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LaFayette Goes Bananas for Apple Fest

The LaFayette Apple Festival celebrates 44 years.

Apples from Beak and Skiff Apple Orchards. Photo by David Armelino

Since its inception in 1973, the LaFayette Apple Festival has given friends and families something to look forward to every Columbus Day weekend as autumn comes into full swing. The tradition continues on Saturday, Oct. 8, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 9, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 5330 Rowland Road, just off of the apple-orchard wonderland that is Route 20.

Apple-inspired food and drinks are plentiful and are all locally based, with everything from cider from Beak and Skiff Apple Orchards to products from Ontario Orchards in Oswego.

“We like to keep a relationship with (Ontario Orchards) because some years, if there’s trouble with various crops locally here, we can get them from up there.” said Dave Knapp, treasurer and board of directors member for the festival. “We have relationships with pretty much every orchard down here.”

While apples are what the festival is all about, there is something for everyone at the 44th annual event, including a midway of rides and games for the kids, a gift shop, a food court and more. At the heart of the festival, however, are the craft tents, which feature nearly 500 local craftspeople from around New York state.

One ingredient that has remained over the years is the quality of crafts being sold, with every craft vendor’s work getting evaluated by a committee. “Everything has to be handmade, nothing is mass-produced,” Knapp said.

In addition, only not-for-profit community groups are allowed to sell food on the grounds. These groups include the local Cub Scouts, the LaFayette Optimists, area churches, the LaFayette Volunteer Fire Department, and other organizations. Proceeds from food sales go toward youth activities and community groups.

Other fall-themed entertainment is showcased in an agricultural area, where visitors are treated to displays of honey production and a chainsaw wood-carving demonstration. The Future Farmers of America youth organization will also demonstrate the process of producing maple syrup, which will be available for purchase.

Although rain is in the forecast on Saturday, Knapp promised the grounds are in top condition, so a few showers shouldn’t deter potential fest-goers from attending.

The Apple Festival boasts plenty of free parking. Adults are $5, with free admission for children ages 12 and under. Visit lafayetteapplefest.com for details.

On Your Mark …

On Sunday morning, in association with the Apple Festival, the LaFayette Apple Run will take place to benefit the LaFayette Junior-Senior High School track and cross country teams.

Three races will begin at 8:30 a.m. with the fun run, followed by the 18K road race at 9 a.m., and concludes with the 3 1/2-mile run/walk at 8:15 a.m. The fun run is free to all, while the 18K- and 3 1/2-mile races cost an entree fee of $20 without a technical shirt, and $35 with one.

Free food and music accompany the races, as well raffles for those participating in the paid runs. Visit thelafayetteapplerun.org for more information.

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