The seventh annual Palisade Bluegrass & Roots Festival at Riverbend Park got off to a great start, and a dry one, on Friday despite rockslides on I-70, washouts on Highway 6, and plenty of rain on Thursday. The bluegrass fans still came in droves, making this opening day one of the best ever.


Friday’s headliners, Trout Steak Revival, played a song about the Colorado River, standing as close to it as they have ever performed.

I can’t begin to describe how good this festival feels, people are generally so HAPPY to be in such a beautiful venue, and the music just makes you want to tap a foot, at the very least. I’ve been to all seven festivals now, I had moved to Palisade a couple of weeks before the first one. I’ve seen a couple of families here tonight that I’ve seen here every single year, I wish I’d taken family photos of them each year, I’ve sure been able to watch their kids grow up!



The setting is even prettier once the sun starts to set behind the bandstand.

The Green Team does such a great job of keeping the park clean, they have very clearly designated places for throwing trash, and very well-illustrated guidelines as to what trash goes into each receptacle. The Green Team actually picks through and re-separates the trash when people mess up the system, and they can be seen throughout the weekend cleaning up after everyone. PLEASE give them your thanks, the weekend wouldn’t be nearly as comfortable without them.



Parenting continues to fascinate… my kids were born just about the time it became the norm to put the kids in carseats… so I loved seeing the hearing protection on the youngest of guests.


Kids seem to enjoy the festival just as much as the parents, many are dressed in tie-dyes by the end of the weekend, or sparkly capes, or fairy wings or whatever is the rage that year. I would have loved to have gone to a weekend like this when I was little!




There are plenty of guests at the other end of the age differential too, although their energy level is generally lower. Blankets and lawn chairs are everywhere, and the trees provide just enough shade. The lawn chairs look more and more comfortable each year, and there are always new and different designs to check out…  Although there is some parking in Riverbend Park, many people ride their bikes and leave them at the bike corral. Lots of folks park in town and ride the shuttles, too.



Hula hoops are popular, only these appear to be some kind of ‘heavy-duty, hard core, competition models.’ At least to me they do… And check out the Loughmans… who would have guessed???



The multi-talented Desa Loughman. Really, who knew?


Come to Riverbend Park for a Pancake Breakfast on Saturday morning with the Palisade Lions Club at 8 a.m., then yoga under the trees at 9 to work off the pancakes. The music begins again at 10 and goes on for another 12 hours. Be there or be square, it’s the most happenin’ spot in Palisade!


I guess this is what ‘kicking back’ means…