BeetleFest returns to Frisco Saturday
Summit Daily News
The fourth annual BeetleFest carves its way back to Frisco’s Main Street Saturday and includes a lumberjack show, the 4K Beetle Stomp Fun Run, bug petting zoo and bug eating.
Yes, bug eating.
The event provides education about the mountain pine beetle’s impact on Rocky Mountain forests, but is really meant to be a good time, said Suzanne Lifgren, Frisco marketing director.
BeetleFest began four years ago after the beetle infestation really started impacting the area.
“We decided to educate the public in a fun, festival-style way,” Lifgren said. The first year “really honed in” on the beetle concept – there was a beetle band, a Volkswagen Beetle and a beetle costume contest, among other things.
“It was very beetle-y,” Lifgren said.
Today, the event has evolved a bit to include forest and infestation education, what can be done with beetle-kill wood, and how to keep diversity within forests “so we have a healthy environment.”
But, the fun elements are still there as well. Activities include the fun run, a bug petting zoo – which includes pine beetles – an opportunity to sledgehammer a vintage VW Bug, and what Lifgren calls a “double dog dare candy store”; it has everything from typical gummy worms to edible earthworms.
An “eye-opening” lumberjack performance mimics logging competitions from the early 1900s: Ax throwing, underhand chopping, log rolling and chainsaw carving are just a few of the Paul Bunyon-like activities showcased.
Live music is provided by Euforquestra, which plays high-intensity global dance music with percussion and horns that fuses Afro-beats, reggae, dub, funk and rock.
All proceeds go to the Friends of the Dillon Ranger District to support the nonprofit organization’s forest fire mitigation and restoration efforts.
“Experts estimate the pine beetle infestation will claim nearly 90 percent of Colorado’s pines, so we’re committed to helping with reforestation efforts by hosting BeetleFest to benefit Friends of the Dillon Ranger District,” Lifgren said.
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