By JOHN GORALSKI
The Apple Harvest Festival is almost here, and officials are working hard to prepare for opening day.
This year’s festival (Oct. 2 to Oct 4 and Oct. 9 to Oct. 11) 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 the second weekend. Along the way, visitors are treated to a number of contests, a carnival, and a whole lot of fun.
A lot of work goes on behind the scenes to get ready as committees scramble to secure the Apple Harvest hostesses, volunteers, and vendors that are needed for a successful festival.
That’s why we are so happy that committee members took time from their busy schedules to talk with The Observer and offer our readers a rare glimpse behind the curtain.
This week, we talk with Alyssa Pappas, the Apple Harvest Hostess chairperson.
How did you get involved with the Apple Harvest Festival?
Back in 2012, I was a hostess, and I was lucky enough to become Apple Harvest Queen. That began my journey with the festival.
When and why did you get involved as a committee member?
I have been with the Apple Harvest Festival for four years, but I have only been on the committee for three. Being a hostess was the best part of my senior year, and I knew I wanted to be on the committee.
What are the duties and responsibilities of your committee? What part of the Apple Harvest Festival are you entrusted to handle?
I handle the selection and training of Apple Harvest Hostesses. I am in charge of the application process and all of the activities leading up to the festival. I also help with the Gala, and I crown the Apple Harvest Festival Queen just before opening day. During the festival, I am in charge of the pie and fritter eating contests with the help of the hostesses.
What are the biggest changes this year from your committee?
We are accepting applications for hostess from junior girls for the first time ever. It is very exciting to appeal to a much larger group of high school girls.
What are you most excited about at this year’s festival?
Parade day is always my favorite. It is a lot of work getting everything put together, but it is awesome to see the whole thing come up Main Street. I also love the fireworks and the bed races—which are coming back this year.
How can people get involved? Is there any specific help that you still need, events you want to promote, or things you need to accomplish before Oct. 2?
If high school junior or senior girls are still interested in becoming an Apple Harvest Festival Hostess, there is an application that is posted online in April/May. You can see them on the website (www.Southington.org/AHF) or in the main office at Southington High School.
How can people contact you?
We have an Apple Harvest Festival website (www.southington.org/AHF) as well as a Facebook page that is updated during the festival.