Apple Harvest Hits Connecticut

Bowl+of+Apple+Crisp

Melody Rivera

Bowl of Apple Crisp

Melody Rivera, Contributor

SOUTHINGTON-The Apple Harvest Festival makes a massive comeback after celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019 and being canceled due to COVID-19 last year.

The festival was held on the first two weekends of the month from Oct. 1-3 and Oct. 8-10. Not only was the fall festival able to return, but some of its main highlights, such as the Apple Fritter Eating Contest, returned as well. In this contest, participants compete to try and eat all of the apple fritters given to them in bags.

This year, Ryan Abarzua was the first place winner of this traditional activity.

“I’m hyped, this was my first time at the Apple Harvest Festival, and my priority was to win first place in the Apple Fritter Eating Contest,” Abarzua said.

Apple fritters mean so much more to the festival than just the eating contest. Every year, hundreds of people wait in line to purchase a bag of apple fritters.

“It’s been a tradition to make apple fritters for the last 50 years,” Pat Garafola, runner of the Apple Fritters Booth, said. “We do the best we can to manage the lines,” he said.

Jerry Limmer, the entertainment manager of the festival, says he appreciates the number of people who came together to make the Apple Harvest Festival happen once again.

“The whole thing to me is wonderful,” Limmer said. “There’s a lot of support and help from food booths and the rest of the community,” he said.

Limmer said he works hard to give Southington residents and visitors fun and affordable entertainment.

“Unlike other fairs, it’s all free entertainment,” Limmer said. “There’s no admission,” he said.

Food booths, vendors, and trucks were busy serving food at the festival. For some, it was their very first time working at the Apple Harvest Festival.

“This is our first time in this event, although we lived in Southington for quite some time,” James Otis, owner of The Big Cheese food truck, said. “Me and my wife built this trailer for our restaurant,” he said.

Anthony Rito, the Get Roasted Corn food stand owner, said it was his first time at the festival and was excited about the opportunity.

“I heard about the attendance and the big drive,” Rito said.

The Apple Harvest Festival sold many types of food, especially apple-related products. From apple crisp to apple cider to the ever-so-loved apple fritters, the apples harvested for this Southington festival were put to good use.