Apple festival celebrates its 26th year

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The weather was unseasonably cold, but that didn’t stop thousands of people from coming out to celebrate the annual Bowmanville Apple Festival and Craft Sale held in the historic downtown Bowmanville area.

Oct. 17 marked the 26th anniversary of the event that welcomes local orchards and businesses out to showcase their products and mingle with people who love apples and other things the festival has to offer.

“I’ve been here for 18 years and it definitely was not this size, it has been expanding every year,” said Irene Allin of Allin’s Orchard. “This year they’ve added a lot of food trucks that I’ve never seen before so it’s getting bigger, there’s something for everyone.”

Among the dozens of tents and local businesses that were set up for the event was the Watson Farms booth, a staple at the apple festival.

Long lines of people waited to get in and try some of the many apples that their farm produces. And if you couldn’t make it into their booth there were many other tents selling the orchard’s apples with their own special twist.

“The candy apples you see at the tents down the road are all made with our apples, and I believe even Knox Christian School makes their famous apple fritters with our apples,” said Tami Watson.

While the festivities were contained to King Street, locations within close proximity took advantage of the chance to make some money, too.

One such place was Central Public School, which rented out its parking lot to people visiting the festival for $5 per vehicle. The parking lot was packed all day long and all the money raised went to the school for future initiatives.

This year’s festival was also about more than apples, as the federal candidates for the three major parties had booths set up handing out sweets and meeting the people as they walked past.

Erin O’Toole, the Conservative Member of Parliament who has attended the event for the past four years, didn’t think politics would take precedence over the apples.

“It’s really close to the election and obviously some people are stopping by to ask questions and get clarification on the issues,” said O’Toole, “but most people are just here for the apple crisp, it’s fantastic and people have put the election out of their minds for a day to come here with their families and have some fun.”

Corinna Traill of the Liberal party also said it was less about the politics and more about the festivities.

“Whether I was running or not I would be here to support my community, I grew up here and no matter what, the apple festival is something I love to come to,” said Traill.

NDP candidate Derek Spence, however, was the most political of all spending his time discussing with anyone who would stop, about the problems with the current government and what the NDP would do to change things.

“I see all the problems around the community, the issues that the current government has caused all of us, so instead of sitting around complaining about it I decided to get involved,” said Spence.

But no one short of Taylor Swift could have taken the limelight from the crunchy and sweet star of the festival, as the apple was still front and centre and being enjoyed by everyone who walked down that long stretch of Bowmanville road.

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