Did you realize Grand Junction has had an Arbor Day celebration for 19 years?

Celebrating Trees In Grand Junction

Typically, Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday of April. However, Colorado and a few other states have gone rogue and opted to celebrate trees on a different day. For Colorado, that happens to be the third Friday in April, which this year happens to be April 15. However, Grand Junction's Arbor Day Festival doesn't happen until April 23.

Google Street View
Google Street View

Arbor Day is known as the Tree Planter's Holiday. It's all about celebrating trees and how important they are to the environment. It's a day that celebrates the planting, upkeep, and preservation of trees.

It's hard to know exactly, but it's been estimated that there are some 3 trillion trees in the world. That's in the neighborhood of 375 trees for every person around the entire globe.

I don't think anybody has a clue how many trees we have in Grand Junction, however, we do know that the Grand Junction Parks department is responsible for over 37,000 trees in the city.

19 Years of Southwest Arbor Fest in Grand Junction


The Grand Junction Parks and Recreation department has been hosting an Arbor Day celebration for 19 years called Southwest Arbor Fest. Over the years, the event has featured  tree seedlings, live music, beer tasting, friendly competitions including a chili cook-off, and a mac and cheese competition. In fact, hanging in my office at the radio station is a silver spoon I won one year for taking third place in the media chili cook-off, and I found this second place plaque I received in a box. I have long since retired from competitive chili cooking.

Zane Mathews
Zane Mathews

The chili cook-off is gone and it's possible that the COVID-19 pandemic squashed the mac and cheese thing, but, Southwest Arbor Fest is alive and well.

Grand Junction Southwest Arbor Fest 2022

This year's Southwest Arbor Fest in Grand Junction happens on April 23 at Lincoln Park from noon to 5 p.m.The event will look similar to previous events except there will be no chili or mac and cheese tasting.

  • Live Music
  • Touch-a-Truck
  • Tree Seedling Giveaway
  • Artisan Booths
  • Guided Notable Tree Walk
  • Kid Activities
  • Food Truck Showcase
  • Colorado Craft Beer Tasting - $25

Admission to Southwest Arbor Fest is free so if you aren't doing anything on Saturday, head over to Lincoln Park in Grand Junction and celebrate trees.

Memories of Grand Junction's Southwest Arborfest 2003-2005

Southwest Arbor Fest is an annual event in Grand Junction now in its 19th year. I found some old photos under a pile of record albums and cds in a radio station closet that were taken at the festival from 2003 to 2005. Take a quick stroll back in time to the early days of Grand Junction's Southwest Arbor Fest.

Western Colorado Car Shows 2022

The car show season is here and there are plenty of opportunities to see the amazing classic cars, hot rods, trucks, tractors, motorcycles, and antique vehicles in western Colorado. Here is a look at some of the car shows scheduled on the western slope in 2022.


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