By Phoebe Doscher, Staff Writer
Residents of Adams County as well as students from Gettysburg College came out to support local vendors and enjoy fall activities at the 54th annual National Apple Harvest Festival the weekends of October 6 and 14. The festivities included live music, a petting zoo, and various apple-related foods and activities.
The festival was hosted by Upper Adams Jaycees and held at the South Mountain Fairgrounds, a 15-minute drive from the Gettysburg College campus. Around 300 arts-and-crafts vendors contributed to the event, and a variety of food and apple-related products could be found around the grounds. Most of the proceeds from the event will go towards the local community, and a portion of the funds will be donated to other charitable organizations.
Some Gettysburg student groups and organizations attended the festival together, including the Owl and Nightingale Players (O&N), a theatre club on campus. Jay Hauser ‘19 was among the students in this club who went to the festival.
“It’s one of the prime examples for students to interact with the community in a healthy and wholesome way,” said Hauser. “It’s really fun. I’m really glad we have clubs like O&N who went, and it was a great bonding experience.”
Many community members could be seen walking around the grounds, holding warm cups of apple cider, and buying early Christmas gifts from local vendors. Patrons of all ages were entertained by live band performances and even a musical puppet show.
Kathy Scott ‘21 was another student who had the chance to spend the day at the festival and support the local vendors: “There are a lot of cool local artisans there, and it’s cool to see what everyone makes, especially ‘cause I’m not from the state.”
Beyond the vendors and food, the event included a visit from the Pennsylvania Apple Queen, orchard tours, and steam engine displays. A main draw of this well-attended event was the wide variety of apple-infused foods, from pancakes to candy apples.
The National Apple Harvest Festival was first founded in 1965, and since then, it has won dozens of awards and been recognized by ABC’s Good Morning America. The festival will undoubtedly continue to be a celebration of the Adams County community and surrounding areas for years to come.