Orchards Preparing for Apple Fest

In its 59th year, the Apple Fest will be back in full swing. 

BAYFIELD, Wisc. — “We’re going to have our same thing going on with hayrides, live music. Apple picking. We have all the goodies in the store,” Erickson Orchard Owner, Fred Erickson says.

In its 59th year, the Apple Fest will be back in full swing.

Despite the drought, Orchards are ready for people to come back out onto the farms.

“The apple crop is down 40% from last year so that makes a difference in how much cider you can press,” Erickson says.

Smaller operations like Hillcrest Orchards are hard at work bagging apples.

“We do a lot of preparation. My sister and I make a lot of jelly and jam. My sister makes a lot of pies. Basically, our certified kitchen runs 24/7 between the two of us,” Hillcrest Orchards Owner, Perri Campbell says.

With each orchard looking forward to the weekend.

“We have a lot of space here so people can spread out. They can stay socially distant. They can sit and enjoy their food. They can bring their kids and their pets and not have to worry about the traffic,” Campbell says.

Over at Erickson Orchards, they are wrapping up the building process of a new manufacturing facility

“It’s more mechanized. It’s more efficient. We’ll get more yield out of what we are pressing now. Which is huge. 25% increase in yield,” Erickson says.

With a name tying into the roots of Apple Fest, Fred Erickson’s late father.

“James Erickson. He started pressing cider back in the late ’70s. He bought the operation. He was the first person to have a cider mill press up here,” Erickson says.

Honoring a man who put his heart and soul into the farm and marking the first year Fred will participate in Apple Fest without his father.

“It’s definitely different, you know. Not having him around. But he’s in my heart and always in my mind,” Erickson says.

Categories: Community, News, Wisconsin