Brighton Applefest committee optimistic about small event for fall

·2 min read

Brighton’s Applefest committee is hopeful it can host a smaller event this year to mark the bounty of the fall harvest at the height of the season.

For about 45 years, on the last full weekend of September, Main Street has played host to a sprawling street festival and celebratory parade. Applefest typically draws a crowd of 10,000 or more from near and far to Brighton, doubling the town’s population in one weekend.

Last year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the street fair, parade and other events were cancelled. Activities took a virtual spin and included an apple-themed decorating contest for homes and storefronts.

Brighton Deputy Mayor Laura Vink said the Applefest committee, which met Feb. 17, is optimistic about hosting a small event this fall.

“At this point, we are pretty sure that we will not be able to host a full-fledged Applefest this year,” Vink, who chairs the Applefest committee, told the Brighton Independent.

“We are hoping to do a smaller, Brighton-influenced event this year.”

While Applefest typically draws vendors from various parts of Ontario, this year “keeping everything very local” will be a priority, she said.

Applefest will probably be a one-day event on Saturday, Sept. 25. “This year we will most likely just focus on the Saturday, but things are still up in the air. Time will tell,” Vink noted.

“We've agreed to meet again in April as we feel we will then be able to better gauge where we are at as far as COVID and make some more informed decisions.”

Most Applefest activities are typically centred around Main Street and the nearby King Edward Park. Events include barbecues, a children's village, a car show, arts and crafts shows and dinners.

Natalie Hamilton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Northumberland News