This year's Apple Harvest Festival promises all of the traditional attractions, as well as some new ones.
The annual event, in its 43rd year, has become something of a reunion for GHS grads and others who reconnect with old friends, said CT River Valley Chamber of Commerce Marketing & Communications Manager Travis Dahlke.
"People keep telling me that it's a basically a reunion weekend," Dahlke said.
Twenty-nine bands will fill the three stages with music throughout the festival (see previous article). There will also be special appearances by Glastonbury Dance Center, The Mulcahy Academy Of Irish Dance, and the Glastonbury High School choir.
Approximately 130 vendors will fill the vendor area, including newcomers Greekin' Out, Nora Cupcakes, Awesome Apple Crisp, Favorite Places Artwork, Soldier Solutions, Anything Goes, and Artisan Boutique.
Greeting visitors will be a five-by-three-foot mural, painted on site by local artist Nick Frasco.
Frasco is a graduate of Paier College of Art, who also studied at the College of Urbino in Italy, where he received a Diploma Degree in Fine Arts.
"I have a love for animals and therefore, find them a fascinating subject to paint," Frasco said, hinting at what his design might be. "I am also a surrealist, so I love to put realistic subjects in not-so-real environments. I will be attempting to combine both of these passions into a 'Painting in a Day,' completing an entire painting with only brushes, no airbrushing."
On Saturday, Oct. 14, there will be a children's crafts session with Goddard School.
On Sunday, Oct. 15, there will be a 'Fans of K9 Crime Stoppers Demo' from noon to 5 p.m., which will be raising awareness for K9 police dog safety.
The Apple Harvest Festival's Sunday 5K Road Race has become a big part of the weekend. This year, race sponsor Angry Orchard Hard Cider will be providing a complimentary hard cider in the Festival Pub for all runners 21 and older, as well as free admission to the festival for all runners.
"It's a fun race, and you get a pint glass with it, too," Dahlke said. "Some people dress up and have a lot of fun with it."
The 2016 Angry Orchard 5K attracted more than 900 runners, which was a new record for the event. This year, the CT River Valley Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce that the race will officially be chip timed, so a precise finishing time will be recorded for runners. Runners of all abilities register every year, though younger children are encouraged to participate in the Kid's Fun Run at 10 a.m.
From 6 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Suburban Professionals Achieving Real Change (SPARC) will be hosting a happy hour in the Festival Pub. The happy hour will be a great opportunity to meet one-on-one with SPARC leaders and learn more about getting involved. SPARC will also have a booth at the festival on Saturday and Sunday.
There will also be a flu shot mobile bus clinic, provided by Health Choices & FASTVAX, giving flu shots on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. (Insurance card and ID required).
The Chamber of Commerce is also still looking to fill some volunteer slots at the Apple Harvest Festival.
The Apple Harvest Festival will take place on Oct. 13 from 6 to 10 p.m., Oct. 14 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Oct. 15 from noon to 5 p.m.
For more information, visit www.crvchamber.org.