By JOHN GORALSKI
The Apple Harvest Festival is almost here, and officials are working hard to prepare for opening day.
The 2016 event runs from Friday, Sept. 30 to Sunday, Oct. 2 and Friday, Oct. 7 to Sunday, Oct. 9, and it will include everything that visitors have come to expect from a parade and road race on the first weekend to the arts and crafts festival in the second weekend.
Along the way, visitors are treated to fireworks, a number of contests, and a carnival that spans both weekends.
Visitors will pour onto the town green for this year’s festival, and few will notice the behind-the-scenes work carried on by the Apple Harvest hostesses, volunteers, vendors, and committee members that goes into a another successful festival.
This week, we talk with Apple Harvest Parade co-chair JoAnne Salerno about her committee’s work, including co-chairs Rodney Ragucci, Linda Wolf Kirk, and Joe Salerno.
Why do you continue to be involved with the Apple Harvest Festival?
Our committee really feels that this is great community service. We feel it’s important, and it’s a lot of fun.
What are your duties and responsibilities?
I design the parade. Linda Wolf Kirk does all of our computer work. Rodney Ragucci and Joe Salerno join us on the parade day, along with a variety of volunteers. It really is a group project.
What are the biggest changes this year for the festival?
I think that the new “Get Fest” app is going to be huge. It will allow people to track the parade in real time.
It’s in our beta year, our testing year, so we ask that everyone be patient, but it’s going to be a big help over the coming years.
The app will be available starting Oct. 1 at http://consulting.blumshapiro.com/technology-consulting/Get-Fest or watch for the link on the Apple Harvest Festival Facebook page.
What are you most excited about at this year’s parade?
We never want it to be the same year after year, so we brought in new participants like a Dixieland band. We named the parade “Candy Apple Kids’ Parade,” and we think it’s going to be loads of fun.
Can people still get involved?
We are always thrilled to get help, and we’ll take people right up to the last minute as long as they register with us. It’s a great community service. If you’re interested in helping out, give me a call at (860) 620-3221.