The annual Black Forest Festival
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The annual Black Forest Festival

By Lea Grady

The 2023 Black Forest Festival, an annual community tradition attended by several thousand people, was held Aug. 11 and Aug. 12 at the Black Forest Community Center and the adjoining Log School Park, off Black Forest Road and Shoup Road. 

This year’s festival theme was “At Home in the Black Forest.” The roads surrounding the area were closed to traffic to make them available for the parade and the outhouse races.

On Aug. 11, the festivities began with a sold-out Biergarten fundraiser — a night out with music, beer and fun. For the $25 general admission ticket, patrons received tickets to sample four beers from featured breweries, a party bag and a custom souvenir bag. VIP tickets were offered at $50 each for early admission and extra time to interact with the brewers and enjoy special sample pours. 

Antelope Ridge Meadery provided mead samples, said Tiffany Coles, the event organizer. Black Forest artist Terry Spence performed an acoustic set during the VIP admission, followed by WireWood Station, an Americana award-winning Rocky Mountain Variety Band from Monument, Colorado. Several local food trucks provided a variety of food items.

“The Biergarten fundraiser is part of the festival weekend, but the funds raised by this fundraiser go specifically toward the Black Forest Community Club and projects that we are doing,” Coles said. “The first two years, we directed the funds to the Raise the Roof project, and we were able to get a new roof last year.” The historic Black Forest Community Center was built in 1926. The center is maintained by the nonprofit Black Forest Community Club, also the organizer of the festival. “This year’s and last year’s proceeds will be going to the ‘Love the Logs’ project because the logs on the community center need to be stripped and re-stained,” she said. “Some are starting to rot, and the bid we received to do this work is around $30,000.”

On Saturday morning, the festival started early at 6 a.m. with the annual pancake picnic breakfast, hosted by R&R Café and supported by Boy Scout Troop 70. The breakfast included pancakes, sausages, coffee and orange juice. The artisan and business booth fair opened to visitors at 8 a.m. The fair included a nonprofit area; and, for the first time, the Children’s Entrepreneur Market, a farmers market run entirely by kids. Entrepreneurs ages 5 to 16 sold handmade items, food, games and services. The kids had to sell their wares and oversee all aspects of their business. 

Other vendors at the fair included Mountain View Electric, National Mill Dog Rescue, artists of all genres, clothing, jewelry, books and health products. District 20 School Board candidates were on hand as well. 

Alpacas, goats and horse exhibits, including a Mustang Ambassador Program booth, which promoted learning and leadership, were part of the festival. Hot Boots Band provided music entertainment in the Log School Park gazebo.

The Black Forest Festival Parade began with the national anthem by Nuance, an all-female a cappella choir out of Pine Creek High School. Brian Jerman, the director and producer of Falcon Vision at the U.S. Air Force Academy, introduced floats representing local businesses, churches, Boy Scouts, school marching bands, local nonprofit groups, the fire department and others. Families lined up in their camping chairs on both sides of Black Forest Road while people on the floats threw candy to them. The parade was followed by Outhouse Races.

“All proceeds from the festival as a whole end up going towards the community,” Coles said. “At the end of the year, the board of the Black Forest Community Club donate funds from the festival to various nonprofit charity organizations from our area.” Last year, Black Forest Cares, the Black Forest Educational Opportunity Foundation and Black Forest Fire and Rescue were among other beneficiaries of the fundraiser. 

The Community Center is a log structure built by the Black Forest community in 1926 with logs donated from local families.“The Community Center is a pivotal force in the heart of our unique Black Forest community. With your help, we can keep the Community Center available to all for another 90-plus years,” Coles said. 

Photos by Lea Grady 

BF kids market

Landon, Gavin and Kayley Ramer sold their homemade accessories at the first-ever Children’s Entrepreneur Market. 

BF alpacas

The alpacas are always a welcome site at the Black Forest Festival. These alpacas wore their sheered coats to the activitie

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