The Apple Harvest Festival opens Friday, but the unofficial kickoff began last Thursday at the Apple Harvest Festival Gala at the Aqua Turf. On Sept. 20, Bianca Spataro was crowned as the 2018 Apple Harvest Queen (see page 3). Above, the she is surrounded by her court. Front, from left, Hannah Lasbury, Kate Kemnitz, Isabela Miani, Autumn Swain, and Callie Natelli. Back, Brianna Harris, Avery Korp, Kate Hardy, Emma Wojcicki, Spataro, Asami Castellano, Trevor Messina, and Kate Olsen. Missing from the photo is Michael McLaughlin. Check out the Apple Harvest insert to get the most out of this year’s festival.
Photos by JOHN GORALSKI
Let’s meet this year’s Apple Harvest Festival hostesses. They were asked:
A) What do you like about the Apple Harvest Festival?
B) What is your favorite memory of the Apple Harvest Festival?
C) Why is being an Apple Harvest hostess an honor for you?
D) What would you tell your friends who are interested in coming to the festival but have never been?
Bianca Spataro, 17,
2018 Apple Harvest Festival Queen
A) I really value the sense of community the Apple Harvest Festival provides, as this aspect always makes me look forward to the event each year.
B) Growing up, I always enjoyed watching the parade with my family, so dancing in it with my studio was particularly special.
C) To be an Apple Harvest hostess means to serve and contribute to one’s community in a positive manner. In my eyes, having the ability to do those things is an honor.
D) I would certainly rave about the variety of food that is present at the festival, and of course, mention our celebrated apple fritters.
Asami Castellano, 17,
A) I really love the arts and crafts show.
B) Last year, I ran into some people I knew. We hung out that night, and it really kicked off our friendship. We’re super close today, so I have the festival to thank for such a great group of friends.
C) To me, meeting so many people in the community is an honor, and it makes me especially happy when someone I met last year comes over to talk! It’s a nice bond to have with people and the town.
D) With this being the 50th anniversary, it’s a mix of new and tradition.
Kate Hardy, 16,
A) I love to walk around the festival with my friends and check out all of the amazing booths.
B) My favorite memory of the Apple Harvest was watching the parade with my friends, and eating Frito Pie.
C) In fifth grade I wrote an essay about my grandma, and she won the Granny Apple contest. It is very special for me to still be a part of the festival six years later.
D) The Apple Harvest is a very fun activity for all ages, where you can try delicious foods, go on rides, and listen to entertaining music.
Brianna Harris, 16,
A) I like how the community comes together to enjoy the festival with friends and family.
B) My favorite memory is going down to the Apple Harvest parade and looking at all the floats with my friends and family.
C) This is an honor because it gives me the opportunity to assist in the festival that I’ve attended and enjoyed since I was a kid.
D) I would tell my friends to come to the festival and try the amazing food, listen to good music, and come together with the community.
Kate Kemnitz, 17,
A) I love the festival because, despite all the change that happens throughout society, it is a time for everyone to realize that our traditions are what keep us together.
B) My favorite memory was running the 5K road race, surrounded by a supportive, positive environment, which I hoped to create for others.
C) I am honored to be a hostess because I have the opportunity to be a strong, intellectual, and kind role model for the young women of Southington.
D) I would tell anyone who hasn’t attended the Apple Harvest Festival that this is a community that cares about its community.
Avery Korp, 16,
A) I love seeing the town come together and everyone having fun.
B) I used to really enjoy working at the Alex’s Lemonade Stand.
C) I always remembered seeing the hostesses walk around the festival and imagined how cool it would be if I had that opportunity. I’m so happy I’ve been able to take on their role and hope to inspire other kids in the same way they inspired me.
D) I would tell them that whether it be getting some apple fritters, checking out the craft fair, or going on the rides, the Apple Harvest has something for everyone to enjoy.
Hannah Lasbury, 16,
A) My favorite part about the Apple Harvest Festival is that I can hang out with all of my friends and enjoy all the festivities with them.
B) My favorite memory of when I was at the Apple Harvest Festival was when I won a goldfish when I was 8 years old.
C) Being an Apple Harvest hostess has been an honor for me because I get to be able to be around the community and see lots of my friends and family.
D) Going to the Apple Harvest is so much fun. You can buy so many treats and items that you will love, listen to music from the stage and go to the carnival to ride some cool rides.
Trevor Messina, 16,
A) What’s not to love about the Apple Harvest? The food, the people, the overall cheery spirit that comes with it every year is the best.
B) I remember going to the festival with my cousins and eating apple fritters. Also, I have marched in the parade every year since first grade, with scouts then band.
C) As a seventh generation Southington resident, I not only represent my family, but also the LGBT community, my town, and my school.
D) This festival is truly unique. It has some of the greatest food with some of the greatest people. You really won’t find a festival like this anywhere else.
Isabela Miani, 16,
A) What I love about the Apple Harvest Festival is seeing the whole town of Southington come together and share great food, listen to great music, and display what this town has in a parade.
B) My favorite memory of the festival is marching and riding on a float in the parade. With my old elementary school, Saint Dominic School, for three years the float was created and built at my house. It was a great experience to help make it and then display it in the parade.
C) This is an honor for me because I can represent the town of Southington. I feel very proud when I tell people that I am an Apple Harvest hostess.
D) I would tell people about the big parade, the delicious food, the rides, and the craft fair that the Apple Harvest has to offer.
Callie Natelli, 17,
A) What I love about the festival is being with friends while watching fireworks.
B) My favorite festival memory is my siblings Matt, Casey, Jeff and I walking in the parade as little kids with our dad.
C) Being a hostess is an honor for me, since as a little girl I always admired the hostesses. I think it is special to be a leader and role model for one of the most successful events in Southington.
D) For first time attendants, I would say arrive at the parade as early as possible for good seats, and don’t leave without trying the curly fries.
Kate Olsen, 17,
A) I love that, although people are busy in everyday life, you can still see everyone at the Apple Harvest to catch up.
B) My new favorite memory is from last year when I shared my hometown’s festival with my Chilean host sister, Javiera. It was an awesome representation of our Southington community.
C) I have always looked to past hostesses as good examples to follow, so I consider it an honor to be a role model for kids in the community.
D) People should attend for the awesome food, rides, music, crafts and community spirit.
Autumn Swain, 16,
A) What I like most about the Apple Harvest is the sense of unity. The event brings a bunch of different people together.
B) My favorite memory of the Apple Harvest Festival is each year when I get to go with my friends and see all the different activities and booths.
C) Being an Apple Harvest Hostess is an honor for me because my cousin was one in the past, and she always talked so highly of it. Now I can gain my own experiences and see for myself how great it really is.
D) I would tell my friends that the festival is a great way to feel included and connected to your community. I would recommend they come for a fun experience and unforgettable memories.
Emma Wojcicki, 18,
A) I really enjoy the festival’s positive atmosphere and how it always finds a way to bring the community together.
B) My favorite memory of the Apple Harvest Festival is when I won a goldfish last year. His name is Alvin, and he’s still swimming.
C) Being a hostess is an honor to me because it allows me to continue the longstanding tradition of being involved in the community and promoting the festival.
D) I would describe the contagious sense of happiness that fills the festival year after year as well as the many fun-filled attractions that the festival has to offer.