Apple Harvest Festival: A Snapshot of Life Upstate

In true Ithaca fashion, Apple Harvest Festival is something caught between a nostalgic, agrarian county fair and an eclectic, trendy Brooklyn food festival. It’s a celebration of all things apple — apple pies, apple cider and candied apples — but more than that, it’s a celebration of the Finger Lakes area and the people who shape it. With millions of acres of farmland (52,000 of which are devoted exclusively to apple orchards), Upstate New York is a mecca for farmers, chefs, bakers and wine makers who come together one weekend in late September to share their passion for food with the masses.

Ithaca’s Annual Apple Harvest Festival Arrives at the Commons This Weekend

Tompkins County’s iteration of the time-honored Upstate New York fall tradition, the Ithaca Apple Harvest Festival, will open this Friday in Downtown Ithaca at noon and continue until Sunday, Sept. 29. The three-day festival celebrates one of upstate New York’s most iconic and valuable agricultural exports — trailing only Washington in production, the state produces 30 million bushels of apples annually, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. “The idea is to help share the story and the strong, rich agriculture economy that we have in the county and the greater Finger Lakes. With apples being the prime crop in New York State, we are in the prime apple region,” Allison Graffin, marketing director of the Downtown Ithaca Alliance, told the Ithaca Times.