New experience presents a safe and socially distance way to enjoy the Fall harvest
Next week, Downtown Ithaca will host Apple Festive, a weeklong experience where guests to the community will be able to enjoy the Fall apple harvest season in a safe and socially distant manner.
This new experience, presented by Tompkins Trust Company, will be held from September 28 – October 4. From 12 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday of that week, Apple Festive will feature a small selection of local and regional farmers and cideries selling their harvest bounty in a physically distant, de-densified version of a farmers market and cider trail. This experience will be a stark contrast to the highly trafficked Apple Harvest Festival held in the community for nearly 40 years. This past Spring, Downtown Ithaca canceled its popular seasonal festival due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, the desire to honor New York State’s top crop lives on in the community.
“The apple growing season is an integral part of the state’s agricultural heritage. Many growers exist in Tompkins County and across the region, and we want to continue supporting them and making their harvest available to the public in a safe way,” says Scott Rougeau, special events director for the Downtown Ithaca Alliance (DIA), a not-for-profit group in charge of organizing this experience. “Next year, we hope to return with our Annual Apple Harvest Festival during the last weekend in September.”
To ensure that Apple Festive provides a safe and socially distant experience, the number of vendors on the Commons each day will be limited to up to six growers and other farmers/vendors. To prevent long lines from forming, the vendors will be offering grab-and-go items such as pre-filled apple totes and pre-packed baked goods, including the extremely popular cider donuts. Plus, mask-wearing will be mandatory for all participants. Also, hand sanitizer stations and social distancing markers will be placed on the Commons.
In addition to the open outdoor market, many downtown shops and restaurants will provide apple and cider themed menus and goods for sale as part of an Apple & Cider Trail. During this walkable Fall harvest-themed experience, participants will be able to purchase bottles of locally produced ciders and apples or apple-themed products at the shops & and sample ciders and apple inspired foods at many eateries.
Throughout the week, the public is encouraged to share photos of their Apple Festive and previous Apple Harvest Festival experiences on Downtown Ithaca’s Facebook page. When posting photos to Facebook, use the hashtags #FeelingAppleFestive and #DowntownIthaca and tagging @downtownithaca and your images may be entered into a drawing for a Downtown Ithaca Gift Card. Only two lucky individuals will win gift cards so make sure your photos perfectly capture your favorite Apple Festive and Apple Harvest Festival moments along with the positive spirit of these two events!
Toward the tail end of downtown’s Fall harvest-related activities, the NY Cider Association will kick off its annual Cider Week Finger Lakes, a weeklong celebration of the Finger Lakes’ rich cider wealth. In downtown, cider tastings will be available at The Cellar d’Or Wine and Cider Shop. For more information about Cider Week FLX, check out ciderweekflx.com/flx.
For additional information about Apple Festive and other downtown offerings, visit downtownithaca.com.