It may be a long-standing annual community event spanning almost five decades, but the National Apple Harvest Festival is always ripe and ready with each new season. Come out to the South Mountain Fairgrounds during the weekends of Oct. 5 through 6 and Oct. 12 through 13 to experience a fall celebration decadent with hundreds of arts and crafts vendors, wholesome entertainment, and delicious food (including apples, of course). Plus there is plenty more that's good to the core!
The 49th Annual Apple Harvest Festival gives everyone something to delight in. Eager expectations to be had include a petting zoo, antique automobiles and steam engines, orchard tours,museum visits, contests and even onsite exhibitions and craftsman demonstrations. This year will feature chainsaw carving and pottery making. Live entertainment will be all around and come in many diverse forms. Strolling performers such as Tom Jolin, Jenny Jumbles the Clown, Topper the Clown and Past Time Harmonaires will be out and about. The characters of Johnny Appleseed, Mr. Apple and Honeybee will also be mingling with the crowd and the PA Apple Queen will make special appearances.
There is plenty for kids to enjoy throughout the two weekends including Apple Magic, old-fashioned games, face-painting and apple flume and pie eating contests which will take place in the Kid Country Building. At the Petting Zoo Building, kids can reach out to their favorite farm friends, literally, as well as enjoy music from CowJazz & Chicken Karaoke. There will also be scarecrow making and hayrides.
The Exhibition Area will feature Native American Dancers, Van Wagner's Tall Timber “Lumber Heritage Program” and much more the first weekend. The second weekend will include Middle Creek Tractor Swingers square dancing. On both weekends Shingle Mill will provide ongoing shows throughout the day.
Get to the core of your cravings as you enjoy plenty of goodies while you're strolling about. Food stands will be onsite dishing out the goods with such options as chicken barbeque, open pit beef, pork barbeque, sweet potato fries, country sausage and ham, scrapple, ribeye steak sandwiches, kettle korn, Pennsylvania Dutch Funnel Cakes and much more. If you came to the festival with an “appletite,” then you're in luck as you delight in all the apple opportunities including apple jellies, apple cider, candied apples, apple syrup making, apple pancakes, applesauce and peeler demonstrations, apple pie eating contests and much more. Other apple attractions include, but are not limited to, a pie baking contest and auction, apple-themed art and apple souvenirs.
Since its establishment in 1961, the National Apple Harvest Festival has experienced increasing peak seasons in its annual additions and offerings. Initially the festival started as the “1st Apple Harvest Holiday” under the Adams County Fruitgrowers Association along with Donald Trostel and Clair Fetters. In 1965, the Apple Harvest Festival debuted with features that included antique car displays, an apple cider press (still actively in use), an apple butter boil, pony rides, orchard bus tours, apple desserts and dishes, souvenirs, the Apple Blossom Queen and a Dutch style meal. The festival started operating as an event spanning the first two-weekends in October annually in 1975.
South Mountain Fairgrounds is an easy commute 10 miles northwest of Gettysburg. Rain or shine, the festival will opperate from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on all days. Admission is $9 for adults, $8 for seniors and free for children under 12. Admission cost includes parking as well as shuttle service.
For more information and full schedules and listings, visit www.harvestfest.com.