-- Junior college baseball World Series, food and music festivals highlight events in Grand Junction --
Grand Junction, Colo. - Spring and summer on Colorado's western slope mean it's time to get outside to bike, hike, play ball, listen to music, sightsee and eat. To celebrate the coming seasons, the Grand Junction Visitor and Convention Bureau has released its schedule of seasonal events for 2012.
Fruita Fat Tire Festival (April 26-29, Fruita): Mountain and desert mountain bike rides; road bike rides through Colorado National Monument and wine country, and over Douglas Pass; bike expo in downtown Fruita; beer garden.
Spring Barrel Tasting (April 28-29 and May 19-20, Grand Valley wineries): Behind-the-scenes winery and vineyard tours; tasting of wines not readily available to the general public; barrel sampling of wines paired with specialty foods; gourmet meals.
Downtown Art & Jazz Festival (May 11-13, Grand Junction): Jazz music from local and national artists, on Main Street, surrounding the re-installation of Art on the Corner sculptures; artist demonstrations; artisan booths.
Open Studios Tour (May 19-20, Grand Valley artists' studios): Tours of artists' studios and homes; original pieces of artwork in 12 media.
Junior College Baseball World Series (May 26- June 2, Suplizio Field, Grand Junction): Players, coaches, fans and games in the annual national baseball event.
Downtown Farmer's Markets (June 14-Sept. 20, Main Street, Grand Junction): Fresh produce, handcrafted items, specialty retailers, entertainment every Thursday evening.
Palisade Bluegrass & Roots Music Festival (June 15-17, Palisade): Bluegrass, blues, old-time, folk, and Celtic music performed in a shady concert park on the banks of the Colorado River; kids' activities; workshops; local wine, micro-brews, food.
Country Jam Music Festival (June 21-24, Mack): Country music stars; food and craft vendors; on-site camping.
Colorado Lavender Festival (July 6-8, Palisade): Celebration of a key western Colorado crop, with food, seminars, demonstrations, speakers, farm tours.
Palisade Peach Festival (Aug. 16-19, Palisade): Celebration of the western's slope most famous harvest, with more than 100 food, art and craft vendors, live musical entertainment, kids' activities, culinary events.
Rock Jam Music Festival (Aug. 24-25, Mack): Legendary rock music; food and craft vendors; on-site camping.
Tour of the Valley (Aug. 26, Grand Valley): Road and mountain bike tours.
Grand Junction (www.visitgrandjunction.com)
Nestled near 11,000-foot Grand Mesa and the 7,500-foot Book Cliffs, Grand Junction is the largest city in western Colorado. At an altitude of 4,586 feet, warm summers and moderate spring, fall and winter seasons allow for year-round golf, hiking and biking. TourismReview.com has named Grand Junction one of the eight sunniest cities in the United States, with more than 275 days of sunshine each year.
Among Grand Junction's spectacular red cliffs and winding canyons are the Grand Mesa, the world's largest flat-topped mountain, the Colorado National Monument, Bookcliff Wild Horse Area, two national scenic byways and five golf courses. Grand Junction lies in the heart of the Colorado-Utah Dinosaur Diamond. The area also is home to Colorado's wine country, with nearly 30 vineyards and wineries.