(5/2) Winter is over and the flowers are blooming. The peepers are singing and the sun is shining. Trees are turning green and brightening up the mountain sides.
Another welcoming sign of spring is, of course, the apple blossoms! The fruit growers in the South Mountain Fruit Belt have been working quickly this spring. The sudden warm weather and then the chilly nights have caused growers to be slightly on edge, but we all know that Mother Nature will do what she will. And we’ll roll with it each year. The apple blossoms are in full
bloom – usually around the end of April or early May – and that’s all the more reason to celebrate and welcome spring!
There’s no better way to welcome spring than attending the 61st Annual Apple Blossom Festival at the South Mountain Fairgrounds on May 7th & 8th! It’s the beginning of the 2016 agri-tourism season, and the PA Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding will be there Saturday morning for an official kick-off!
Sunday May 8th is Mother’s Day, and to celebrate, all moms who attend the festival on Sunday can stop by the apple sales booth for a free apple!
We’ll have hard cider and wine tastings from local vendors. Each cidery/winery will have hard ciders and wine available for purchase and for you to enjoy once you are home.
New this year we will have many local farm markets offering tastings of their fruit-themed goodies. Come find great local foods from your favorite farm! Throughout the festival there are plenty of apple treats for you to enjoy until your heart is content! Enjoy apple slushies, apple sundaes, apple crisp, apple dumplings, apple bread, cider donuts and, of course, apple pie!
You can also enjoy refreshing apple cider, and try samples of apple butter or purchase a jar to take home. We’ll also have crispy and juicy local apples available to sample and to take home.
There are musical performances by the Klinger McFry Band (bluegrass)and Borderline (country). We’ll have hay bales laid out that you can rest on, but feel free to bring a blanket to spread out on the lawn or your own chairs. There is plenty of space and the kiddos can boogie to the musical tunes all day long! On Sunday there will be performances in the auditorium by the
Apple Core Band and the Biglerville Jazz Band. We’ll have dance performances by the Carroll County Cloggers and the Gettysburg Dance Center.
The kids will have fun all day long with plenty of children’s activities and entertainment. Bring them to the Kid’s Health & Safety Tent (sponsored by Healthy Adams County) where they can plant seedlings, learn yoga, practice (or show off!) their hula hooping skills, and make a healthy snack. There will also be magic shows, puppet shows, pony rides, apple bobbing, a kiddie
tractor pull on Sunday, and a petting zoo. Check out the coloring contest at http://www.appleblossomfestival.info/ABF_Coloring_Contest.pdf and enter for fun prizes!
We also have Crunch Quest which is a scavenger hunt through the fairgrounds and kids will learn about the growth of an apple from bud to fruit. There are prizes given out to each child who completes Crunch Quest, plus a grand prize!
To really get into the heart of the South Mountain Fruit Belt, the family can enjoy an orchard tour with a fruit grower as their host. This is a wonderful opportunity to drive through the countryside, enjoy the scenery, and learn a bit about "Apple Country, USA!" For those interested in local history, a bus tour at 3:30 on each day will focus on Yellow Hill (Saturday) and
Mary Jemison (Sunday).
There’s loads to do to make it a wonderful and memorable day for the entire family at the 61st Annual Apple Blossom Festival! Visit our website for a complete schedule and coupon for $1 off the price of admission (only one per person!). Like us on Facebook for lots of apple blossom photos and updates about the festival.
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