Ithaca’s Apple Fest this weekend

Ithaca’s premiere fall event is just days away! The 33rd Annual Downtown Ithaca Apple Harvest Festival presented by Tompkins Trust Company will take place on Friday, October 2 (12:00-6:00PM), Saturday, October 3 (10:00 AM-6:00 PM) and Sunday, October 4 (10:00 AM-6 :00 PM). This much-anticipated community celebration, featuring fresh local food, handmade crafts, games, rides, prizes, and live performances, will be held on and around the newly rebuilt Ithaca Commons pedestrian mall (202 East State Street, Ithaca, New York). Over twenty local farmers will be selling apples, cider, maple products, and other delectable seasonal produce and baked goods. Look for old favorites as well as new offerings. Littletree Orchards will return with their famous apple doughnuts and Tucker’s Catering with their can’t-miss spiced apple cake. Montezuma will be bringing a range of fruit wines including blueberry and cranberry, while Bellwether will be pouring samples of their many varieties of hard cider made from Upstate New York apple varietals. Laughing Goat will have adorable goats to pet and fiber to feel. If you’re looking for a nice hot meal or snack, over twenty food vendors will be serving up delicious dishes to suit every palate. Vail Brothers will be frying up funnel cakes and other traditional festival fare, Collegetown Crepes will be making sweet and savory crepes to order, and Lao Village will be cooking up spicy, steaming noodles. The festival will also welcome back perennial favorites Travelers Kitchen with their hearty potato pancakes and B&B with their tasty kettle corn. Sixty-plus craft vendors from all over the community and the nation will converge in downtown Ithaca to display a cornucopia of beautiful handmade items. This year, we welcome such crafters as Elaan Greenfield Designs with their fine metalwork jewelry, Bachestinks with their clothing and accessories made from vintage and found materials, Moon Rabbit Press with their letterpress cards and posters, Thrive with their ethically-sourced womenswear, and Helena’s Organic Garden with their natural massage oils and balms.A host of local performers will be taking the stage throughout the weekend, both on the recently-rededicated Bernie Milton Pavilion and under the State Theatre marquee. Saturday will feature, among many other acts, Casey Max & the DixieKats performing a mix of traditional Dixieland and Bayou Gumbo, the Chandani Belly Dance Troupe demonstrating dances of the Middle East and North Africa, and Sixteen Feathers playing acoustic folk and blues. On Sunday, musical offerings will range from NEO Project’s energetic funk to Sundown Sally’s soulful alt-country. Family fun for all ages will return this year with a Merry Go Round, Carnival Games, Berry Go Round, and a brand new Fun House located along West State Street.Concurrent with the other festivities on Saturday, the First People’s Festival, an annual celebration of indigenous culture coordinated by the Multicultural Resource Center, will be taking place at Dewitt Park (315 North Cayuga Street, Ithaca, New York). The event will feature a traditional opening at 10:00 AM, followed by live music, performances, arts and crafts, food vendors, storytelling, children’s activities, and a smoke dance competition. Downtown Ithaca’s historic State Theatre (107 West State Street, Ithaca, New York) will also be hosting special entertainment on all three nights of the festival. On Friday, the Wood Brothers, an Americana and blues band based in Nashville, will take the stage. On Saturday, the State will welcome Paula Poundstone, the stand-up comedienne known for hosting Saturday Night Live and serving as a frequent panelist on NPR’s Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me. Sunday’s show is Mark Nizer, a world-champion juggler, comedian and inventor who has created the first and only “live 3D show” in the world. For a complete listing of vendors, performers, and activities, visit: downtownithaca.com

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