Almost time for the Apple Harvest Festival

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Glastonbury - posted Sun., Oct. 2, 2011
A child eyes some caramel-covered apples at last year's Apple Harvest Festival. Photos by Steve Smith.
A child eyes some caramel-covered apples at last year's Apple Harvest Festival. Photos by Steve Smith.

The 37th annual Apple Harvest Festival is rapidly approaching, and the last-minute details are being worked on by the Glastonbury Chamber of Commerce staff. The Apple Harvest Festival will take place Oct. 15 and 16, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at Riverfront Park near the Riverfront Community Center on Welles Street.

While there will be the usual lineup of rides, exhibits and - most importantly - food, there are a few new additions this year.

The Chamber staff worked diligently in response to the community to bring in a wider variety of vendors, and this year, more than 70 vendors (which is more than half of the total number of vendors attending) will be spending the weekend at their first Apple Harvest Festival.

In keeping with the Chamber's wellness initiatives, a “wellness stage” will feature 15-minute fitness demonstrations from local businesses, including everything from a Zumba demonstration by Fit and Fun, to ballroom dancing by Fred Astaire Dance Studio, to yoga by Fuller Yoga. There will also be a performance by Shaolin Wushu of South Windsor.

Also in response to popular demand, an ATM will be located just outside the front gate of the festival, eliminating the long walks to Main Street to grab some extra cash.

The entertainment lineup will include the Backbeat City Performing Arts Center's high school show choir on Oct. 15 at 10:30 a.m. The Glastonbury High School Drama Club will perform at 1 p.m., and a local band, “Psychadelic '60s,” will perform favorites from the era of ground-breaking “super-group” rock at 2 p.m.

On Sunday, Oct. 16, the entertainment will start off with Timothy Gurshin, who will bring his blend of folk, rock, blues and country. Gurshin will play his own arrangements, as well as classic acoustic music from Bob Dylan to Green Day. Frankie & the Know-It-Alls will take the stage from 2 to 4 p.m., with their stylistic mix of classic rock, blues and swing.

The festival will again include a craft fair, featuring more than 100 talented artists, jewelers and craftsmen who live locally or come from surrounding states. Merchandise includes handcrafted jewelry, accessories, children's toys and clothing, candles and soaps, wreaths, sweaters, glassware, original artwork and more.

The festival's road races will take place on Sunday morning, just prior to the festival opening at 10 a.m. For the second year, the Apple Harvest Festival 5K will be at the Pavilion at Riverfront Park (near the baseball diamond). There will also be a 1K race and a Kid's Fun Run.

Also for the younger set, the Kid’z Zone will be buzzing with activity throughout the weekend, with activities and demonstrations geared specifically towards younger children.  The Goddard School will have hands-on arts and craft projects for young children from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., both days. Free pony rides will be offered from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

The 5th Annual Apple Pie Baking Contest will be held on Sunday. Pies should be delivered between 10 and 11 a.m. There are two categories this year – for professional and home bakers. The contest is free to enter, and registration forms are available on the Chamber's website,

The Chamber is also asking for volunteers to help run the event. Those interested can find more information on the Chamber's website.

The Chamber is dedicating this year's festival to Dave Cox, who was instrumental in mapping out the festival each year. Cox passed away suddenly in July, at the age of 51.


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