SOUTHINGTON - The sounds of marching bands, drum lines and singers filled the autumn air Sunday afternoon at Southington’s annual Apple Harvest Festival parade.
The first weekend of this year’s Southington Apple Harvest Festival drew to a close Sunday, but not before dozens of floats and cars featuring veterans, students, sports teams and more rolled past residents and visitors lining the streets in the bright sunshine.
“It really feels like the first real Halloween-season weekend,” said Mitchell Lindsey, watching the parade with his sun. “The weather and the festival make me want to go buy pumpkins.”
The Apple Harvest Festival opened for its 50th year Friday, bringing dozens of vendors, foods and amusements to downtown. Back on the festival’s Town Green grounds, families lined up for carnival rides and seasonal snacks.
“We don’t come every year, but since it’s a big anniversary, we figured we’d bring the kids,” said Rachel Hall of Enfield.
Like Hall, many come from all over the state for Southington’s annual festival. According to organizers, the festival attracts about 100,000 people every year.
“I think it stays so popular because it has a real New England feel,” said Connor Barks, who said he’s been coming to the festival since he was a teenager. “I hope it doesn’t end soon.”
On Friday, Chris Palmieri, chairman of the festival’s supervisory committee, read a proclamation naming this week Apple Harvest Festival Week. For those who missed the festivities this past week, have no fear: the festival continues with more activities starting Friday.
At 5:30 p.m. Friday, a reunion show featuring winners of the “Connecticut Icon” singing competition held as previous Apple Harvest Festivals is scheduled. At 7:45, magician Eric Wilzig will perform.
An arts and crafts show, featuring more than 50 booths, will be held all day Saturday and Sunday.
In addition to musical performances all weekend, an apple pie-eating contest is set for 1 p.m. Saturday. The contest is open to the first 12 entrants on the day of the event, ages 7 and up.
For more information on this year’s Apple Harvest Festival, visit www.southingtonahf.com .
Skyler Frazer can be reached at 860-801-5087 or by email at email@example.com.