Apples in Dover
In Dover, they come for the apples and community
DOVER — Under a cover of warm fall weather and a sky full of clouds, apple lovers swarmed to the downtown like bees to an orchard Saturday.
Many people noticed a sign offering free apples for furloughed federal workers at the booth for Miller Hill Farm in New Durham, according to owner Rich Leonard.
Leonard said many people just took photos of the sign, but several people took advantage of the offer, which was prompted by the furloughs of Leonard's son and daughter.
Son Steve Leonard, who works in acquisitions in Massachusetts, and daughter Elise, who works for U.S. Rep. Carol-Shea Porter, D-NH, are both enjoying helping out during the busy apple harvest, but they hope to return to work soon, Leonard said.
Apple Harvest Day, which attracted about 50,000 area residents last year, appeared to be even more successful this year.
While it's difficult determine the exact figures, Police Chief Anthony Colarusso said more area residents participated in the day this year.
As police, firefighters and Chamber of Commerce volunteers were working together, Colarusso said there were few problems even though traffic had to be detoured. He added the biggest problem they could face was reuniting a missing person with their family or friends.
With the event going so well, Colarusso and Fire Chief Richard Driscoll could talk about their favorite apple treats.
"I like McIntosh (apples) straight up or my daughter makes a good apple pie," Driscoll said, adding his daughter, Lizzy may make him a pie when she returns to the city to enjoy Apple Harvest Day.
"For many families, it's become a tradition," Driscoll said.
Meanwhile, Colarusso enjoyed most apple treats — as long as they aren't too tart.
While apple pies may have their own contest, many people prefer to hone in on other apple treats during the fall.
"Apple cider doughnuts are pretty good," said Stacy Liddy, of Barrington.
Liddy, who worked as a volunteer, said she took the opportunity to enjoy a freshly made doughnut while helping people find their way around the festival.
Maple squares and maple rounds are a top favorite at Harvey's Bakery, but they quickly went through 150 dozen - or 1,800 - of their freshly made apple crisp doughnuts before 1 p.m., Kim Hede said.
"Those fly off the shelf," Hede said, adding many people — including many runners in the annual 5K — return year after year to enjoy their doughnuts.
More than 1,000 cider doughnuts from McKenzie's Farm in Milton disappeared into the crowds by the early afternoon, said Wendy Brooks.
Anyone interesting in finding more doughnuts or picking a bushel or apples can stop by the farm for the 6th annual McKtoberfest this weekend. Participants can also paint pumpkins, take a tractor ride, press cider and enjoy live music.