The 25th Annual Great Fruitcake Toss

great fruitcake toss

The 25th Annual Great Fruitcake Toss

Presented by the Manitou Springs Chamber of Commerce & Collin Street Bakery

Located a mere seven miles away from the heart of downtown Colorado Springs sits the small town of Manitou Springs. Nestled in a shadowy basin at the foot of Pikes Peak, the town is a wonderous hodgepodge of modern culture and historical lore. Despite its somewhat hidden location, Manitou Springs thrives off a steady stream of tourist foot traffic driven by one-of-a-kind festivals, events, and traditions.

 

Let Your Fruitcake Fly!

One of the town’s most popular events, The Great Fruitcake Toss, occurs every January. On this day, the entire little hamlet of Manitou Springs congregates in the town’s park to celebrate, throw, and eat fruitcake!

Now, here at Collin Street, we acknowledge that not all fruitcakes are created equal. Some fruitcakes are just flat out bad, and shouldn’t be eaten. And those fruitcakes—the funky ones giving credence to all the world's fruitcake hate—should be TOSSED! Tossed and replaced with the most delicious fruitcake of all time: our DeLuxe®. That's why our bakery is proud to announce that this year, for the first time, we are The Great Fruitcake Toss’s presenting sponsor!

 

In fact, in preparation for this year’s festivities, we sat down with Manitou Springs Chamber of Commerce’s Special Events Coordinator, Jenna Gallas, to chat about what we can expect.

Interview With Jenna Gallas

CSB: Hi, Jenna! 

Jenna: Hi, guys!

 

CSB: We just wanted to say we are so excited to be able to participate in this year’s Fruitcake Toss. 

Jenna: We are very excited to have Collin Street back on board this year!

 

CSB: So, the feelings of excitement are mutual. We know this event has been going on for quite a while now. Can you give our audience a bit of an education on how it all began?

Jenna: So, The Great Fruitcake Toss was the brainchild of an events subcommittee from the Manitou Springs Chamber of Commerce back in 1996. The subcommittee thought locals might be interested in gathering at the park after the holidays to chuck their unwanted fruitcake gifts from the figurative ol’ Aunt Karens. The idea was that those cakes were bound to lay about the house until the holidays came around again— probably to be passed on to another unwanting recipient. So, The Great Fruitcake Toss was born! It’s been an annual sporting event ever since!

 

CSB: Subcommittees talking about tossing fruitcake, huh? Sounds like Manitou Springs has quite a few unique characters!

Jenna: That’s right! A lot of that has to do with how the town was founded. Our charming town is set in a canyon beneath Pike’s Peak, which I dunno if you know, is sometimes called ‘America’s Mountain.’ Manitou was a destination for countless travelers in the 1800s, as it lays claims to several actively flowing underground mineral springs. These springs are legendary for possessing healing powers based on the different densities of various minerals like calcium, potassium, sulfur, and even lithium. Local peoples had tapped these springs, so at various spots throughout town, you can see them flowing like fountains. In fact, you can still drink from them—but, you’ll have to bring your own cup!

Of course, as modern medicine developed, people stopped drinking from the springs as a source of healing. Now, it’s done as a kind of homage or novelty. It’s sort of this novelty that has nurtured our town’s tourist trade. People still come to see the spring but also to visit our retail shops, restaurants, and, of course, the World Famous Penny Arcade!

 

CSB: Sounds pretty fun and funky! 

Jenna: Oh yes! There’s a saying in town, “Keep Manitou Weird”. That’s exactly what we do when we plan our events each year. From tossing fruitcakes to racing coffins, we are a center for all things eclectic. We love it that way!

 

CSB: You know, talking about weirdness, the history of The Great Fruitcake Toss is pretty colorful.  We hear at one point in time, fruitcakes were being shot out of catapults?! Is that true?

Jenna: Yes. Years ago, contestants were allowed to use launching devices, including slingshots and catapults, to propel the cakes. But some of them were being flung too far, placing nearby homes in jeopardy from flying desserts. So, now we just use our arms.

 

CSB: Well, that seems safer. Tell us, what events can we expect to see from this year's toss?

Jenna: So this year, we’ll keep with tradition and have five events. A toss for distance, a toss for accuracy, and a toss for speed. We’ll use a radar gun to clock cake speeds. We’ll also have an obstacle course and, of course, a bake-off.

