Visit the National Apple Harvest Festival this Weekend

Mmm! The sweet scent of apples fill the air this time of year, especially during the National Apple Harvest Festival!

The festival is held annually during the first two full weekends in October and is hosted by the Upper Adams Jaycees at the South Mountain Fair Grounds located at 615 Narrows Road in Arendtsville.

apple harvest

This weekend the festival will be open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

The festival is nestled in picturesque Adams County, the heart of apple country. “Whoosh, whoosh, pop,” you’ll hear the hit-and-miss engines sound as you enter the festival grounds.

Anything edible and apple-related imaginable from over 300 vendors is available there to satisfy your tastebuds. You can purchase apple syrup, caramel apples, apple pancakes, apple slushies, and so much more. There is even apple guacamole available. There are apple crafts and fall decorations for sale as well.

Wood carving demonstrations, bluegrass music, Native American dancers, and orchard bus tours are available. Children enjoy the petting zoo and puppet shows. There is a straw pile in which children can play. There’s a quiet area too with apple coloring pages and crafts if little ones become overstimulated from the crowds. Children like seeing the apple character and Johnny Appleseed perusing the grounds. Be sure to take a selfie with them.

The festival began in 1965. At that time, it lasted several hours. Antique cars, orchard tours, and pony rides were available. The cider press from 1965 is still in use today. You can observe fresh cider being produced. Try some, it’s refreshing.

Tickets are only $10 for those over 12 years old. Children under 12 years old are free and senior citizens can enter for $9.

You can purchase your tickets online or at the festival. If you buy them online you won’t have to wait in line to enter the festival. Parking and bus shuttles are included in the cost of your ticket.

You can park at the Biglerville Fire Dept. or McDannell’s Field in order to ride a bus to the festival.

The festival has hundreds of dedicated volunteers who make it a success each year. The proceeds from the festival are utilized for community groups such as churches, scouts, fire companies, and civic organizations. The bulk of the raised funds go toward Oarkside Community Park.

While rain is in the forecast for this weekend, don’t let that deter you from visiting the festival. There may be fewer people in attendance and you can move about more easily. You could possibly find some discounted items to purchase.

There is truly something for everyone. You can buy unique gifts for the upcoming holidays.

Plan to wear sturdy shoes or boots and definitely come hungry. See ya there.

Featured image credit: Amy Boyer Thomas

Amy is a freelance writer and reporter. She, her husband, and her two children reside in Adams County. She works in early childhood education and occupational therapy, and volunteers with local organizations.

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