Applefest returned this last weekend with a great deal of triumph, with two significant factors behind it.
First off, it was the first Applefest in two years, as COVID-19 restrictions brought a hiatus to the annual tradition in 2020.
Also, this was the first time Applefest was run by the Town of Cedaredge, the plans headed up by Town Clerk and Economic Development Coordinator Kami Collins.
Applefest was previously helmed by the Cedaredge Area Chamber of Commerce, which ultimately dissolved at the conclusion of last year after having no funding to continue, in large part due to Applefest’s cancellation.
The town’s ownership and directorship of Applefest in the following years is planned to be the way things work going forward.
The last Applefest to happen, in 2019, pushed the upper boundaries for attendance, with drone shots counting over 23,000 people on the streets and in the town park for the event. While numbers have not yet been received from this year’s festival, Saturday’s attendance was at least comparable to 2019’s.
Applefest 2021 marked the return of numerous festival traditions including the Pioneer Town Car Show, the motorcycle show on Southwest Second Street and numerous familiar vendors.
Notably, this year’s festival discontinued the traditional beer garden, instead using new permits to enable open consumption of alcohol in a controlled environment, limited to festival grounds. This involved special Applefest beer and wine glasses available for purchase (a purchase which also allowed the buyer one free drink).
Also of note, this year’s festival saw the return of the Antique Tractor Pull, an event which has been missing from the festival for well over a decade.
Due to the festival’s planning through ever-changing COVID-19 restrictions, there was temporarily still a lack of the outhouse stuffing contest at The Pondy, and vendors were spaced out further than normal. There were fewer vendors overall, but the decrease was combated to some degree by the layout of certain vendor booths in the center of Main Street, in addition to the edges of the road.
The festivities began on Friday evening and concluded late Sunday afternoon.