Apple Festival: Apple of Bayfield’s Eye
57th Annual Festival Ends with Parade
BAYFIELD, Wis.- The chilly October wind, normally piercing through the air, was overcome by the warmth of community, and food, at the 57th annual Bayfield Apple Festival.
“Turnout was very good, I mean it was a little cold,” said Gordon Ringberg, Bayfield Mayor. “The weather never stops us.”
Indeed, the weather didn’t stop the thousands gathered by the lake. For many, the celebration of red, orange and green, officially rings in the Fall season.
“I think it’s just the beginning of fall,” said Jamie Nord, mother at Sterling Silver Dance Studio. “Fall weather, you get to come out and wear your sweatshirts. Just the fall season.”
And here, the Fall season sure gets a big entrance.
With 54 organizations walking the streets of Bayfield, the Grand Parade is easily the biggest part of Apple Fest. And the whole town comes out to celebrate.
The streets of Bayfield are decorated with cars, floats, and bands. The sidewalks swarming with residents, creating a mosaic of community enthusiasm.
Not everyone watching is pleased, some furry friends are a little frightened of the fanfare. A couple owners hold their shivering dogs close.
From the sidewalk border, small hands poke out into the moving stage, reaching for a piece of sweet candy from parade goers.
“My favorite part of the Apple Fest…It’s watching the kids on the side of the parade as the bands go by,” Mayor Ringberg said. “And they’re marching along and moving and bopping along and having a great time.”
The parade closes out with a mass band of all participating high school bands, uniting to rouse the crowd with “On Wisconsin.”
The rap of their drums reverberating through Main Street.
Hopefully the kids don’t fill up on candy, they’ve got to save room for the sweetest part of the festival, what it’s all about.
Like shrimp is the fruit of the sea, apples are the fruit of the lake.
An excited orchard stand worker rallies people to her stand:
“Slices of Pie, come get ’em at Apple Hill Orchard!”
There’s, apple pie, apple cider, apple crisp. apple butter,—I don’t have time to name all of them.
And they’re not all sold by apple aficionados.
“We volunteer,” said Brad Gingeras. “It’s a busy weekend, we’re good friends of the owners of Apple Hill Orchard. We’ve been helping out for almost 20 years.”
When asked if he plans on continuing to help at Apple Fest, Gingeras responds “Hopefully, the next 25 years.”
25 years. Clearly, the Festival is an apple that will never rot. it’s a harvest that stays fresh in Northlanders’ hearts every year.