wine.
Start with Two Rivers Winery & Chateau in Grand Junction; the Syrah and Cab were my favorite here. Afterwards, make the 20 minute drive to Palisade where you can hit multiple wineries within walking or biking distance of one another. We started at Grande River Winery, one of the original wineries on the Western Slope. Just next door is Talon Winery and St. Kathryn Cellars. Talon has traditional wines while St. Kathryn’s stirs things up a bit by offering fruity wines. They even have a lavender wine. Just down the road, we visited Plum Creek Winery where I enjoyed nearly every taster on their list.
We heard wonderful things about Colterris, but were unable to visit them on this trip. I did have one of their reds at Bin 707, and it was a well-rounded, memorable wine.
Before leaving Palisade, be sure to visit Peach Street Distillery. The cliffs of the mesa glowed pink as we pulled into the parking lot just before sunset. It was warm enough to sit on the patio, but every seat was taken, so we sat inside, sipping on sweet, fresh drinks and listening to classical guitar. It was a wonderful way to end a wonderful afternoon.
Note: If you plan to spend the afternoon drinking in Palisade on Day Two, please make someone in your group the designated driver!
For dinner we ate Irish fare at Naggy McGee’s Irish Pub in downtown Grand Junction. This is a popular place, so be prepared for a wait. On a two-day itinerary, beer drinkers may prefer dinner at Kannah Creek Brewing Company. I had a yummy sandwich there on our visit to Grand Junction. Popular with college students, the patio fills up quickly on a nice day.
So there you have it. A two-day itinerary to Grand Junction, and I promise it will not disappoint. Book you trip around one of the Western Slope’s many spring and summer festivals, like the Palisade International Honeybee Festival on April 12-13, or the Art & Jazz Fest in downtown Grand Junction on May 10-12, 2013. For the scoop on other festivals, go to VisitGrandJunction.com.
We genuinely fell in love with the Western Slope during this trip. The landscape + people + food + wine is a winning combination and we can’t wait to visit again.
This trip sponsored by Visit Grand Junction.
It’s that time again, time for another installment of HeidiTown on the radio.
Every two weeks I have a show on KRFC 88.9 FM, community public radio. I’ve been doing a lot of traveling this winter, so in this week’s segment I share a little from our trip to Grand Junction and the surrounding area. I will be writing some blog posts about this trip as well, so stay tuned!
Also included, a preview of the Fort Collins St. Patrick’s Day Parade – a very popular and very green event in Northern Colorado.
Without further ado, listen to this week’s segment HERE.
It’s Monday, and that means this week’s segment from KRFC 88.9 FM is here!
By the way, September 14-22 is KRFC’s membership drive. This is a 100% community run radio station and it takes donations to keep the doors open. There are all sorts of membership levels to choose from so become a member today and help keep shows like HeidiTown on the air!
Now on to our regular scheduled blog post.
Last week I wrote about agritourism, and on this week’s radio show I share some upcoming agritourism-related events happening around Colorado including harvest festivals and a top-notch foodie event in Denver.
It’s time for another segment on KRFC 88.9 FM, and this weekend is full of Colorado festivals you won’t want to miss. In fact, you may want to clone yourself – and if you figure out how to do that, please share, because I am in desperate need of a clone or two this summer!
If you’d rather listen to the audio from my radio show, just click HERE, but if you prefer to utilize your reading skills, the transcripts are below. ENJOY! And don’t forget to let me know about that cloning idea.
Hi, my name is Heidi and I’m the Mayor of HeidiTown.com, a blog about festivals, events and destinations around Colorado. That’s right, if you’ve been listening for awhile, you might have noticed the change to my tagline. I’ve replaced travel with the word destinations, and now new banners have been made – look for them at a festival near you this summer!
I thought I’d take a minute this week to tell you a little about myself. I’m a freelance writer and small business owner here in Colorado. Originally a West Coast girl from the Pacific Northwest, I’ve lived in Colorado for 13 years. On May 18, 2002, I married a guy who grew up in Littleton. Yes, we celebrate 10 years of marriage this weekend – happy anniversary, Ryan!
I started HeidiTown.com in 2007, as a review blog, but in 2010, I found my niche was blogging about festivals and events.
HeidiTown.com is not a calendar, but rather “stuff the Mayor likes” and I like small town festivals and unique events. Hundreds, if not thousands of events occur all over Colorado every weekend, especially during the summer – and I highlight the things that catch my attention.
So now – on to the show!
In past segments I’ve already previewed some of what is happening around Colorado this weekend, May 18 through the 20th, 2012. So I want to remind you that it’s Wild Wild West Days in Pueblo and Mike the Headless Chicken Festival is in Fruita this weekend.
On Saturday and Sunday, it’s the Strawberry Festival Antique Show in Longmont. Started almost forty years ago, as a way to raise money for the St. Vrain Historical Society, this event has developed into a popular and well-respected antique show drawing thousands of attendees. Enjoy freshly made strawberry shortcake while browsing antiques in the Exhibit Building at the Boulder County Fairgrounds on Nelson Road in Longmont. For hours and info on the Strawberry Festival Antique Show go to StVrainHistoricalSociety.org.
