Farm fresh produce, local goods, live music and good times in Dillon

Erica Marciniec
Special to the Daily

You know it’s summertime in Dillon when Buffalo Street fills with smiling people out and about on Fridays, taking in the sun beneath the majesty of Buffalo Mountain and Red Peak while filling their shopping baskets full of farm fresh produce and sundries. Or later on Friday evenings, when folks gather at the Dillon Amphitheatre for the sunset and free summer concerts.

A Summit County tradition, the Dillon Farmers Market runs Fridays beginning today throughout the summer, with approximately 120 vendors on hand offering fresh Colorado vegetables, meat and fish; local products such as goat cheese, honey and hand cream; and handmade art and crafts including photography, iron works, paintings and jewelry.

“The setting we have in Dillon makes for one of the nicest open air markets,” said town Events Manager Matt Miano, who came on board this year and oversees both the market and the music. “Being a local, I go for the produce and meat; Summit County visitors often come for the artisans.”

It’s not an easy task to tote fresh produce to 9,100 feet, but a number of farm vendors come anyway, laden with fresh produce like bell peppers, green onions, tomatoes, broccoli, green beans, zucchini, eggplant, chili peppers and assorted berries, to name a few.

“Every farm is a little different and it depends on what’s in season too,” said Miano, who seeks to attract additional farm vendors. New this year are Osage Gardens, an organic farm located in New Castle, and Eat a Peach. “All of the vendors are good folk who love coming up here and participating,” he added. “When your vendors are smiling, everyone’s smiling.”

Also a good lunch stop, the Dillon Farmers Market features food concessions ranging from fish tacos, salmon hoagies and hot dogs to gyros, with several new concessionaires on board this year. There is a kids’ arts and crafts booth courtesy of the Family Intercultural Resource Center, face painting and picnic tables where families can listen to live music “while the kids run through grass and dance around.”

Local musicians play from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the market runs 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Fridays through August 31 with the exception of August 10, when the Dillon Barbecue will take its place. In September, a scaled-down market will run three additional weeks to close out the season.

“When the sun is shining in Dillon it just doesn’t get any better,” said Miano.

It also doesn’t get much better when the summer sun is setting over town, especially on Fridays when free concerts light up the Lake Dillon shore at the Dillon Amphitheatre, which now has an upgraded sound system.

Playing the first Friday concert of the season on June 22 are The Luv Brothers, a local Summit County bluegrass/Americana band who describe their sound as “a high energy ruckus style of bluegrass and country,” or “what happens when a couple of metal heads from Chicago start jamming with a couple of Colorado natives.” The Nacho Men take the stage the following week on June 29.

The summer series promises to be a good, eclectic mix, including Dakota Blonde (July 20), the Air Force Academy’s Falconaires (July 27) and Doo Wop Denny (August 31), back by popular demand. For the full season listing, see the Town of Dillon website.

The Friday Night Concert Series runs 7 – 9 p.m. through September 7 courtesy of the Dillon Business Association. The concerts are pet-free and outside alcohol is not permitted, but beer and wine can be purchased along with concessions from the Boy Scouts. “It’s just a nice way to get out in the evening and see some entertainment for free while enjoying the sunset over Buffalo,” Miano said.

From fresh veggies to live tunes, Dillon seems like the place to be on Fridays, sunshine to sunset all summer long.

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