 

CSB: Do people have to bring their own fruitcakes to toss or are the fruitcakes provided?

Jenna: Most of the flying cakes are “rentals.” We make several dozen specifically for people to use and throw. This event is held near and dear to our community here in Manitou Springs. Everyone holding those “Free the Fruitcake” protesters you see each year, has a soft spot for those decadently decorated cakes adorned with flavorful nuts and cherries from Collin Street. No one dares show their face to throw a Collin Street Bakery cake!

 

CSB: Well, we hope not! Speaking of events, you know, we were so excited to provide this year’s winners with the best prize packs thus far. The winners of each of the five categories will receive a Regular DeLuxe® Fruitcake, a box of our Chocolate Covered DeLuxe® Fruitcake Petites, as well as Collin Street’s signature fruitcake stickers and magnets. Plus, we’re sending up some cute little individually-wrapped fruitcake samples so all the attendees can take home and enjoy!

Jenna: Hands down, we’ve got to say, Collin Street Bakery gets the “Good Sportsmanship” award at this competition. I mean, the participation of Collin Street has been one of excitement and surprise! How could a fruitcake bakery be interested in being involved in an event that encourages the throwing of their product in the name of fun and festivity?

 

CSB: You know, that’s a valid question! So, our opinion is, not all fruitcakes are great. We don’t dare defend all cakes because, well, how can you defend something you didn’t make? Our stance is this: some fruitcakes are bad; our fruitcake is good! Throw those bad cakes and eat our fruitcake!

Jenna: Well put!

 

CSB: So, if people in the Manitou Springs area catch wind of this event, do they need to sign up to attend or what?

Jenna: So more information about the event can be found on our website, ManitouSprings.org. There’s a link on the homepage directing to the toss. The event is free to attend but, so we can prepare the needed sacrificial fruitcake, we are encouraging people to RSVP on our Facebook event page.

 

CSB: Sounds like you guys are all ready to rock and roll! Good luck this year and we hope to be able to participate in person next year!

Jenna: Thank you so much and we hope so too!

Unable to Attend This Year’s Event?

Not to worry! Wherever you are, take a video of yourself throwing out inferior fruitcakes and we might send you a Collin Street Bakery DeLuxe® Fruitcake because we believe good fruitcake truly can reform even the most avid fruitcake hater. So, help us prove our point - #FruitcakeHateIsFake. Spread the word! Already Think Fruitcakes Are Fabulous?

LEAVE US A REVIEW!

