Garwood Orchards' 35th annual Apple Fest, a quintessential fall tradition in La Porte County filled with apple picking, music, and crafts, came to a close this weekend.
The festival brings in thousands of people of all ages each year. From painting piggy banks to enjoying fresh corn on the cob, festival goers enjoyed every aspect of the event. In the market area, dozens of craft vendors sold various goods from tents. Attendees brought home handmade items like blankets, jewelry, and yard ornaments from the craft show. At the U-Pick, horsedrawn wagons and tractors took people out to the orchard to pick fresh apples, with Honeycrisp being the most popular. These diverse attractions broadened the sense of community that Garwood’s has provided for over 200 years.
“It’s been a tradition. Apple Fest is 35 years old, and Garwood’s has been here since 1857, so I think people think of us as the family farm to go to in the fall. We’ve been around a long time, and people know that. We appreciate the fact that the community supports us,” Carey Garwood, who ran the U-Pick area during Apple Fest, said.
Bands also performed in the U-Pick area while patrons waited for the tractors and horses, with Dr. Groovy and the Soul Surgeons performing on Saturday and Middle of the Road Band performing on Sunday. Music has always played a large role in the culture at Garwood’s; the orchard invites bands to play every weekend in October. In the next few weeks, bands such as Hazard County and McCoy also will be performing at Garwood’s.
This appreciation for the arts is also reflected through the event's craft show. Here, vendors from throughout La Porte County showcased their various talents. According to Brenda Garwood, who organized the craft show, the board of directors makes sure not to book too many of the same type of vendors. Therefore, each booth is very unique. Sarah Painter, who sold wreaths, wooden pumpkins, and other holiday decorations at her booth, appreciated the environment at the event.
“Events like this one show uniqueness and creativity, and they bring people’s imaginations into play,” Painter said. “Fall is a great time to be out here in the midwest, specifically in La Porte County. It’s about coming out, seeing new things, and being in the fresh air.”
Families in particular came out to experience the event. As Garwood said, La Porte County families make the Apple Fest a yearly tradition. Attendee Jeff Tibbot has brought his family to the event for years. In fact, it has become such a tradition for his family that it feels natural for them to come to Garwood’s every year. Although Tibbot hails from La Porte, he has met people from all over Indiana at Apple Fest.
“Apple Fest brings in people from all over. Activities like this are good for the economy, and are good events in general,” said Tibbot.
Whether attendees were La Porte County natives like Tibbot or were from out of town, they surely had a great time ringing in the 2017 fall season at Garwood’s 35th annual Apple Fest.
For more information on Garwood Orchards, click here.