A unique cultural event is happening at The Fort in Morrison, Colorado this weekend. It’s the 12th Annual Indian Market and Powwow presented by the Tesoro Cultural Center. Native American artists will display their wares and demonstrate their crafts. Dancers and drummers will share their heritage in competitions, and there will also be a powwow contest in the valley below The Fort. I am very familiar with this area, and it is a beautiful setting for this event. Learn more at Tesoroculturalcenter.org. That’s TESOROCultureCenter.org.
For those of you in Northern Colorado, here’s an event close to home. This weekend it’s Jazz Fest and Art Walk in downtown Estes Park. This event has grown over its twenty year existence into a two-day jazz extravaganza, featuring national and regional musicians. Eight jazz groups are scheduled to perform with two headliner acts. Go to EstesParkCVB.com for the lineup of performers.
Right here in Fort Collins, the downtown Farmers Market gets underway this weekend. The Larimer County Farmers’ Market is one of the oldest in Colorado. It runs Saturdays 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. from May 19 through October 27. So bike downtown and make a day of it!
Also, starting this Friday in Fort Collins, it’s the Ben & Jerry’s FAC Concert Series. Music runs from 7 to 9 p.m. on the Old Town Square Stage. Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy this event every Friday through August 17th. This week’s band is The Backline.
For more information on this and other Old Town events, go to DowntownFortCollins.com.
The Butterfly Pavilions in Westminster, Colorado has been on my mind lately. This is a fun outing with the family, but as I’ve said before, it isn’t only for kids. This weekend it’s Bloomapalooza at the Butterfly Pavilions on Saturday from 10 to 5. It’s a celebration of Plant Conservation Day. There will be giveaways, workshops, planting projects, a kids play area and The Garden Center of Colorado will be taking all your old gardening trays, cell packs and pots to be recycled. For additional details on Bloomapalooza, go to Butterflies.org.
Lastly it’s Taste of Durango this Sunday. I love this region of Colorado because the scenery is breathtaking. This would be a great weekend to make Durango your Colorado destination. Learn more at TasteofDurango.com.
There are lots of other amazing events happening this weekend around Colorado, but you’ll have to tune into the blog and HeidiTown’s Facebook page for more. Be sure to join our block party at Facebook.com/HeidiTown.comOnFB.
Thanks so much for listening. Until next week, I will see you online!
This HeidiTown.com radio segment on KRFC 88.9 FM discusses where to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Colorado and takes a look ahead at May, including Mother’s Day Weekend and one of the state’s most unique, and perhaps most gross, festivals.
Read the transcript of this week’s show below, or listen to the audio here.
Hi, my name is Heidi and I’m the Mayor of HeidiTown.com, a blog about events, festivals and travel around Colorado.
Last week I had the opportunity to visit History Colorado during media day. I am very impressed with what they have done at this new facility and I have blogged about it, so be sure to go to the Museum section on HeidiTown. History Colorado officially opened to the public this past Saturday so be sure to plan a visit to this new Denver landmark.
This weekend, May 4 through May 6 is also Cinco de Mayo. This holiday is often thought to be Mexican Independence day, but that’s not true. It actually commemorates the Battle of Puebla which took place on May 5, 1862.
This year is the 150th anniversary of the battle. So why is this holiday so widely celebrated in the United States? Well, much like St. Patrick’s Day, it has become a commercial boon for liquor companies and restaurants, however, I don’t want to undermine the holiday’s significance as a celebration of Mexican culture, and there’s no better way to see this in action than at the Denver Cinco De Mayo in Civic Center Park.
This is the 25th Denver Cinco De Mayo and the two day festival is the largest of its kind in the United States. Families can immerse themselves in Mexican culture including dance, music, crafts, and of course, lots of deliciously tempting food. Get all the info at CincoDeMayoDenver.com.
Here in Fort Collins, I mentioned last week that there will be a high end Cinco de Mayo artisan show in the Agave Room above the Rio Grande restaurant. The show runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and art lovers and collectors shouldn’t miss it.
The Northern Colorado Cinco de Mayo Festival 2012 runs Friday through Sunday with events happening in various venues, but mostly at the Northside Aztlan Community Center and Heritage Park. For the schedule go to FortCollinsCincoDeMayo.com.
Towns and neighborhoods around Colorado will be celebrating Cinco de Mayo, so there may be an event near you.
Also, don’t forget that it’s First Friday Art Walk in communities from Fort Collins to Pueblo to Steamboat Springs, so use it as an excuse to leave the kids with a sitter, grab some dinner in your downtown with your honey and enjoy some art and culture.
And now for our planning ahead section, which will grow as the festival season starts revving up. I’m going to start telling you about events well ahead of time so that you can plan your summer travel calendar.
First, on May 10 through 12, it’s the 9th Annual Montrose Wine & Food Festival. The festival includes cooking demonstrations, entertainment and of course, lots of wine. Learn more at MontroseWineFestival.com.
Also Mother’s Day weekend, it’s the Downtown Art & Jazz Festival in Grand Junction, which is breathtakingly beautiful at this time of year. Listen to jazz by local and national artists, watch artistic demonstrations and shop artisan booths. Go to DowntownGJ.org for details.
