Granted, the spellcheck in our newsroom’s computer system just short-circuited, but consider these potential special guests on the Courthouse Square in downtown Cleveland on Saturday and Sunday: Fuji, Gala, Honey Crisp, Pink Lady, Delicious and Granny Smith, just to name a few.
For the fruitless, let us offer this hint. They’re apples. All of them.
Yes, autumn has arrived ... finally ... and with its inviting rainbow colors and snuggly breezes comes the 2013 Cleveland Apple Festival. It starts Saturday at a crisp 10 a.m. and runs until ... say about, 7 p.m. And then it starts up again Sunday at 1 p.m. and will conclude five hours later. That’s 6 p.m. for those still pondering the applelicious thing.
Of course, we jest with this lighthearted approach to the popular Apple Festival because that’s what the fall season does. It makes us giddy. It lends itself to all things outdoors, freshly baked goodies, morning coffee, an evening hot chocolate, a hike across leaf-covered forest floors and a Saturday afternoon picnic.
The Cleveland Apple Festival heightens all the senses.
Noses follow the scintillating aroma of homemade apple pies, cakes and crisps, and tastebuds are ignited at their sight.
Ears perk at the entertaining sound of musicians who take the Courthouse Plaza stage with uplifting lyrics and outdoor beats that befit these autumn moments of good time, light humor and unending smiles. We’re talking gospel, oldies, blue grass, Christian rock and anything sung from the heart and presented to the downtown masses with love.
Eyes go wide at the many booths and vendors, whether their fare is food, beverage, products, services or outreach.
Smiles beam at the pageantry, and that’s the Sunday afternoon Kodak moments when the Apple Festival crowns Little Miss Apple Blossom, Junior Miss Apple Blossom and Miss Apple Blossom. Sparkling lasses ages 5 to 12 will be putting on their best farm or country girl outfit to compete. The contest starts at 5 p.m.
The Apple Festival offers many favorites, but one of the biggest — and this time of year the tastiest — is the apple dessert contest. How can we best say this? Yum! Yum!
A cash prize will be awarded to the best homemade apple dessert in the area. Submissions will be accepted at the gazebo between 11:15 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Got a favorite recipe from grandma’s cupboard or one that’s been handed down for generations or even one you’ve nurtured on your own? Bake it and bring it. That’s the only advice we can offer, but we know the Apple Festival judges would say the same.
Two special vendors for the weekend will be the four-station trampoline and the Gyro-X-Treme. The Trailhead Bicycle Co. will give away a bike both Saturday and Sunday. And festival goers will find plenty more family-friendly activities.
A two-day pass will cost $6 for adults, $4 for seniors and for children ages 3 to 12. A one-day pass will be $4 for adults and $3 for seniors and children ages 3 to 12.
As much fun as the Apple Festival brings to downtown Cleveland each year, its mission is just as endearing. The festival is a 501(c)(3) that donates its proceeds to help fund other nonprofit organizations in the Cleveland area. Now that’s a cause!
Special thanks to this year’s sponsors who are making the Apple Festival possible: Apple Valley Orchard, MainStreet Cleveland, Trailhead Bicycle Co., Dimensional Sound Productions, Living Word Church, Santek Waste Service, 4 Streams Aquaponics and this newspaper, the Cleveland Daily Banner.
We can’t think of a reason not to attend. That’s why we figure we’ll be seeing you ... Saturday. Sunday or heck, maybe both!