Spring does not officially arrive in Eastern Canada until Colborne’s Apple Blossom Tyme Festival or the last frost has covered the countryside. With nighttime temperatures reaching into the 2-4°C range and winds dying down – it is expected that the Last Frost will have the honors of officially ushering in Spring this year. However, the Windy cool weather has made for an exceptionally fine two days for the 25th Colborne Apple Festival. And attendance this 25th year has picked up notably – and why not because the Apple Blossom Festival has something for the whole family.
The Park and Petting Zoo is Popular with the Little Kids
The Apple Festival is renowned for fun things for kids to do. It starts with the Beautiful Baby Contest at 9:30 AM Saturday morning in Victoria Park where the Petting Zoo is open and as well as the Gable Fair Rides as seen above. This is the place to get the kids faces painted for free by ENSS Art students or to goto Habitat for Humanity Build It demo. Finally there are a host of booths providing breakfast, lunch and snacks all around Victoria Park for any one hungry in the family.
For middle graders and teen agers there are things to do as well.
Kids in 3 age groups can earn a cool $100, $50, $25 prizes for finishing 1st, 2nd or 3rd in the 3 Spelling Bees
This is a big cash steal opportunity for the older kids because their age group usually has only 3-4 competitors. So if you can spell camouflage you should consider entering this contest.Or have have fun at the climbing wall which will stretch your arm and leg muscles but is lots of fun and an opportunity to show off for your belle or beau.
It seems this year the younger kids were more likely to rise to the climbing wall challenge.
Finally, there is one perennial event at the Apple Festival that is fun for kids of all ages – the Soap Box Derby.
Apple Festival SoapBox Derby is truly a Family Tradition for many Festival Goers
I ahd a chance to talk to two families whose kids had passed their Derby car down the line from brother to sister to brother again. Being a SoapBoxer of old, this was music to my heart. So there will be a separate story on the two car events at the Apple Festival, the Soap Box Derby and the Sunday Carshow, and how they turned out this year. Oh, I almost forgot the Kids Tractor Pull on Saturday afternoon. This event was very popular 2 years ago. But this year it seemed kids and family forgot to show up. However, judging by the pictures above, kids had a good time at the Colborne Apple festival.
Plenty for Parents and Visitors To Do
The Apple Festival certainly has lots to do for the kids; but there is a lot for their parents and visitors to do. Saturday there is the Tractor Show with some very fine vintage tractors and other farm equipment on display. And Sunday has the Auto Show. Okay, these are mostly for Dads:
Shhh – don’t tell anyone, but there are some farm work trucks mixed in here.
This year the turnout of fine cars was at least 25% more than last year.
The exhibition cars had to be parked 3 deep on Main Street plus both of the side roads. And the sunny but pleasant weather added to the pleasure of touring through the cars and tractors on both days. The Apple Festival is certainly tapping into a broad interest with the Tractor and then Auto show. But there is something missing here – there is no record or pictures of the previous Best of Show winners. Not during the festival nor at the Apple Festival website. Too bad because a rich tradition gets lost in memories.
Speaking of getting lost one could easily do so in all the sales, markets and bargains available at the Apple Festival:
– Black Dress Catering Baking Contest
– Cramahe Horticultural Society Plant Sale
– Hoselton Studio’s “Open House”
– The Garden Shed Marketplace
– Studio Art Show & Sale
– Salem Valley Quilters and Heritage Rug Hookers Show and Sale
In addition the Apple Festival is full of vendors with lots of goodies on sale:
Some great and whimsical pottery was to be found at the Apple Festival
There were lots of arts and crafts at the Apple Festival. If you would like to see more consider the Notherumberland Hills Studio Tour where not just pottery but a broad range of artists and their crafts are on display.
While fashionistas had lots of goodies to choose from.
More Fun on the Weekend
There is lots of other fun events like the Irish Road Bowling, the Rotary 5K Fun Run, Musical Entertainment at the Gazebo, and Dinner at the Royal Canadian Legion on Saturday Night. But the Festival would not be complete without the Big Apple Pie Eating Cost. Speaking of Gustatory Extravagance, Brewsters sponsored the Burger Queen and King contest. First to finish 3 6-0unce Brewster Burgers was the big winner – in all senses of the phrase.
Ketchup, mustard and water help to down the burgers fast.
But as the picture of the Ferris Wheel above implies, there were lots of events and activities for the whole family that make the Colborne Apple Festival in its 25th year a fun place to be on a sunny Spring weekend. And you could see it with so many people taking pictures of the events and fun.