Yesterday I received a gift basket in the mail that I was supposed to pick up at the annual Lafayette Oatmeal Festival. This reminded me that I’m the twit who ditched the oatmeal festival (though for very understandable reasons). As I took the gift basket out of the box, it fell, making me the twit who also broke a Quaker oatmeal bowl she received for not attending the Oatmeal Festival. Whoops-si-doodles!
Then I took a picture of all these things and was reminded that my photos are crap and I cannot even be bothered to move the PediPaws I bought at Walgreens out of the background of my photos. (Nope, haven’t bought a Snuggie yet, but my friend Jenny knows how to make one!) Someday I’ll buy a D-SLR camera and become a real blogger!
Anyway, to feel less twit-like, I interviewed Ellen Kanazawa, the organizer of the Oatmeal Festival. Only, I interviewed her over a month ago, so again – I’m such a twit! Be grateful I manage to put on pants in the morning. So, hear you go, all your burning oatmeal questions answered, including an explanation as to why Colorado holds an oatmeal festival in winter!
I read that Lafayette started out as a coal mining town, but you’ve held an oatmeal festival for over 10 years now. What inspired your community to start an oatmeal festival, and not, for instance, a coal festival?
Because downtown Lafayette was faced with the newly constructed Hwy 287 bypass (that would re-route traffic away from downtown), retail and business owners looked for a way to peak interest and bring visitors to the heart of downtown during the slowest month of the year. Someone read that January was oatmeal month, thus, the idea was born.
Is there a particular reason the festival is held in January, besides the fact it is nice to eat a warm bowl of oatmeal on a cold day?
January is oatmeal month. To the best of our knowledge, the Lafayette Quaker Oatmeal Festival is the only one of its kind in the country.
Planning a festival like this must be a lot of work. Does anything go on behind the scenes that people might be surprised by? What kind of cooking pot do you use to make that much oatmeal?
Most people do not realize this Festival is actually three events in one: the 5K, the oatmeal breakfast and the health fair! And we pull it off with a staff of 3 part-time people. We are so fortunate to have so many in our community come together to help with this event. For instance, the Blue Parrot Restaurant in Louisville, CO, has been cooking pancakes from the very beginning (a huge undertaking!) Read more in this article.
The recipient of the Colorado Governor’s Award for Excellence, the Lafayette Quaker Oatmeal Festival includes an Oatmeal Breakfast with the world’s largest toppings bar, the Quicker Quaker 5K Walk /Run, a certified qualifier for the Bolder Boulder, and an interactive Health Fair. Boulder Community Hospital and Community Medical Center sponsor the Heath Fair which includes health screenings, health and science related programs and demonstrations. Attracting thousands from Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska and Washington, this one day event will be held on January 10, 2009, in Lafayette, Colorado. Produced by Lafayette Community Events, more information on the Lafayette Quaker Oatmeal Festival can be obtained by visiting www.discoverlafayette.com
What’s your favorite oatmeal topping?
I enjoy walnuts, brown sugar and fresh fruit….and Colorado peach jam!
Thanks to Ellen for putting up with me and for the gift basket, which I will try not to destroy when I move it off of my living room floor. You can view photos of the festival here. If you are in Lafayette, Colorado next January 9, 2010, stop by for a bowl!