When you’re considering eloping in the Grand Junction area, it can be a fun idea to try to plan your visit around the events happening in the area. Whether you want to plan to visit during one of these annual festivals so that you can attend them, or you want to know what dates to avoid (sometimes vendors and locations are overly busy during these events!) this is your quick guide to annual festivals near Grand Junction, from Palisade to Fruita and in between. (Listed, generally, chronologically:)
Palisade International Honeybee Festival
This festival usually takes place in early April and celebrates the role of honeybees in agriculture and the ecosystem with educational exhibits, honey tastings, and live music. Learn from speakers, watch demonstrations, and enjoy some good eats. Stop by the local Meadery to enjoy the fruits of our honeybees labors!
Fruita Fat Tire Festival
This festival takes place in late April and features mountain biking races, live music, and a beer garden. It is one of the nations longest running, non-race Mountain Bike events. “The Fruita Fat Tire Festival is a demonstration event with the goal of bringing Mountain Bike and Gear manufacturers together with avid riders interested in testing out the industries latest offerings. 3 days of riding on trails that offer fast but fulfilling loops give riders a real chance to put bikes through their paces while also allowing time for sampling multiple brands and models. You’ll run out of energy long before you run out of new bikes and fun trails.” –Festival Website
Mike the Headless Chicken Festival
This festival takes place in late May and celebrates the life and legend of Mike the Headless Chicken with live music, games, and contests. September 10th, 1945 finds a young rooster pecking through the dust of Fruita, Colorado – this was Mike. “A skillful blow was executed and the chicken staggered around like most freshly terminated poultry. Then the determined bird shook off the traumatic event and never looked back. It was determined that ax blade had missed the jugular vein and a clot had prevented Mike from bleeding to death. Although most of his head was in a jar, most of his brain stem and one ear was left on his body. Since most of a chicken’s reflex actions are controlled by the brain stem Mike was able to remain quite healthy. For 18 MONTHS, Mike lived as ‘The Headless Wonder Chicken.'” –Mike the Headless Chicken History
Grand Junction Off-Road & Four Peaks Downtown Music Festival
This three-day event usually takes place in May and includes a mountain bike race, three days of live music, and a beer garden. The festival features a bike and gear expo plus a fun expo down the center of Main Street. It’s essentially a weekend-long block party downtown!
Colorado West Pridefest
This annual event celebrates the LGBTQ+ community with a parade, live entertainment, and a variety of vendors. It usually takes place in late June, over a few days of events.
This four-day country music festival usually takes place in late June and draws big-name performers and thousands of fans from all over the country.
Palisade Lavender Festival
This festival takes place in late June and celebrates the fragrant herb with workshops, tastings, and a lavender-themed marketplace. Colorado’s ONLY lavender festival takes place in historic downtown Palisade. “There will be demonstrations, seminars, and workshops, free entertainment, and live music. Enjoy a variety of lavender-inspired products, cooking demos, and the creative works of local artists and artisans.” (Visit Palisade) Or sign up for a lavender farm tour that weekend!
Palisade Bluegrass and Roots Festival
This festival, which takes place in June, features bluegrass music, local food, and drink vendors. “For over ten years, Palisade has been celebrating its love for hot pickin’ guitars, outstanding artistry, blazing fiddles and Colorado sunshine. Located along the Colorado River at Riverbend Park, The Palisade Bluegrass & Roots Festival brings together some of the country’s top bluegrass artists as well as Colorado’s favorite emerging stars for three days of non-stop, festival vibes.” –Palisademusic.com
Mesa County Fair
This traditional fair usually takes place in late July and includes carnival rides, livestock shows, and various agricultural exhibits.
Palisade Peach Festival
This four-day event in August celebrates the peach harvest with tastings, orchard tours, live music, and a variety of peach-themed foods and drinks. “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.” –Visit Grand Junction
Colorado Mountain Winefest
This four-day event in September showcases the region’s wineries and vineyards, with tastings, tours, and seminars. Colorado Mountain Winefest has been voted the Best Wine Festival in the US by USA Today! It is also a fundraiser for CAVE, the Colorado Association for Viticulture & Enology. While the event is shorter, the area has grown this wine festival into a week-long “Wine Week” celebration with side events hosted by area businesses.
Fruita Fall Festival
This annual festival takes place in September and includes a parade, live music, and a variety of food vendors. Hosted in beautiful Downtown Fruita, the Fruita Fall Festival features a variety of sub events including the Outhouse Races, Parade, Baking & Canning Contest, Cornhole Tournament, Art Walk, Kids Art Walk, Beard Rally, and more.
Downtown Art Festival & Grand Junction Film Festival
This annual event has been combined with the film festival and features local and regional artists displaying their work in various mediums, including painting, sculpture, and photography. The Festival will kick-off on Friday, with an event known as “First Friday” in the downtown art galleries and restaurants, along with featured live music. Saturday is the Artists’ Expo on Main Street featuring live art demos! Sunday, finally, is the Film Festival at the historic Avalon Theater downtown. This annual film festival showcases independent films from around the world, as well as workshops and panel discussions with filmmakers.
Parade of Lights
This annual holiday event in downtown Grand Junction usually takes place in early December, with a parade of brightly decorated floats and marching bands. The amazing lights displayed downtown this month can be a cute photo opportunity!