SOUTHINGTON - The 49th Annual Apple Harvest Festival will bring two weeks of entertainment downtown starting Sept. 29, with a variety of food, live music, bed races, a parade, fireworks and more.
Festival coordinator James Champagne said the Apple Harvest Festival is the “complete family festival” and Southington’s most popular event. It attracts numerous community sponsors and hundreds of volunteers.
“There are things for kids, teenagers, and adults to do; there’s something for everyone,” said Champagne. “On top of that, there’s no entry fee, no parking charge and free shuttle services. People are very excited; today alone I got 13 calls about the festival.”
Town Council member Paul Champagne, another event organizer, said the food offerings at this year’s festival will also be greatly expanded. It will feature area restaurants serving Brazilian food, Indian food, Turkish food, Thai food, Mexican food, French food and more. In total, there will be 91 vendor tents, an increase of 10 from last year’s event.
“I attribute some of the growth to the fact that the Berlin fair is being held earlier than usual,” said Champagne. “It used to traditionally fall on the same week as the first week of our festival. Because of the change this year, we were really able to maximize our space. There won’t be any green left on the town green.”
The parade will be held Oct. 1 at 2 p.m. This year’s parade marshal is Lowell DePalma, a former police captain who started up the local DARE program, which encourages children to avoid drugs and violence.
“He is a great guy who has been involved in the festival as long as I can remember,” said James Champagne.
Live music and entertainment will be on the main stage near the town green and the Tipping Chair Tavern will host acoustic music performances under a tent on Riccio Way.
Arts and crafts vendors will be behind the main stage Oct. 7 and 8 and Southington Community Cultural Arts will have activities and programs at their headquarters at 93 Main St. each day of the festival.
A children’s carnival will be held Sept. 29 and Oct. 6 where families can pay $25 for an armband that will allow them to ride all night.
Dogs are prohibited from the festival by town ordinance.
For more information, call 860-276-8461 or visit southingtonahf.com.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or email@example.com.
The festival will be held around the town green from 5 to 9 p.m. Sept. 29, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sept. 30 and noon to 7 p.m. Oct. 1 for its first week. Then, it will pick back up again Oct. 6 from 5 to 9 p.m., Oct. 7 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Oct. 8 from noon to 5 p.m. Shuttle busses will pick people up from Southington High School at 720 Pleasant St. Shuttle buses will run from 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sept. 30, 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Oc. 1, 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Oct. 7 and 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Oct. 8.
The event will include a half-hour firework show Sept. 30 at 9 p.m., bed races Sept. 30 with judging at 12:30 and races at 2 p.m., road races starting at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 1, an apple pie baking contest at 10 a.m. Sept. 30, an apple pie eating contest Sept. 30 and Oct. 7 at noon and an apple fritter eating contest Sept. 30 and Oct. 7 at 1 p.m.