If there is any event that is a reflection of a mountain community, it’s the Frisco Fall Festival. Showcasing more than 10 Frisco restaurants under one tent, this event is as local as it gets. Under the Flavors of Frisco tent, open on Saturday, Sept. 10 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., restaurants such as Rio Grande, Prosit, Tavern West, Boatyard and numerous other Frisco favorites will be on hand.
Introduce yourself to local food while meeting the people who create it. This is an opportunity to put faces to names, to meet restaurant owners, chefs and other locals. Participants will have a chance to enjoy a restaurant’s best-selling dish or discover an entirely new restaurant with entrées made just for the event.
In its current iteration, the Fall Fest will feature Hofbrau beer imported straight from Munich. Scott Pohlman, the owner of Prosit on Frisco’s Main Street, played a large role in bringing Hofbrau to the Fest.
“We have a really good relationship with the importers. We opened Prosit about six years ago, and have been working for a long time to bring an official German beer to the festival,” Pohlman said.
The seasonal Hofbrau beer, called “fest beer,” will be on tap in the beer garden. This is the beer that will be served at this year’s Oktoberfest in Munich in less than two weeks. Also being served in the beer garden are Coyote Gold margaritas, made with all natural ingredients in Fort Collins. Part of the proceeds from drink sales will go to The Friends of the Dillon Ranger District.
“The Friends of the Dillon Ranger District have been the beneficiaries of this event since its inception in 2008 as Beetlefest, an event that sought to educate people on the pine beetle epidemic and about forest help,” said Nora Gilbertson, town of Frisco events manager.
Frisco is surrounded by beautiful scenery within national forest land, which the Friends of the Dillon Ranger District protect.
“It’s a no brainer that we devote a festival to the Friends of the Dillon Ranger District, who improve and maintain our local trails,” said Vanessa Agee, town of Frisco director of marketing and communications. “How much of the revenue that goes to the Dillon Ranger District depends on ticket sales.”
Food and drinks can be purchased with Fall Fest Bucks, which are on sale at the event for $1 per ticket. Most dishes inside the Flavors of Frisco tent are between $2 to $6. Fall Fest Bucks that aren’t spent over the weekend are valid at participating restaurants through Tuesday.
“This is a special event,” said Gilbertson. “The chefs and artists who participate in this event come from within the community. The products sold at this event are as unique as the people who are creating them. When you buy from our local artists and restaurants, the money stays in the community.”
Many restaurants, such as Rio Grande, are bringing menus to Fall Fest that were created specifically for the event. On a weekly basis, consumers typically visit one restaurant — two, on occasion. At Fall Fest consumers are able to try numerous local menus in a single day.
“This is the perfect opportunity for us to personally get to know other businesses in Frisco,” said Aaron Lentz, general manager at Rio Grande. “We can interact with them and the community too. We can see the local group of people that tour Main Street frequently. Our restaurant isn’t in the middle of Main Street, so it’s helpful to educate locals on our restaurant.”
Although the event has gone through changes since it was Beetlefest, its main purpose remains the same, and that is to highlight the variety of food and art in the community.
“Crusty locals that have seen events come and go over the years have said this is their favorite local event,” Agee said. “There are plenty of great races and events in Summit County, but at Fall Fest there are restaurants and faces they recognize.”
ART & MUSIC
Longtime locals will remember that the original Beetlefest events sold furniture made from beetle-kill wood. This unique form of woodwork is still a highlight of the art portion of Frisco’s Fall Fest, and will be featured this weekend. Brought to Fall Fest by the Summit County Arts Council, the Meet the Artist tent show will fall on Saturday, Sept. 10 and Sunday, Sept. 11. Artists from all over Colorado will meet under one tent, showcasing their art in 31 booths.
Taking place within the Frisco Historic Park, the array of art will include oil, watercolor, acrylics, photography, jewelry, woodworking, pottery, fabric work, glass blowing and more. The Summit County Art Council will also bring eight live music performances to the Fall Fest over the span of two days. On Sunday, a full venue of local musicians will perform.
“The Summit County Arts Council puts Meet the Artists events together as a fundraiser,” said Tom Kramer, coordinator of the Meet the Artists show. “Our group uses these funds to help with doing art projects for Wounded Heroes, art classes and all the supplies for Snowy Peaks School, 4H groups and home-school programs.”
Bringing music, food, drinks and art into one central location, Frisco’s Fall Festival is a highlight of the season.
“It’s not glitzy or commercial,” Agee said. “It fits the vibe of Frisco. This event speaks to Frisco residents. It’s a lovely, laid-back event on their Main Street.”
Gilbertson said the Fall Fest is a chance to celebrate fall before stepping into ski season.
“What a great opportunity to support our local community, but also what a great opportunity to visit with neighbors before we all disappear into ski jackets for the winter,” she said.