SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – Although it was overcast Saturday, Oct. 6, the weather held for the 36th annual Vermont Apple Festival, hosted by the Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce, at the Riverside Middle School in Springfield. Apple enthusiasts converged on the middle school field starting at 9 a.m.
Lining the driveway of the middle school were food vendor tents and trucks selling everything from seasonal baked goods, to fried dough, to Thai food. Springfield Humane Society hosted their Kissing Booth, featuring two four-legged friends ready to share kisses and affection. Festivalgoers could also watch an apple pressing demonstration and try samples of the fresh cider.
Inside, just before entering the gymnasium, fresh, warm apple crisp with whipped cream could be purchased. Meanwhile, the gymnasium was full of unique craft vendors from all over New England, selling their handcrafted jewelry, woodcarvings, paintings, soaps, and more. Many booths sold festive fall décor and holiday decorations and gifts for those getting ahead of their Christmas shopping. The room was filled with musical accompaniment by Bill Brink, Johnny O, Pat Daddona, Matt Meserve, and Joshua Hall.
Up the stairs in the cafeteria, kids could enjoy activities and games. The local Cub Scout troop hosted their bake sale and learned valuable skills in marketing and communication as they raised funds for summer camp.
At noon, the 6th annual Fastest Kid in Town, held by Edgar May Health and Recreation Center to promote physical activity with local youth, took place in the Riverside Park. Kids ages 5 to 12 competed in 100- and 200-yard dashes to determine the male and female fastest kids in four age categories.
The 2018 Fastest Kids in town were Ashton Page, 5, Baltimore; Adela Fuentes, 6, Springfield; Malachi Bactad, 7, Springfield; Keeley Stewart, 8, Chester; Khloe Bruso, 9, Perkinsville; Carter Tanner, 10, Springfield; Amelia Murchie, 11, Springfield; and Derek Hodgdon, 11, Chester.
More events took place in the afternoon outside, including pony rides for the kids, the Springfield Farmers Market, outdoor music, and beer and wine by Trout River Brewery and Vermont Vines for the 21-plus crowd.
At 1 p.m. the winners of the Apple Pie contest was judged and announced. Miss Vermont, Julia Crane, made an appearance as a guest judge. This year’s winners of the traditional pie contests went to Vicki Ball, first place; Patricia Johansen, second place; Tracey Parkhurst, third place. Christina Smith took first place in the non-traditional pie category with Margaret Burchard in second place and Tracey Parkhurst in third.
According to Caitlin Christina, executive director of the Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Vermont Apple Festival was well attended and they received a lot of positive feedback. Christina said, “I have a huge amount of gratitude to the volunteers and sponsors” who made the festival possible.