Food and Fun by the Bushel at Springville Apple Festival
Text and Photos by Sue Burns
Pies and hand pies, crisps and cobblers, cider and tarts, syrup and butter … even tacos, tamales and burritos … what seasonal ingredient do all these foods have in common? Apples! And they could all be found in plentiful quantities that disappeared like magic at Springville’s 38th annual Apple Festival.
The festival is executed each year by volunteers on the Apple Festival Committee, men and women who are actively involved in the Springville community. Volunteers manage and work at booths and activities, serve as a friendly welcome to the town and help keep areas clean throughout the event.
Supplies and prizes are donated by local businesses, which also assist with various event logistics. Many local groups, including Girl and Boy Scouts, and 4-H Club, host booths that raise funds to support their activities and the greater community.
Thousands of people of all ages visited Springville the weekend of Oct. 20-21. Visitors were able to park at the Springville Rodeo Grounds and board free shuttles that brought them to the main thoroughfare. Once there, strolling up one side of the street and down the other, they found a variety of ways to celebrate the apple. Samples and sales of specialty products were available – although people had to be quick to get them. Close to 100 gallons of fresh pressed apple cider at the Edwards Orchards and Ciderhouse Foods booths sold out before the end of Saturday, and by Sunday noon, most of the pies, crisps and other treats had been scooped up. Luckily, Ciderhouse Foods had plenty of its popular “Apple Pie in a Bottle” syrup available. Lesson learned? If you’re traveling to the event for the purpose of purchasing apple products, you’ll have your pick on the first day, although the crowds will be heavier.
While many of the favored apple delicacies sold quickly, plenty of fun and activity were still to be had, with almost 100 artisan, craft, food and fundraising booths. For early birds arriving Saturday and Sunday before the booths opened, the Springville Mountain Lions hosted pancake breakfasts (they hosted luncheons each day as well). Later on, the aromas of tasty lunch and snack foods permeated the air. Gifford’s Market was busy cooking tri-tip sandwiches and ribs, and members of VFW Post 9499 served up their famous fried jumbo Apple Burrito, while food trucks and restaurants Wild Oak Coffee House, Cowpunchers Café and more served special dishes for the event.
Members of the Springville Women’s Club could be found in front of the pop-up shop The Station selling their apple pies and tarts, with the proceeds benefiting the local elementary school and high school seniors. The group has been making and selling the treats in support of Springville’s students for 30 years; for this festival, 646 pies and 125 tarts were baked from scratch by members, no doubt with the addition of lots of TLC.
In the Artisan Village, crafts were in abundance, and demonstrations kept things lively. Paintings, gourds, jewelry, woodworks, clay and pottery, and even sculptures made out of horseshoes by local artist Paul Owens were on display and available for purchase. Paul even made a giant apple, a unique creation that drew the attention of many.
What can only be called a “living public art” display, the Springville Mosaic Wall is an incredible work in progress along Highway 190. Springville Arts Council volunteers Sally Henry and Bill Evans said the wall is constructed of tiles made by volunteers. The tiles represent all of the flora and fauna of the Tule River drainage, “kind of a secret river in the middle of our town from Maggie and Moses Mountains all the way to the valley floor.” The project, which represents 11 years of work thus far, is led by chief artist Francis Pyles and is planned to eventually run the length of the town on Highway 190.
A full schedule of activities rounded out the weekend, with the ever-popular Apple Run and new Apple Baking Contest on Saturday morning and the Fat Tire Classic and Kids’ Bike Races on Sunday. Music kept things lively each afternoon as 82 Deluxe played country and rock songs, and jazz duo Equinox performed American Songbook classics and tunes from Miles Davis and Chet Baker in the main square.
From the smiles on faces and apple treats in hand, it was clear that “a good time was had by all,” and apple aficionados are undoubtedly looking forward to next year’s event.