Seasonal sights, sounds, and smells filled the air of downtown Ithaca Commons this weekend, providing attendees of the 21st annual Apple Harvest Festival a chance to enjoy some of Ithaca’s bountiful harvest delights, as well as live entertainment.
“There is a lot of local talent that goes unnoticed and events such as [the Apple Fest] gives these locals a chance to show what they can do,” said Charleen Heidt, who has been coming to the Fest since she moved to the Ithaca area.
Heidt helped run a booth which informed passers-by about At Home with Books, a family reading partnership started by Brigid Hubberman, an Ithaca local, to promote literacy within the area. A wide variety of booths were set up around the Commons, providing an open-air style market place. Local merchants displayed their goods and gave samples of their products to all who attended. Hot spiced apple cider was a favorite of many who walked around the Commons throughout the weekend. “It keeps my hands nice and warm in this brisk fall weather,” said Rachel Miller ’06.
One of the various local orchards represented at the Fest was Littletree Orchards, located in Newfield, N.Y. “It has been quite busy here today,” said Amara Steinkraus whose mother co-founded Littletree in 1973. Miguel Berrios, a fellow employee added that despite Saturday’s rainy weather, “there were more people out than expected.” Steinkraus also noted that the “entertainment was great, especially the Sunny Weather band.” The local Ithaca band provided listeners with several upbeat original tunes ready made for dancing, which people ent