Tompkins Weekly Staff
Everything apple is about to invade downtown Ithaca for the 35th year.
The annual Apple Harvest Festival will take place Friday, September 29, through Sunday, October 1, on the Commons. Friday’s festivities kick off at noon, running until 6 p.m.; the hours for Saturday and Sunday are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
More than 20 local farmers will be selling many varieties of apples, cider, maple products, and other seasonal produce and baked goods.
Littletree Orchards will return with their famous apple cider doughnuts, and Laughing Goat Fiber Farm will once again bring its goats to pet and their fiber to feel. Robbie’s Produce is also making a return visit with its fresh picked and juicy produce, plus it’ll be making customized garden and floral arrangements to honor Apple Harvest Festival’s 35th anniversary.
More than 20 different food vendors will be serving delicious dishes to suit every palate. Festival newcomer Monks on the Commons is preparing a fall feast, serving freshly baked doughnuts with maple cream and brown sugar bacon, a butternut squash bisque pork sandwich made with cardamom-spiced pork, cinnamon butter toasted roll and apple-blackcurrant chutney; Trini Style is returning with a savory brown stew chicken, curry chicken and veggies, spinach fritters and roti and rice. There also will be classic festival foods such as fried dough, blooming onions, apple crisps, and pumpkin funnel cake.
In addition to the farmers and foods, nearly 70 craft vendors will be at the festival selling handmade items.
Live entertainment is also a festival staple, and throughout Saturday and Sunday, there will be a full lineup of acts set to take the Bernie Milton Pavilion stage. Ithaca College’s student-run radio station, WICB 91.7 FM, and Finger Lakes Comedy Festival will join forces to emcee the main stage.
For those bringing younger guests, there will be free games and activities at the Family Fun Zone inside Center Ithaca and stop by the Wizarding Weekend tent to take a spin on their special Wheel of Magic.
And, because the festival is a special event, downtown parking also will have a special price – $5 for parking in the Seneca, Green and Cayuga street parking garages – from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Note, regular parking rates will still apply on Friday. For those who currently have parking permits for those garages, they will still be valid; and token tickets will still be accepted in the Green and Seneca street garages.