The Grand Valley is a wonderful place to live, and I now have the pleasure of living in beautiful Fruita, Colorado. Fruita is a quiet family-based town that I absolutely love.
If you lived in the Valley as long as I have you tend to find out things about where you live. Let me tell you Fruita has a lot of fantastic little tidbits that everybody should know, and maybe a couple of things you may not have known.
I for one knew about many of these but didn't really know the history behind it. Small towns like Fruita always hold some amazing things.
This festival was named after a chicken named Mike who survived 18 months without his head. He became a bit of a celebrity appearing in Life and Time Magazines. Mike passed in 1947 by choking on a kernel while on tour in Arizona. This year we will be celebrating the 20th annual Mike the Headless Chicken Festival in his honor.
Fruita still has the feel of the west to it. With it still being a farming town, many of the people who run the farms are descendants of the original settlers of Fruita. It's also shown at the weekly rodeos during the summer and the farmers market that is put on. If you can believe it, Fruita used to be known for their fruit. A small town at its finest.
It may not seem like it now with all of the farmlands and mountains surrounding us, but dinosaurs were known to roam these parts. It is home to the first known Brachiosaurus and also discovered two-thirds of a Brontosaurus. There is a museum dedicated to the dinos of the Valley right here in Fruita.
Oldest Buildings Still In Use
With Stucco being the cool new thing in building not many old structures remain. There are three buildings that were built before 1940 that are still being used, The oldest of the three was built in 1908. With the other two being built in 1912 (with an addition added in 1936) and 1938. Apparently, those structures have stood the test of time.
Fruita is home to many different trails that you could choose from. Take the world-class Kokopelli trail. This one trail stretches over 142 miles all the way to Moab, Utah. This trail alone will take you 5-6 days to complete. You must have a support vehicle so that way you can replenish your supply of water.
Rare Birds Like To Call It Home
All kinds of rare birds like to call Fruita home. If you look closely enough you will see the majestic bald eagle soaring through the skies. Not only will you see bald eagles you will also catch a glance at peregrine falcons, blue herons, red-throated loon, and a red-necked grebe. A couple of these rare birds I didn't even know were a species.
People love to live here and that is evident in the way Fruita has been growing. They have been the winner of the Governor's Growth & Development Award for the past 4 years. That is huge for such a small town. You could almost say that Fruita is the dynasty of small-town growth.
Starting in February the racing season begins in Fruita. When I moved to Fruita it confused me seeing all these people running at different times. But once I knew what they were doing I wanted to join myself. The two biggest races have to be the RimRock Marathon and the Desert RATS multiday trail race. This race takes place on the world-class Kokopelli Trail. People will travel from all over to race other likeminded people.
Although Fruita has many different festivals it is home to the granddaddy that started it all in the Grand Valley. The Fruita Fall Festival. It was started in 1910 as a harvest festival for all of the local fruit farmers. It has since turned into the biggest of all the festivals in the Valley lasting for three days.
Was Home To Some Notable People
Living in such a small town you wouldn't think that many notable people or famous people would call this place home. The biggest name to have lived in Fruita is John Otto. He was the first superintendent of the Colorado National Monument. He was also the trailblazer who made many of the trails on the monument himself. Other notable people are Charlie Glass (popular African American cowboy, buried at Elmwood Cemetery), Elmer Riggs (paleontologist from the Chicago Field Museum), and Pat Ament ( Climber and Author).