On Saturday, October 12, hundreds of visitors flocked to the Annual Apple Festival sponsored by the Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce. Even as it continues to attract visitors from beyond the region, the event kept its hometown feel, as local schools and organizations participated. The Junior Class from Springfield High School sold pumpkins, while the 5th grade from Union Street School held a bake sale. Among the groups hosting booths were: the STAR program, the First Congregational Church, Valley Health Connections, the Humane Society, Relay for Life, and Friends of the Library. Local musicians Bill Brink, Dag Shaw, Kim Wilcox, Jessie Peters, and Matt Meserve shared their talent with performances throughout the day.
More than 50 crafters and artisans sold their handiwork at the Festival. Since the Festival is a well-established event, many locals and visitors use it as an opportunity to get a jump start on their holiday shopping. Several vendors commented that their sales were better at the Apple Festival than for other events they had attended this year, which had attracted browsers but not buyers. Soy candles, hand carved signs, and homemade jams were among this year’s top sellers.
The Festival offered activities as well. Children delighted in the apple bowling and Lindsay & her Puppets, especially the giant singing frog. All ages learned about rivers from the watershed table hosted by the Ottauquechee Natural Resources Conservation District. There were carnival rides and students from the River Valley Technical Center demonstrated cider pressing. Chefs from the Tech Center had prepared fresh apple crisp, for the ever popular activity of eating!
There were also competitive activities, both culinary and athletic. Springfield Medical Care Systems and the Edgar May Health & Recreation Center launched a new event as part of the 100 Days of Wellness, the Fastest Kid in Town Race. Winners for Boys & Girls respectively in the age categories were: 5/6 James Gultekin & Holly Robitaille; 7/8 Noah Jones & Halyn McIntyre; 9/10 Jarret Pugh & Emily Chase; and 11/12 Lucas Pugh & Allie Kenney.
On the culinary side, there was the Annual Apple Pie Baking Contest. Pie Judges were John Harmer of the River Valley Technical Center, Ethan McNaughton of the Springfield Chamber Board, and Festival Exhibitor Alex Haigh. Winners in the Traditional Apple Pie Category were: 1st Place Vicki Ball, 2nd Place Kirstie Greer, and 3rd Place Sarah Pierce. Winners in the Non-Traditional or Original Apple Pie Category were: 1st Place Kirstie Greer, 2nd Place Tracey Parkhurst, and 3rd Place Sarah Pierce.
The Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce wishes to thank the event sponsors who make this free community event possible. Corporate sponsors include Lane Eye Associates (Music Sponsor); VTel; VABIR; HB Energy Solutions and Susan Dana & Associates. The Golden Apple sponsor was The Springfield Housing Authority. Red Apple sponsors included: Parker & Ankuda; Connecticut River Bank; Springfield Orthodontics; River Valley Credit Union; Springfield Savings & Loan; George W. Lamb, PC; Christopher Fauver, DDS; Lawrence & Wheeler; Letter Barn andWellwood Orchards.