Festival kicks off today | SteamboatToday.com

Festival kicks off today

Event features 20 breweries

Kelly Silva

— The 11th annual Fall Foliage Festival and the ninth annual Steamboat Mountain Brewfest get under way today with activities for children and more than 20 breweries for adults to sip from.

Fall Foliage Festival hosts about seven vendors around Gondola Square including a large area for children’s games and activities from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

While patrons are shopping, eating and drinking, live entertainment will be performed by Little Laura and The Brew Glass Boys, Billspeering and Jive with special guest Scott Sloughton of Sucker.

Patrons of Fall Foliage and those of Brewfest will be able to enjoy the food vendors including Blue Sage pizza and Rick’s Catering.

Brewfest has invited more than 20 breweries from Colorado and Utah to supply more than 50 styles of beer.

From pilsners to Scottish ales, beer lovers will receive an unlimited number of 3-ounce tastes from noon to 5:30 p.m. at Headwall and a Brewfest mug.

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John James, Brewfest organizer, said it’s unfortunate they have to be strict with people who don’t have tickets or people who are under age, but it’s to regulate the event in order to host it in future years.

“We have a fenced off area because it tends to be a slippery slope for us. That makes it a little bit easier on us,” James said of tightly regulating the event.

James said having food vendors is essential when serving so much beer to people throughout the day.

James said he knows people will become intoxicated, but hopes they will be smart about getting home.

“It’s more for people with specific tastes, for people who enjoy styles of beer from stout to kolsch,” James said.

Tickets can be purchased at All That Jazz, Steamboat Brewery & Tavern, Steamboat Springs Chamber/Visitor Center, Central Park Liquor and Market on the Mountain for $24. Patrons entering Brewfest must have a ticket and be at least 21 years old.

“Fall Foliage has been there for the families,” James said.

Fall Foliage vendors include Morgan Trinkets, Rocky Mountain Art, Moon Lake Custom Furniture, Cat’s Clay Works, Double Tiger, Steamboat Stitchery and OM Imports.

Dina Monico, chamber special events director, said she’s tried hard to invite the vendors who make hand-crafted items.

But the biggest part of Fall Foliage, she said, is the family-oriented activities.

“A huge piece is family. Kids can roll up their sleeves and have something to do,” Monico said.

Steamboat firefighters also plan to have a booth at the event to raise money for victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Steamboat firefighter Shawn Zwak said volunteer firefighters also will be walking around with a boot to collect donations that will benefit fire stations and particular firefighter families affected by the attacks.

“Just knowing what they did and the fact that they were trapped inside the Trade Center when it collapsed. That’s what struck people,” Zwak said.

Zwak said many Steamboat firefighters went to the National Firefighter Academy in Maryland and knew many New York firefighters who were killed.

The firefighters also plan for an ice cream social at the fire station in the near future to help raise more funds.