SOUTHINGTON — The Apple Harvest Festival returned to downtown Friday after a year off due to the pandemic.
The sun was shining as vendors set up their stations Friday afternoon ahead of the busy weekend.
“It feels like coming home,” George Marenna Jr., owner of Marenna Amusements, said about being back at the festival. “It’s so relieving.”
There are a few new rides this year and Marenna said he adjusted prices to make rides more affordable for families.
Lois Garafola, a member of Zion Lutheran Church and co-chair of the church’s apple fritter booth, said she is excited to be open again and is hoping to completely sell out.
This will be the first year at the festival for Anthony Ruitto and Sandy Jolon, who run “Get Roasted.” The booth offers a variety of street style corn, including “The Apple Elote” — roasted corn on the cob with butter and apple pie spice.
“I’ve heard a lot about this festival,” Jolon said. “I mostly heard about the apple fritters but this is a huge event. I’m really excited to be a part of this.” Hours
The festival began Friday, Oct. 1 at 5 p.m. The festival hours are Saturday, Oct. 2, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 3, noon – 7 p.m. The festival returns on Friday, Oct. 8, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 9, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 10, noon – 5 p.m. Parking
Festival booths are set up on the Town Green with food and rides in the municipal parking lot just east of the green, but parking is extremely limited around the festival. Anyone attending is encouraged to park at Southington High School, 720 Pleasant St., and make use of the free shuttle services, available on Saturday and Sunday. On street parking from High Street to Columbus Avenue is prohibited. Entertainment
All of the concerts on the main stage facing Apple Alley, west of the green, are free with no ticket required. Each day, the main stage will be full of different bands and shows. Bands include nationally known headliner Vertical Horizon, on Saturday, Oct. 9 at 7:45 p.m. Saturday’s musical entertainment kicks off with a performance by Unfinished Business at 2 p.m. followed by Jason Ingriselli & The Miles North at 4:15 p.m. and KSF: A Tribute to Kansas, Styx, and Foreigner at 7:45 p.m.
For a complete schedule click on the festival brochure at www.southington.org.
Fireworks will be set off from the Southington Dog Park on Mill Street Saturday beginning at 9 p.m. The show is viewable from the green and all festival grounds areas.
The arts and crafts show is Oct. 9 from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Oct. 10, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. The festival road race takes place Sunday, Oct. 3 at 8:30 a.m. Food/Drink
There will be over 80 vendors offering a variety of fair foods, including apple fritters, fried dough, street style corn and gourmet poutine.
An apple fritter eating contest will be held today noon and an apple pie eating contest on Oct. 3 at 1 p.m.
This year’s parade theme is “A Return to Core Traditions” with healthcare workers and first responders serving as parade marshals. The parade will be on Sunday, Oct. 3 at 2 p.m. The rain date is Sunday, Oct. 10.