January 11, 2021
Comments
Margarie Edlin
January 18, 2021 at 6:35 PM
I love fruitcakes, but no one else in my family likes them, every year I usually buy one for myself, but never got around to it this year. Everything was different, because of the virus. I kept seeing your Facebook ads, and kept saying I was going to order. One day you also had a pineapple cake, which looked delicious. I am almost 83, so if I am still around next year, I will definitely order one of each!
Collin Street Bakery
January 22, 2021 at 10:37 AM
Thank you so much for ordering from us! We can't wait until you try our different pecan cakes, did you know we sell a package of all four different cakes?
L E Jeffreys
January 23, 2021 at 12:18 PM
Why wait? I ordered their cherry fudge pecan cake for my birthday.
Collin Street Bakery
February 9, 2021 at 1:18 PM
Delicious birthday cake choice!!
Michael Edwards
January 23, 2021 at 11:54 AM
i love the fruit cakes every since was introduced by a friend threw a fundraiser many many years ago and have ordered them every since, most of my family love them also, but do not purchase any due too the price I share with them and will continued to order them
Collin Street Bakery
February 9, 2021 at 1:01 PM
Thank you so much Michael for your kind words.
Martha Hinojosa
January 23, 2021 at 11:54 AM
We love your fruit cakes.They are delicious . Don’t forget to let me know when there’s a special price for the Deluxe Fruit Cakes. Thanks
Collin Street Bakery
February 9, 2021 at 1:10 PM
Hello Martha, as long as you are signed up for our email newsletter you will always be updated with all of our sales!
Ms Avaleen Scott-little
January 23, 2021 at 11:57 AM
your fruit cakes are great ,will continue to order them
Collin Street Bakery
February 9, 2021 at 1:13 PM
Thank you! We are so happy you liked them.
Vickie Stephens
January 23, 2021 at 11:59 AM
Do you have the petite apricot pecan on sale?
Collin Street Bakery
February 9, 2021 at 1:14 PM
Thank you for your question. The Apricot Pecan Petites are currently on sale.
Joe Campise
January 23, 2021 at 12:05 PM
We love the Collins fruitcake...the regular one and this year we ordered the apricot...every bite is full of nuts and fruit...so your mouth gets a great workout full of taste...I highly recommend you try it....this is Not your grandmother's fruitcake
Collin Street Bakery
February 9, 2021 at 1:15 PM
We agree! They are absolutely delicious.
Elizabeth Werth
January 23, 2021 at 12:12 PM
Before I read this interview, I got a package of two slices of Fruitcake out of the freezer and microwaved them in their little baggie for 30 seconds. Great interview - great fruitcake. I have family in Colorado. Perhaps I'll get there for the "Toss" some year!
Collin Street Bakery
February 9, 2021 at 1:16 PM
That sounds like a wonderful idea!
Patricia Gamache
January 23, 2021 at 12:20 PM
I have been buying your Fruitcakes for at least a decade or more every year, and had loved them. This year I my husband and I didn't think it was up to par. It seemed somewhat dry, and we were disappointed. I too am 83, and will still order from you, because ordinarily your fruitcakes are the Best!!
Collin Street Bakery
February 9, 2021 at 1:20 PM
Hello Patricia, we are so sorry our cake was not to your standards this year. Please contact our customer service team and we will gladly make this up to you!
Fred R.
January 23, 2021 at 12:54 PM
That "dear Aunt Karen" sent us YOUR Collin St. Fruitcakes from the time I was a wee one.... After "Aunt Karen" went to her great reward (hope it included fruitcake), I started buying for our family. Now that I am an old coot (or perhaps a "cootess"), I order for all our kids, grandkids and great grandkids. Most of them profess to absolutely love the Collin St. STUFF, and eagerly await Christmas and their 'sure to come' gift from their "Aunt Karen". Your fruitcake is the best, and if it won't be waiting for me when I meet my maker, I ain't going, unless I can come back and get one and take it with me..... Congrats on baking the best fruitcake in the whole universe.
Collin Street Bakery
February 9, 2021 at 1:30 PM
Thank you so much! We absolutely love your kind words, we are so glad you share the amazing cakes with everyone you love.
Jane Moy
January 23, 2021 at 1:09 PM
Fruitcake is one of my favorite food groups! My cousin in Texas sent me my first Collin Street Bakery pecan cake and petite bites a few years ago and I was hooked! Definitely the best have tasted- and I have had fruitcake from all around the world. My aunties are in their 90's and also love the petites I sent them for the past 2 years. Fortunately for me, I am the only one in this home that likes fruitcake- so I do not have to share with them!!! 5 stars! *****
Collin Street Bakery
February 9, 2021 at 1:47 PM
The more for yourself the better!
Diane
January 23, 2021 at 1:22 PM
I am disappointed in your company throwing fruitcakes... do you realize that not one crumb goes wasted in our home....we are in a pandemic and can’t waste food....to throw food to me isn’t a joke as so many are struggling to put food on the table...
