Organizers look to celebrate the 52nd festival in 2021.
The Palisade Chamber of Commerce made the tough decision to the 52nd annual Palisade Peach Festival, which was scheduled for August. Technically, organizers are calling it a postponement until 2021, but that still means no festival this year.
The announcement came on Wednesday, via press release and Facebook citing health and safety concerns from COVID-19 as the deciding factor.
“We at the chamber feel the need to do all we can on our part to be vigilant in the interest of the health of our valley,” said Andrew Weber, executive director of the chamber.
This is more tough news for an already embattled peach crop this year. A hard freeze in April hit the Western Slope's crop hard, affecting an early estimate of 95 percent of peaches. At that time, Governor Polis called for a disaster declaration to help farmers.
Despite the crop losses, the festival was still on the schedule. Unfortunately, as coronavirus has continued to spread in the state, the Palisade Chamber of Commerce felt it was the best choice to put the festival off until next year.
With the festival off the table this year, it is more important than ever to support peach farmers (and farmers of all types across our state) and help them stay afloat in this tough year.
The peach industry on Colorado’s Western Slope produces 17,000 tons of fruit and brings in nearly $40 million, and is a major economic factor of Mesa, Delta, Montrose, and Montezuma counties. Peaches account for over 75 percent of fruit production in the state.
“We encourage all to visit and purchase Palisade peaches from our local growers, their stands and farmers markets,” Weber said. “We have never postponed a festival due to a peach freeze and did not this year. There are Palisade peaches locally, and let us celebrate by having a peach.”
Where will you buy Palisade Peaches this year? Let us know in the comments.