By SHERIDAN CYR
The official 49th Apple Harvest Festival finance report was presented to the Town Council on Tuesday, Nov. 28. Officials cheered the $15,000 net profit as the town’s signature event rebounded from a loss in 2016.
AHF Supervisory Committee co-chair Tom Lombardi said that the income is a result of great weather for both weekends of the festival.
“We make a majority of our income from sponsorships and from carnival sales,” he said. “When it rains and there’s bad weather, the carnival can’t operate, and we lose a majority of our revenue.” He added that due to weather, the income fluctuates greatly from year to year, making it difficult to compare revenues to past years. “You kind of have to look at the big picture.”
Total income for the festival came out to $282,674.12. Total expenses came out to $267,372.33.
Lombardi said it is “amazing that we have been able to self-sustain this festival.” The approximately $15,000 net profit will go directly into next year’s AHF budget, which will be celebrating its 50th anniversary.
A new AHF Supervisory Committee was named during the last council meeting and Lombardi will serve as vice chair with Chris Palmieri. The councilors will be joined by Southington recreation director David Lapraey, Town Manager Mark Sciota, Southington Police Department Lt. Steve Elliot, along with Jack Pery and Julie Portfolio.
For the last two years, then Republican-led council had removed Democratic councilor Palmieri from the position of chairperson and split the position between Republicans Lombardi and Cheryl Lounsbury, as co-chairs. Palmieri said this was the first time the board wasn’t bipartisan.
“I am pleased to say that our supervisory committee is much more representative now,” said Palmieri. “I truly am thrilled to be working alongside all our new committee members as well as our returning volunteers.”
Palmieri expressed at last week’s council meeting that equal representation of both parties and of citizens was important to him when he was making decisions on naming positions in Southington’s committees.
Lombardi said he is looking forward to working alongside Palmieri. “Chris has many years of experience in helping organizing the event, and was one of the original people who took the reins back when the town took over the festival,” he said. “We’ve worked together in the past, and now we’re just coming back together on this committee.”
Both Lombardi and Palmieri are looking forward to jumping right in to organizing for the 50th annual AHF when they meet in December.
“Those of us who sit in those chairs know what job has to be done,” said Lombardi. “We all work together and get it done, and I think it’s going to be a great year.”
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Sheridan Cyr, email her at SCyr@SouthingtonObserver.com.