Festivals and Special Events from Late September through November Reveal a Celebration of Colorado’s Agricultural Staples

DENVER (August 25, 2011) – With harvest season soon to reach its peak in Colorado (www.colorado.com), areas across the state prepare to celebrate the bold flavors of Colorado during the state’s signature food, wine and distillery festivals and events in late fall.  Below is a sampling of events where visitors can experience Colorado’s harvest season up close and personal.

•    The 11th Annual Mountain Harvest Festival (September 22–25) in Paonia is a celebration of locally grown and produced agricultural products across Delta County.  Attendees can participate in a grape stomp, chili cook-off, pie contest, farmer’s market, farm and wine tour and live music. www.mountainharvestfestival.com

•    Loaf N’ Jug Chile and Frijoles Festival (September 23–25) is Pueblo’s harvest celebration showcasing the town’s most loved crop, green chilies‚ particularly the Pueblo Chile. Events include cooking competitions, arts and crafts, music and entertainment throughout the weekend. www.pueblochilefestivalInfo.com

•    Fruita Fall Festival (September 23–25) is a fun-filled weekend for the whole family showcasing the youth pet and talent show, the renowned bed race and a baking and canning contest. www.fruitafallfestival.com

•    Autumn Gold (September 24–25) in Estes Park is a festival of bands, brats and beer.  Bluegrass, folk, western and rock music accompany the sound of bugling elk while cold beer, hot cider and bratwursts are served. www.estesparkcvb.com

•    Harvest Fest (September 24–25) invites visitors to partake in wine tastings and tours and enjoy food selections from local produce and cheeses to salmon, crepes, roasted chilies and freshly baked breads in the Rosemary Gardens of the Holy Cross Abbey Grounds. www.abbeywinery.com

•    Durango Cowboy Gathering (September 29–October 2) welcomes cowboys of all walks to flock to Durango for a weekend of wild festivities. Nationally renowned cowboy poets entertain the town with song and yarn, and an authentic, non-motorized parade in the historic downtown area. www.durangocowboygathering.org

•    Penrose Apple Day (October 1) celebrates harvest season with an Apple Day Queen, and Apple Day Dumplings, a silent auction and a free piece of apple pie. Cedaredge Apple Fest (October 1–2) rings in the harvest of the Honey Crisp, Fuji and Golden Delicious apples grown in the region with music, food, art, a classic car show, antique tractor show and more. www.penrosechamber.com; www.cedaredgechamber.com.

•    Breckenridge Craft Spirits Festival (October 7–9). Colorado distillers gather in Breckenridge for a grand showcase featuring tastings of handcrafted spirits. Restaurant specials, a pub crawl and saloon tours complement the festivities. The first of its kind in the state, the Breckenridge Craft Spirits Festival was born of Colorado’s growing artisan spirits industry. www.gobreck.com/spirits-festival

•    Chatfield Pumpkin Festival (October 8–9) at Denver Botanic Gardens in Chatfield invites families to enjoy pumpkin decorating, pumpkin bowling and monster hand building.  Children can explore fairyland with the Harvest Faerie, ride a pony and take a ride on the Barrel Train at this 10-acre pumpkin patch. www.botanicgardens.org. For a complete list of Colorado pumpkin patches and corn mazes, visit www.coloradoagriculture.com.

•    EatDenver Harvest Week (October 9–13) is a weeklong celebration of Colorado food with a series of five dinners at the GrowHaus, featuring a different local chef each dinner.  Each chef will create a course that features food and/or beverages grown or produced in the state.  www.eatdenver.com

•    Denver International Wine Festival (November 2–5). As Denver’s premier wine and food festival, the event will showcase 400 wines from 18 countries through a food and wine pairing competition, educational seminars and guided tastings. www.denverwinefest.com

•    Colorado Country Christmas Gift Show (November 4–6).  More than 25,000 shoppers enjoy a one-of-a-kind shopping experience as well as “Colorado’s Cookin,’” an event showcasing unique local food products and demonstrations from Colorado chefs. www.coloradochristmasgiftshow.com

•    The Colorado Cheese Festival (November 5–6) at the Arapahoe County Fairgrounds invites attendees to sample artisan cheese from local vendors.  The festival is complete with a mozzarella making demonstration along with a grilled cheese challenge. www.cocheesefest.com

For more information on Colorado’s agricultural products, farmers markets and events, download a copy of the 2011 Colorado Farm Fresh Directory at www.coloradoagriculture.com/farmfresh

ABOUT COLORADO

Colorado is a four-season destination offering unparalleled adventure and recreational pursuits, a thriving arts scene, a rich cultural heritage, flavorful cuisine, 26 renowned ski areas and resorts. The state's breathtaking scenic landscape boasts natural hot springs, the headwaters of seven major rivers, many peaceful lakes and reservoirs, 54 mountain peaks that top 14,000 feet and 12 national parks, monuments and historic sites. For more information or a copy of the 2011 Colorado Official State Vacation Guide, visit www.COLORADO.com or call 1-800-COLORADO. Media are invited to visit the Colorado Media Room at www.COLORADO.com/media-room for story ideas, press releases, press kits, and high-resolution, downloadable photos and video for editorial use. Follow Colorado on Twitter at www.twitter.com/colorado or become a Colorado Facebook fan at www.facebook.com/visitcolorado.

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