If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Eat ‘Em

Beetlefest 2008.
Beetlefest 2008

Last fall, in lieu of holding another been-there-done-that Oktoberfest, the city of Frisco decided to smash a 1970’s VW Bug, dunk a guy named Rick Herwehe from A Cut Above Forestry into a vat of cold water and sell Sour Cream and Onion Larvae to Summit County Residents. And so BeetleFest was born. The point? Raise awareness about the mountain pine beetles’ troubling destruction of millions of acres of lodgepole pine and raise funds for the Friends of the Dillon Ranger District, a nonprofit dedicated to forest fire mitigation and restoration efforts.

BeetleFest 2009 will be held on September 12th, and this time, Frisco is banking on seeing more attendees from across the Front Range. “We had a great time last year,” says Tim Bock, Frisco’s marketing and communications director. “The community really enjoyed themselves and asked us to do the festival again. So we wanted to open it up to a larger audience.”

Bock expects the festival to draw about 5,000 people—and many will dress the part. “Costumes are huge in Summit County,” Bock says. “We’re expecting tons of participation and we’re anticipating some pretty cool prizes provided by Summit County News and local radio station KSMT.”

Festival goers can race in the BeetleStomp 4K in the morning and watch a Lumberjack demonstration afterward. The dunk tank will be back, as well as the opportunity to sledgehammer a vintage Volkswagen Bug. “To take out your pine beetle aggression,” Bock explains.

Other notable activities include a bug petting zoo provided by the Denver Butterfly Pavilion and a bug-eating challenge where the squeamish can sample “mudpies,” a.k.a. cupcakes with gummy worms, and the not-so-squeamish can try chocolate covered grasshoppers with Oreo cookie crumbles. Plus there will be live performances by Luv Brothers, Marty Jones and the Great Unknowns and The Woodies.

For more info go to www.theevilpinebeetle.com.

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