How many times have you heard the words “Apple Fest” this weekend? 15? 1500? Well Ithacans, be prepared to hear it about 1500 more times before the weekend’s over. The Ithaca Apple Harvest Festival is one of the most anticipated events of the season, or debatably the entire year, so it’s no wonder that just about everyone you know is obsessing over it. There’s still one day left to enjoy this annual event, but we’re rounding up a few highlights from Apple Fest 2016, just in case you don’t make it down to the Commons after all (or perhaps to convince you that it’s worth the TCAT ride to get there!).
And if you’re planning on braving the rain on Sunday? Make sure you check out our Apple Fest Survival Guide to make the absolute most of it!
The Caramel Apples
What would an Apple Fest recap be without the inclusion of caramel apples? Everyone’s likely had one of these sweet and sticky treats at a local carnival or state fair before, but there’s something about the caramel apples at Apple Fest that are just…well, better. After all, the festival is in celebration of the apple havest season, so you won’t find fresher or juicier apples anywhere else. You’ll definitely want to stop at the stand on Cayuga Street if you’re heading out to the festival tomorrow or, at the very least, put it on your Apple Fest 2017 to-do list.
Ithaca Street Food
The street food game at Apple Fest is always on point. There’s lots of options, so you don’t have to worry if you’re a picky eater. Most of the restaurants in the Commons are also open during the festival, and it can be nice to enjoy the patio section and people watch while you’re eating. Though all of the food is said to be delicious, opt for the falafel pita from On The Street Pitas if you don’t know what to get. You can thank us later. And if you missed it this year, don’t forget there’s a location on South Fulton Street and at the Ithaca Farmer’s Market. You don’t have to wait until Apple Fest 2017 to enjoy these fresh and tasty pitas!
The Local Vendors
Apple Fest is a great opportuntity to support local Ithaca businesses. Many of the best vendors were out this year, and there were plenty of options to choose from, both for food and arts. It’s also always fun to stop in popular shops like Life’s So Sweet Chocolates during this time to grab a free sample and pick up a few sweet treats.
Press Bay Alley
Though it’s a little off the beaten path, Press Bay Alley was certainly brimming with life during Apple Fest this year. The whole alleyway was fairy themed, and included a fairy house contest and many bright-costumed festival goers. This was definitely the place to be to take a break from the crowd and relax for a bit this year. There were also a few early reminders of the upcoming Harry Potter Wizarding Weekend, which were fun to spot.
Overall, despite the overcast skys and light rain, Apple Fest 2016 was another fun and successful event. It’s a must-do for every Ithaca College student at least once, if not on an annual basis. Be sure to take notes on all of our tips seen here and in our Apple Fest Survival Guide for next year! Happy fall Ithacans.