Apple Festival brings autumn excitement
There couldn’t have been a better way to say ‘goodbye’ to summer and ‘hello’ to autumn than Historic Bethlehem Museum and Sites’ 4th annual Family Fun Apple Days Festival. On Sept. 9 and 10, the Burnside Plantation hosted record numbers of over 3,500 apple lovers from locations all over the Lehigh Valley.
This year’s expanded festival offered more activities than ever – all of the family-friendly variety. Children expressed their creativity with crafts such as apple stamp T-shirts, pinecone birdfeeders and paper apple puppets. Keeping with theme, families were also able to dip their own caramel apples, go apple bobbing in the paddock, play a multitude of outdoor games and of course, go apple picking in the on-site orchard.
Food was also on the minds of patrons, with the almost limitless possibilities of apple themed sweets, including apple strudel, fritters, cider doughnuts, crumble top apple pie, apple pierogies, new this year from Black Forest Deli, and much more.
This year’s entertainment tent hosted performers such as The Magnolia Sadies Dancers, 99 Stringz, Drunkenmillers Winners from the Lyons Fiddle Festival, and Friends of Godfrey Daniels. In addition to performers, children showed their competitive side during a doughnuts eating contest. Doughnuts were tied to the ends of a string as competitors knelt with hands behind their back racing to be the first to finish.
Another highlight of the festival was the addition of Therapy Dogs International on site. Abby and Emma were the two dogs from the organization stationed inside the barn while children sat down with a book and read to them. This new program offered children a fun activity in conjunction with supporting education and literacy.
LoriAnn Wukitsch, vice president and managing director of the Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites, mentioned the plans for more festival expansion next year. Additions will include expansive children’s activities and culinary demonstrations, farm equipment for show, and more food options for purchase and tasting. Expansions from this year and next are all possible with the help of over 75 volunteers and their efforts, before, during, and after the festival.