There are two festivals on the 3rd weekend in May that are worth the gas money.
The Wild Wild West Festival in Pueblo is an event with a nationally televised bull riding competition at the center of it all. If you like cowboys, don’t miss this festival – it’s put together with families in mind. More at WildWildWestFestival.com.
And last up, in the planning ahead section, you’ve probably heard of this festival before because it has received national and international attention. Mike was a famous chicken that was said to have lived without his head for 18 months “¦ okay, it’s sort of gross, and today I think it would be considered animal cruelty, but in the mid forties Mike became a celebrity simply by not dying when his head was chopped off.
I’m not sure how long the fine folks of Fruita, Colorado have been celebrating poor Mike, but I’m told that attending Mike the Headless Chicken Festival is a no-brainer… ANYWAAAY… this year’s event is May 18 and 19th and to learn all about this wacky celebration of a poor headless chicken go to MiketheHeadlessChicken.org.
On that note… if you missed anything on today’s show, I post the transcripts every week at HeidiTown.com.
Thank you for listening. Until next week, I will see you online and quite possibly at a festival near you!
It’s that time again, time for another installment of HeidiTown.com on KRFC 88.9 FM, a community radio station in Fort Collins, Colorado. Each week I share stuff to do around Colorado with the listeners of KRFC and then I upload the transcript and the audio to the blog. So if you missed it, or you need web information, you can easily find it here.
You can read the transcript below or listen to the audio HERE.
Hi, my name is Heidi and I’m the Mayor of HeidiTown.com, a blog about events, festivals and travel around Colorado.
I’m calling this weekend, April 27 through the 29th, the calm before the storm, because it is rather quiet around the state, but I think that is because, like me, everyone is gearing up summer.
This year, Cinco de Mayo is on a Saturday and in my mind that kicks off the 2012 festival season.
There are a couple events happening this weekend that have caught my attention.
The new History Colorado Museum is opening on Saturday in Denver. I had the opportunity to get a media-only sneak peek of the facility this past Monday, and a post about the museum be up on the blog, Thursday, April 26. You can visit the museum online at HistoryColorado.org.
As I have previously mentioned, the Rocky Mountain Pinball Showdown is this weekend at the Embassy Suites in the Denver Tech Center. If you are a fan of pinball and classic arcade games, you don’t want to miss this event. More info can be found at PinBallShowDown.com.
Pinball enthusiasts should check out Pinball Jones right here in Fort Collins in the basement suite at 107 Linden Street. Their website is PinBallJones.com.
In Lyons, Colorado check out Lyons Classic Pinball behind Oskar Blues in downtown. This is a HeidiTown favorite place so find it on the blog by searching Lyons Classic Pinball. Visit them online at LyonsPinball.com.
If you are in the Springs area, check out the Penny Arcade in Manitou Springs featuring all sorts of vintage games including pinball. For more on historic Manitou, go to ManitouSprings.org.
This weekend on the Western Slope it’s the Fruita Fat Tire Festival. The event was started 17 years ago as a way to show off all the biking trails they were building in Fruita. This year, there will be four music shows running Friday and Saturday. The beer will flow, a scavenger hunt will occur and costumes are encouraged. I have friends who attend this event every year, and they say it’s always a very good time. Learn more at FruitaMountainBike.com, and be sure to pack your bike!
Here’s a sweet little event that is happening Saturday afternoon in Boulder. At 3 p.m. it’s the annual Tulip Fairy & Elf Parade. There are 15,000 tulips planted along Pearl Street and this event, welcoming spring, takes place in this colorful outdoor mall. Special events and activities for children are planned as well as a parade. Go to DowntownBoulder.com for details.
And now for some planning ahead…
As I previously mentioned, Cinco de Mayo falls on a Saturday this year, that’s the 5th of May for those of you who aren’t familiar with the holiday. There are several events happening in Fort Collins including an Artisan Show above the Rio Grande restaurant in the Agave Room.
The event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and features a vast array of high-end art with everything from sculpture to jewelry. Over 55 artisans will be there, so I urge art lovers not to miss this show! You can follow the link on HeidiTown.com’s front page to the Cinco De Mayo Artisan Show’s Facebook event invite.
The 74th Annual Music & Blossom Festival in Canon City runs May 3 through the 6th. This delightful family-friendly fest has developed over the years into a true destination event. There is a parade, a carnival, a marching band competition, a pageant, and the list goes on and on. Visit CCBlossomFestival.com for the entire schedule.
The 24th Annual Estes Park Duck Races are also slated for May 5. Thousands of little rubber ducks are dropped into Fall River where they began their journey to Riverside Plaza in downtown Estes Park. The tradition was started in 1989 to help local charities. It has grown into a community celebration. Adopt a duck and support a local charity! Learn more at EPDuckrace.org.
If you missed any part of today’s segment, I post the transcript and audio of the show every week on HeidiTown.com.
As always, I encourage you to join the town’s block party on Facebook. It’s the place where we can get better acquainted. Go to Facebook.com/HeidiTown.comonFB.
Thank you so much for listening! Until next week, I will see you online!