After a two year hiatus because of the Pandemic, guests can buzz on over for the 13th annual Palisade International Honeybee Festival on Saturday, April 9, 2022, says volunteer Michelle Gossage, who is in charge of registering vendors for the street fair side of the event.

The Festival will be located in a couple of blocks where Main and Third streets intersect at the Town Plaza. Hours are from 11 am to 4 pm. Vendors can set up from 9 to 10:30 am when the town blocks off the streets to traffic. Admission is free.

Friday night from 5 to 8 pm, The Blue Pig Gallery will host a vendor reception featuring hors d’oeuvres, bee-themed art, educational talks by experts, and  pouring honey wines by the Meadery of the Rockies.

Breean Fiihr from Mt. Garfield Greenhouse will discuss Buzzworthy Gardening in the upstairs meeting room, while Dan Bean from the Palisade Insectary will talk about and demonstrate Using Bugs for Good, Not Evil in the downstairs gallery. Meterologist Russ Pappas will broadcast the KREX NEWS 5 weather live from The Blue Pig.

Ron Koss will emcee the event in the Plaza.   From the Top, with Thomasina Russell and Terry Flanagan, will perform live music.  Stephanie Griggs from Bookcliff Gardens will speak on how to Rewild Your Garden with Polilnators, and Dan Bean will reprise his talk on Using Bugs for Good, Not Evil.

Dixie Burmeister and  Chad Griffith, Executive Chef at Wine Country Inn, will demonstrate cooking with honey.

Ethan Noah will conduct the KREX Spelling Bee for elementary school students, which will be followed the always popular Honeybee Costume Contest for kids, adults and pets.  Prizes will be awarded.

Honey, bee-related  and craft vendors will sell their products and services in the on-going street market.   Food will be available from a variety of trucks and other vendors.

Gossage says  that a Map and the list of Vendor locations will be published on the website on April 5 after application window closes on April 1.  Since the festival is staffed by volunteers who have other jobs, there is not enough manpower to individually notify each vendor of location.  For further information, vendors can contact [email protected].

For those who might be considering participating, the booth slots will accommodate a 10- by 10-foot or an 8- by 8-foot popup tent. Vendors provide their own tables, chairs, goods and creature comforts. Food will be available all day from local restaurants and food trucks. The TOP permanent public restrooms are adjacent to the Town Plaza on Main Street.

Gossage says all vendors are advised to wear comfortable shoes and warm clothing and to bring snacks and bottled water in case they get busy and can't leave their booths. All vendors should have their tents and merchandise delivered to their locations by 9 am when the town closes those blocks of Main and Third streets.   She says they need to deposit their belongings and immediately move their vehicles to adjacent parking lots and streets to keep the streets clear for other deliveries.

The Festival was founded by a group of local business owners who wanted to rally the community to celebrate its agricultural heritage and to draw attention to the documented crisis that exists worldwide with honeybee population decline. The festival is sponsored by the PIHF Committee in conjunction with the Town of Palisade and the Palisade Chamber of Commerce with KREX 5 News, 103.9 The Planet and the Western Colorado Beekeepers Association.

The PIHF Committee includes Kay Crane, The Blue Pig Gallery; James Ferguson, The Meadery of the Rockies/Talon Wines; Dan Bean, Palisade Insectary; Dixie Burmeister, radio and tv consultant; Carol Zadrozny, Z's Orchard; Molly Woodard, Western Colorado Beekeepers Association; Bridgett Gutierrez, Ryan Sawyer Marketing; Ron Koss, Master of Ceremonies; Michelle Gossage, volunteer; Troy Ward, Town of Palisade; Jean Tally, Grande River Vineyards and Wine Country Inn; and Chris Christensen, Wine Country Inn.