This year's Applefest, scheduled for Oct. 4-7, is only weeks away and local organizations are gearing up to do their part to make the annual event a success.
For 12 years, the congregation of the Grand Mesa Southern Baptist Church has worked with the Cedaredge Area Chamber of Commerce and town police to provide security for Applefest. Working in three shifts, church volunteers patrol the event grounds from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. ensuring that vendor tents and other temporary structures are protected from theft or vandalism.
The Cedaredge Police Department is also on hand throughout the night. In the early morning hours, officers relieve the patrolling church members and provide additional security from 2 a.m. until opening.
Dale Lindstrom, a member of the Baptist congregation who participates in the patrol, has been helping with security over the years. He reports that church members used to walk but now they also use golf carts to patrol the ever-expanding venue. "In the early days," he recalled, "I was patrolling by myself on foot sometimes but I had a little poodle dog along who was my eyes and ears."
Over a decade ago when Applefest security was a problem, the church responded to a request for assistance from town law enforcement. Calling the church's citizen patrol service a blessing, Lindstrom noted that since they have been providing security there has only been one break-in and that was foiled during the act. As many as 15 church members share the security duties during the October event at no cost to the chamber or vendors.