Though you may not want to admit it, summer will soon come to an end.
And while it’s not always easy to trade shorts for sweaters, Schweitzer Mountain Resort’s Fall Fest has helped with the transition for the past 26 years.
This year’s festival, Friday through Monday, features more than 75 regional microbrews and ciders, plus several regional wines.
Per usual, Fall Fest features a variety of glassware, all emblazoned with the Fall Fest logo, for patrons to purchase.
Before deciding which glassware to offer, the events and activities director and staff evaluate online pre-orders and on-site demand from previous years.
“Based on those trends over the years, we’ve tried to decide the glasses that are going to continue to appeal to the same kind of demand,” Schweitzer Marketing Manager Dig Chrismer said.
This year’s taster glass, for example, is, at 7 ounces, small for a taster, but Chrismer said it could also be used as a rocks glass after Fall Fest.
“That always appeals to people to have not just a pint glass but another option as well,” she said.
In addition to the taster glass ($15, three fills), attendees can purchase a limited edition 18-ounce travel growler ($45, three fills) that comes with a sealed growler lid and a travel/coffee lid. The growler must be purchased online. Other drinkware options range from a 20-ounce stein for $40 to a 15-ounce stemless glass fro $25, with drink fills included.
Those not drinking alcohol can buy a 16-ounce stainless steel soda cup ($15) or a 14-ounce soda mug ($14), both with three fills from the Coca Cola Soda tent.
Beer and wine tokens are available for purchase throughout the weekend at the merchandise tent.
For the under-21 crowd, Fall Fest will include a soda tent where attendees can mix their own flavors.
“Schweitzer is such a family destination that we want to make sure there’s plenty for the kids to do so the soda tasting tent is awesome,” Chrismer said. “Having their own special mugs that are just for soda and non-alcoholic beverages are great and it still keeps everyone involved at Fall Fest and part of the event. Yes, it’s a beer event, but it’s nice to not just be solely focused on that.”
The beer tent and vendors will be open from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, noon to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday.
As Fall Fest marks the last weekend of summer operations, the mountain will be open for those looking to get in one last hike or mountain bike ride.
The chairlift will run 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday.
Buses will run every half-hour from the Red Barn and the village on Saturday and Sunday only. The first bus leaves the Red Barn at 11 a.m., and the final downhill bus leaves the village at 7:30 p.m.
The Selkirks Pend Oreille Transit Authority will extend their route to the Red Barn on Saturday and Sunday.
As it does each year, Fall Fest features plenty of entertainment and activities to keep guests of all ages entertained all weekend.
The live music kicks off Friday with Dimestore Prophets (4-6 p.m.), Dub Lounge International (6:30-8 p.m.) and, in Chimney Rock Grill, Electric Cole Show at 7 p.m.
On Saturday, the Zach Cooper Band takes the stage from noon to 2 p.m., followed by Letter B (2:30-4:30 p.m.) and Shakewell (5-7 p.m.).
Trego (noon-2 p.m.) will kick things off on Sunday before Dodgy Mountain Men (2:30-4:30 p.m.) and Shred Kelly (5-7 p.m.) take the stage.
The Powers (11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.) and Devon Wade Music (2-4 p.m.) close the festival on Monday.
Concerts will be held in the amphitheater on the Musical Chairs run.
All weekend long, Schweitzer’s village green will feature a climbing wall, a trampoline jumper and other kid-friendly activities.
Arts, craft and food vendors will be situated around the clock tower, and Schweitzer’s Sky House will offer dining options from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Fall Fest will also feature barbeque, food from Chimney Rock, Mojo Coyote Cafe, Pucci’s Pub, Powder Hound Pizza, Meltz, Mandala Pizza and more.
Now in its 26th year, the folks at Schweitzer have found that when it comes to Fall Fest, consistency is key.
“As much as people are always looking for new, there’s a really awesome comfort to know that Labor Day Weekend at Schweitzer is going to be as good as it’s always been, if not better, by subtle little changes without really having to change the overall event,” Chrismer said. “We have a lot of our returning guests. … It’s a huge compliment to us that this has really become a tradition for a lot of people.”