It's August in Colorado and that means it's time for Palisade peaches and peach festivals around the state!
Palisade, a town just outside Grand Junction, has become known for fruit, but especially its peaches.
"Locals will tell you Palisade peaches are the best, simply because they’re ripe, sweet and loaded with chin-dripping juice," according to the Grand Junction Visitor & Convention Bureau. "The Grand Valley’s hot days and cool nights are perfect for bringing out the natural sugars in the peaches and growing big fruit."
Most people will tell you the best peach festival in the state is the Palisade Peach Festival this weekend, August 18 to 20. The event starts Thursday with a free ice cream social and street dance at the downtown plaza. Over the weekend, there are orchard tours, cooking demos, music, a parade and much more. Single day admission starts at $7 for adults, $3 for children.
If you don't want to travel to Palisade, the Fort Collins Peach Festival is Saturday, August 20, at Hughes Stadium at Colorado State University. They'll have Palisade peaches, a 5K run/walk, food, music and activities. Admission is free.
But wait, there's more! The 17th annual Lafayette Peach Festival is also Saturday, August 20. Enjoy peach pies, peach cobbler and peach smoothies along with food vendors, crafters, antique dealers, live entertainment and music in Old Town Lafayette.
If you can't attend a peach festival, but want the perfect peach, the Grand Junction Visitor & Convention Bureau says:
To select the perfect Palisade peach look first around the stem. If the skin is green near the stem the peach was picked green. Use these for recipes where a firmer peach is needed, such as grilling. If the skin around the stem is yellow or red then the peach is ripe. If it yields easily to pressure then it is very ripe and will bruise easily. These peaches must be handled with care and are perfect for eating right away.
Fresh peaches should be available until the first or second week of September.