Collin Street Bakery
February 9, 2021 at 1:53 PM
We understand your concerns regarding the leftover fruitcakes at the Great Fruitcake Toss event and would be happy to enlighten you on the process.  We are aware of the potentially negative optics of baking food to toss when we have members of the community and our country as a whole who have restricted access to food and face hunger daily. With this in mind, Manitou Springs Chamber of Commerce selected a recipe for the cakes which only have 3 ingredients - flour, coffee, and raisins.  The event encourages participants to bring their own leftover cake as well as a non-perishable food items to exchange for a ticket to toss. They have consistently donated collected items to the Manitou Springs Community Food Pantry each year and stocked their shelves to support their local demand. Overall, the Great Fruitcake Toss’ net impact is providing food to those who need it - not depriving them of it.  At the exit of the even, participants may either take the cake home with them to eat or leave with the Chamber of Commerce to take to Smokebrush Farm at SunMountain Center. As a biodynamic farm, their resident potbelly pig and his neighboring chickens will be fed the fruitcakes, eliminating any waste.
Penny Reynolds
January 23, 2021 at 1:38 PM
There are no bad fruitcakes! I will take any inferior cakes!
Collin Street Bakery
February 9, 2021 at 3:17 PM
They are all so delicious!
Richard Inman
January 23, 2021 at 1:42 PM
I love your fruit cakes. Every year I have one at my Christmas dessert table. I live in Mexico City. Congratulations for the taste and quality
Collin Street Bakery
February 9, 2021 at 3:37 PM
Thank you so much! We love to hear from our international customers.
Christopher Kurth
January 23, 2021 at 1:46 PM
In my family tradition my German grandmother and my English mother always made sure that we had a fruitcake in the colorful Collin Street Bakery (CSB) tin at the holidays. But now I realize that the all-natural ingredients and nuts and and fruit make it a great energy bar, anytime snack so I'll be ordering throughout the year. But I won't be throwing them....unless I can find one of those dreary loaf bricks sold under the fruitcake name. Those I'll throw!
Collin Street Bakery
February 9, 2021 at 3:39 PM
Our fruitcakes are so delicious, no need to throw them. We are glad you enjoy them.
Barbara Jacobs
January 23, 2021 at 3:17 PM
Fruitcake have received a bad rap over the years. I don't know why. If you don't like it, don't eat it, but keep your comments to yourself and let us enjoy what we like. I love Collin Street fruitcake, especially the apricot and pineapple ones.
Collin Street Bakery
February 9, 2021 at 3:40 PM
We totally agree! We are so glad you enjoy our fruitcakes and texas pecan cakes!
Patricia Eicher
January 23, 2021 at 3:47 PM
I would never throw away any one of your yummy fruitcakes - my favorite is the golden pecan sliced. My neighbor has a mother in Texas and when they drive down to see her from Colorado, they always stop and buy fruitcakes and pecan pie! They always offer to pick up my fave for me and I count the days till they return to Colorado!
Collin Street Bakery
February 9, 2021 at 3:45 PM
They sound like great friends with great taste!
Kristy
January 23, 2021 at 4:09 PM
Dear Collin Street Bakery team, what a waste of food! I am absolutely shocked and horrified about this event! How can it be that CSB support this festival on which so many edible fritcakes are wasted while 12 Million children in the country suffer hunger because they rely on food provided in schools which are closed due to Covid? What about donating all of this fruitcakes to a food bank?
Collin Street Bakery
February 9, 2021 at 1:51 PM
We understand your concerns regarding the leftover fruitcakes at the Great Fruitcake Toss event and would be happy to enlighten you on the process.  We are aware of the potentially negative optics of baking food to toss when we have members of the community and our country as a whole who have restricted access to food and face hunger daily. With this in mind, Manitou Springs Chamber of Commerce selected a recipe for the cakes which only have 3 ingredients - flour, coffee, and raisins.  The event encourages participants to bring their own leftover cake as well as non-perishable food items to exchange for a ticket to toss. They have consistently donated collected items to the Manitou Springs Community Food Pantry each year and stocked their shelves to support their local demand. Overall, the Great Fruitcake Toss’ net impact is providing food to those who need it - not depriving them of it.  At the exit of the even, participants may either take the cake home with them to eat or leave with the Chamber of Commerce to take to Smokebrush Farm at SunMountain Center. As a biodynamic farm, their resident potbelly pig and his neighboring chickens will be fed the fruitcakes, eliminating any waste.
Phoebe Anderson
January 23, 2021 at 6:34 PM
