Applefest is a smash once again

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:16

    WARWICK-It seems that Applefest, Warwick's largest and most attended event, has always enjoyed pretty good weather. Sometimes it's warm and sometimes its cool. But on Sunday, Oct. 3, everyone agreed that the weather, around 70 degrees with clear skies, was picture perfect as Warwick celebrated its 16th annual Applefest. The traditional festival has been held since 1988 to celebrate the local apple harvest. No one knows for sure, but given the fact that many people arrive and leave at different times and that they are also taking side trips to see other attractions, it can be estimated that the popular Hudson Valley event brings approximately 30,000 visitors to this area each year. Coordinator Betty Garrison and her committee had been planning for the one-day festival since last fall. This year, Applefest played host to 268 craft vendors and 40 food vendors. There was also free entertainment, children's rides and a traditional apple pie contest. Warwick resident Alice Lerro won first place in that contest and Krysta Vesely was the first place winner among the junior entries. A new 60 page Applefest Program Guide was also distributed. It contains vendor names and contact information, events schedule, artists, entertainment locations and educational material about apple varieties and the history of the apple in New York State. The guide also included a map of local orchards open to apple picking. Peter and Sondra Hall of Business Demographics, Inc., Pine Island, suggested the new guide and donated its design and production. "Visitors often call a few days later to find the name or address of a favorite vendor," said Garrison. "Hopefully, the new program will solve that problem." The Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Warwick Valley Community Center were the hosts of Applefest 2004. Local business sponsors for the event were Crystal Springs, Mountain Creek, Pool Fx, Provident Bank and WVT Communications. Although Applefest may have caused heavy traffic and some inconvenience for local residents, the committee reminds everyone that besides being a fun day, Applefest is also a major fundraiser and proceeds from the event are used for town-wide community projects and non-profit organizations.