Apple Harvest Festival draws great crowds
By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Glastonbury - posted Tue., Oct. 18, 2011
The 37th annual Apple Harvest Festival drew thousands to the grounds of the Riverfront Community Center over the weekend of Oct. 15-16. With clear weather both days, the only drawback was mud, due to heavy rains over the days prior, but crews worked hard to lay down moisture-absorbing hay before and during the festival.
“We had great crowds and beautiful weather,” said Glastonbury Chamber of Commerce President Mary Ellen Dombrowski. “The mud was bad the first day, but other than that it was a great festival. We put down a lot of straw – all that we had.” Festival-goers didn’t seem to mind, and dealt with the mud in their own ways – many wore boots or other protective footwear, while others embraced nature and went barefoot.
Lynn ByWaters won third place in the fifth-annual Apple Pie Bake-off, Bruce Bowman came in second, and George Christensen took home the blue ribbon.
Christensen said one of his secrets was getting up “really early” to make his pie. “One of the hardest things was getting it to cool off before I could get it here,” he said, adding that another tricky part was getting the proper mix of brown and white sugar. Christensen said he doesn’t often cook, but he also recently won a pie-baking contest in Wethersfield, albeit of the mixed-fruit variety. He added that the apples for his pie came from Belltown Orchards.
“I’m very happy,” Christensen said of his win. “I was a little worried when the second and third places were announced. It was all riding on first place.”
Dombrowski said more than 200 volunteers made the event possible, and one of the new things that was received well were the Chamber’s value bags, which were given away at the Chamber’s pie booth with a minimum purchase. In general, the vendors were pleased.
“Some [vendors] said sales were a little slower than usual,” she said, “but that we did a great job and they were happy with the number of people.”
For information on other Glastonbury Chamber of Commerce events, visit www.glastonburychamber.com.