Tastes good

Take a bite of autumn fun at Apple Harvest Day

Union Leader Correspondent
October 03. 2018 1:00PM
Returning vendor Sweet Seasons Farm and Artisan Confections of St. Johnsbury, Vt., last year brought organic maple caramel apples to Apple Harvest Day in Dover. Expects lots of treats at the 2018 festival. 
If you go...
WHAT: Apple Harvest Day

WHEN: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

WHERE: Downtown Dover

INFO: dovernh.org

DOVER — Downtown Dover will be filled with more than 50,000 people Saturday as the city celebrates its 34th annual Apple Harvest Day.

What started as a way to draw area residents into the city before the holiday season has evolved into a festival that closes off eight blocks of traffic as 400 vendors from throughout the region and Canada sell their goods.

Entertainment will be found on five stages and lower Henry Law Park will be turned into a KidZone with pony rides and a roaming train.

Katie MacKinnon, president of the Greater Dover Chamber of Commerce, and Community Events Manager Morgan Faustino recently sat down to talk about Apple Harvest Day and what it means to the city.

“I grew up here in Dover, as (did) Morgan. We went to Apple Harvest Day as kids,” MacKinnon said.

In addition to lots of family fun, there is always great food, MacKinnon and Faustino said.

“King (Tut’s Cider Co. of Eliot, Maine) comes out with cider. That’s always a hit,” MacKinnon said.

“Harvey’s Bakery always does something apple related,” Faustino said of the downtown Dover shop.

There will be two food courts, one in the KidZone and the second in the Ross Furniture parking lot at the north end of the festival on Third Street.

The day unofficially kicks off with a 5K road race at 8:30 a.m. on River Street. About 1,000 people usually participate in that event, MacKinnon said.

Then, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., there will be a host of offerings, including a free exhibit by Wildlife Encounters Ecology Center & Farm School at Henry Law Park. The organization, which will show off a selection of ambassador animals, are developing new facilities on Beauty Hill Road in Barrington on 77-acres of recently acquired land.

The day-long entertainment lineup will feature performances by McDonough-Grimes Irish Dance, Garrison Players Youth Troupe, Seacoast Men of Harmony, and Corinnes School of Dance. There also will be a demonstration of extreme air jump rope.

There is even an apple pie contest sponsored by 97.5 WOKQ at the Rotary Stage Pavilion. Anyone interested in participating must bring their entry to the stage by 11 a.m. A registration form can be downloaded online and must accompany the submitted pie.

As the festival grows over time, more manpower is required. MacKinnon said it takes 200 volunteers and a board of 20 community members to organize the event.

Jean Tremblay of Federal Savings Bank is the 2018 Apple Harvest Day Committee Chair. In a statement, he said the annual event has grown to become the premier autumn festival on the Seacoast.

Faustino said even though parking is free in Dover on the weekend, it may be difficult to find a space on the day of the festival. So he suggests using the shuttle services provided. Parking options that will be available are 118 Central Ave., 275 Locust St., and 100 Liberty Way.

The KidZone does have an entry fee; Kiddie City costs $7. Main attractions are $12. All proceeds go to the Dover Children’s Home.

Roaming train rides are $4 per ride. Pony rides cost $5 each.

For more information, visit www.dovernh.org/apple-harvest-day or go to the Facebook page.

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