I have always loved a good fruitcake, but yours takes it many steps further, they are fabulous fruitcakes! A friend gifted me with my first Collin Street Bakery fruitcake, and l was hooked! Previously, l had some pretty good fruitcakes from other sources, but they're nothing after you have eaten a Collin Street Bakery fruitcake. Sadly, l didn't get one for Christmas 2020. I didn't even get one for my birthday, January 18. I can only hope to get one for Valentine's Day. I love them and to me, every occasion is perfect for a fruitcake. I had actually wanted one for a wedding cake. My mother-in-law talked me out of it.
Collin Street Bakery
February 9, 2021 at 3:49 PM
We agree every occasion deserves a delicious fruitcake. Thank you for your kind words.
Dot Buckley
January 23, 2021 at 6:54 PM
I was so looking forward to a Pineapple fruitcake but you only sold them in petites. Have you stopped making the regular size fruitcake in pineapple?
Collin Street Bakery
February 10, 2021 at 11:51 AM
Hello, we do still sell the Pineapple Pecan Cake. Here is a direct link to it, https://collinstreet.com/pineapple-pecan-cake
pat vaughan
January 23, 2021 at 7:52 PM
Just wondering why you don't sell the "not so lovely" cakes at a reduced price?? I might could afford one then!!!
Collin Street Bakery
February 10, 2021 at 11:54 AM
Hello, during the Christmas season we do sell imperfect cakes at our seconds store, which is next to our 7th avenue Corsicana location.
Anna Denton
January 23, 2021 at 8:07 PM
Not a day goes by that I don't eat some Collin Street Fruitcake! The tin on my kitchen counter had half a cherry chocolate and half a golden. They are getting smaller and smaller. I'll be ordering my favorite Salted Carmel Pecan any day now. I share a little with my family and friends but enjoy my daily treats that keep me a healthy 89 years old.
Collin Street Bakery
February 10, 2021 at 12:24 PM
We are so glad you enjoy our cakes!
Ms Lisa Krokovich
January 23, 2021 at 9:33 PM
Your fruitcake is the only one I've ever liked. It's delicious--filed with so many pecans and other good stuff. I know today was a fun time at Manitou Springs.
Collin Street Bakery
February 10, 2021 at 12:25 PM
Thank you so much! We are so glad you like our fruitcakes.
GERALD E. MCWILLIAMS
January 24, 2021 at 7:51 AM
IF TOSSING FREE FRUIT CAKES ,TOSS ONE MY WAY CUSTOMER NUMBER. 055728760
Collin Street Bakery
February 10, 2021 at 12:31 PM
We LOVE the attitude!
Zachary Herrera
January 24, 2021 at 10:42 AM
I live in Wylie Texas. I worked on Richland Chambers dam in the 80s and would take cookies home with me on a regular basis. I started buying fruitcakes at that time, sometimes, the Oops Cakes. I sent sakes to my mother and my sister who was her care giver. It got to be too much for my sister and during a hospital stay, her doctor would not release her to return as my mother’s caregiver. My younger sister moved in with my mother and my older sister moved into an apartment. She passed away shortly afterwards and her fruitcake came to my house. I took it to her funeral and placed it in her casket to share with the other saints in Heaven. My fruitcake list has fluctuated over the years due to family members deaths and finding other family members & friends who are aficionados. My mother made fruit cakes in one pound Hills Brothers coffe cans for Mail carriers, friends, etc. she cooked them with a lot of rum. Thank you for the many memories I have with your fruit cakes.
Collin Street Bakery
February 11, 2021 at 5:00 PM
Thank you so much for sharing this with us, we appreciate it a lot. We are so happy our cakes bring back wonderful memories. We know she is surely sharing the fruitcake with the saints!
Michael Kirk
January 24, 2021 at 4:42 PM
I buy a Fruitcake or two from you ever year, for our Family Holiday reunion. However very few of us like Fruitcake so there is always some left, just a few slices for me to take home. This year with no reunion I bought the the Fruitcake petities and gave to friends and family with just enough left for me.
Collin Street Bakery
February 11, 2021 at 5:05 PM
What a wonderful idea! We are so glad to be apart of your holiday traditions. We are so glad there is always slices leftover. The more for yourself, the better!
Patricia Ann Gann Horta
January 24, 2021 at 4:44 PM
It has been a long time since I had a piece of fruitcake. I, although an American, now 78, have lived in Brazil for almost 62 years. People here do not make fruitcake like in the USA. My mom sent me a couple when she was still alive, but that has now been over 23 years. Keep hoping some relative will remember me...... At least I now can order one. Don’t think I would be able to throw one.
Collin Street Bakery
February 11, 2021 at 5:06 PM
We are so sorry for your loss. We are so glad you were finally able to order yourself a cake! They are delicious.
Karim Bhaidani
January 25, 2021 at 11:23 PM
Want to buy some deluxe fruit cake
Collin Street Bakery
February 9, 2021 at 3:50 PM
Hello, were you able to order a fruitcake?
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