30th annual Apple Festival kicks off in Ithaca
The end of the summer means time to celebrate all things fall, including apples. The annual Apple Festival Harvest is going strong in downtown Ithaca this weekend, despite a tough year for the fruit. Tamara Lindstrom tells us how vendors are faring.
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ITHACA, N.Y. -- The smell of cider and hot apple crisp drifting through Ithaca's Commons marks the return of the annual Apple Harvest Festival. On Friday, revelers braved a little early fall weather.
"We sell a lot of cups of hot cider, and it's not as good if its hot out as if it's cool," said Ezra Sherman, owner of Eve's Cidery.
And, the 30th anniversary means another reason to celebrate.
"We're doing a couple of charitable programs to raise money for some local food banks. And we're also doing a new family fun zone area over in a new area for the festival," said Vicki Taylor of the Downtown Ithaca Alliance. "So we've expanded a little this year. Plus we have all the regular vendors, over a hundred different vendors, some of them are new. And we're excited to be celebrating 30 years."
Especially after a rough season for apple growers.
"It was interesting. People sat back and waited to see what they had," Taylor said. "But they're here. They have a great variety of apples, and they have cider. We hope to make it through the weekend, but if people buy it all, then all the better for them."
But vendors said the crops that did survive are particularly high quality.
"It's hard to not have very good apples with sunny days every day," Sherman said.
It's those sunny days they hope will return to bring hungry customers out to the festival. The Apple festival runs through Sunday.