SOUTHINGTON — Residents will be able to get their fritter fix this fall with the return of the Apple Harvest Festival being confirmed for October.
“It was unfortunate we had to cancel so yeah we're glad to be back this year,” Festival Coordinator David Lapreay said.
The festival will begin on Friday, Oct. 1 and continue for that week and the following weekend, concluding on Oct. 10. The festival’s advisory committee approved holding the festival’s parade and fireworks show on Oct. 3, with a rain date of Oct. 10. The parade will follow its usual route through downtown.
The festival committee will reveal the headline musical performance next week. Lepreay said it’s a nationally performing band which had signed on to perform at last year’s festival before it was canceled.
“We bring in thousands from all over Connecticut, even out of state as well. So it's a great showcase for our town right here in the downtown area … we’re grateful that we have this festival in town,” he said.
Since the state has lifted most of the coronavirus restrictions, Lepreay expects this year’s festival will look much the same as past celebrations.
“There’s really not much we have to do, folks just have to be safe out there,” he said.
Instead, the look of the festival will largely be formed by the number of vendors that sign on to line the streets downtown. The festival committee has already confirmed over 40 vendors for the festival and is in talks with several more at this time, lower than the approximately 70 they had lined up last year, though Lepreay said vendors can join until just before the start of the festival.
“It should be the same footprint … but it all depends on how many vendors we have,” he said.
Most of the advisory committee’s discussion on holding the parade centered on the $5,000 cost, which could cause the festival to run at a loss and require drawing on its reserve fund.
Committee member Chris Palmieri said the reserve fund might as well have been called the “COVID fund” because holding the festival in the wake of the pandemic fits the purpose of setting money aside.
“That is exactly what it’s for,” he said.