Lots of food, live performances, and family-friendly fun
coming to The Commons Sept. 29 – Oct. 1
ITHACA NY SEPTEMBER 20, 2017 — We’re just one week away from Ithaca’s premier autumn event, Ithaca Apple Harvest Festival presented by Tompkins Trust Company, a community bank that has been supporting Apple Harvest for the past decade!
This family-friendly, community tradition will take place Friday, Sept 29, noon to 6 p.m. and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both Saturday, Sept. 30 and Sunday, Oct. 1. Now celebrating its 35th year, this highly anticipated celebration will feature fresh local foods, handmade crafts, games, giveaways, and live performances on and around the Ithaca Commons pedestrian mall, 202 East State St., Ithaca.
More than 20 local farmers will be selling many varieties of apples, cider, maple products, and other delectable seasonal produce and baked goods. Look for traditional favorites as well as new offerings. Littletree Orchards will return with their famous apple cider doughnuts — we’ve seen lines at least 50 people deep waiting to purchase this sweet treat — and Laughing Goat Fiber Farm will once again bring its adorable goats to pet and their fiber to feel. Robbie’s Produce is also making a return visit with its fresh picked and juicy produce, plus it’ll be making beautiful, customized garden and floral arrangements to honor Apple Harvest Festival’s 35th anniversary.
If you’re looking for a tasty, hot meal or snack, more than 20 different food vendors will be serving delicious dishes to suit every palate. Festival newcomer Monks on the Commons is preparing a fall feast, serving freshly baked doughnuts with maple cream and brown sugar bacon, a butternut squash bisque pork sandwich made with cardamom-spiced pork, cinnamon butter toasted roll and apple-blackcurrant chutney, and Trini Style is returning with a savory brown stew chicken, curry chicken and veggies, spinach fritters and roti and rice. If your mouth isn’t watering yet, just wait, there’s more, including classic festival foods such as fried dough, blooming onions, apple crisps, and pumpkin funnel cake.
In addition to the farmers and foods, nearly 70 craft vendors from all over the community and the nation will converge in downtown Ithaca to sell hundreds of handmade items. Puccoon Raccoon, a Rochester-based jewelry maker, will feature its line of unique engagement/wedding rings, fun charms, stunning necklaces, and dazzling earrings while Katie Van Design will be showcasing its original coloring books and eye-catching prints and Skelly Chic will be selling its one-of-a-kind skeleton sculptures and stationary.
Live entertainment is also a festival staple, and throughout Saturday and Sunday, we will have a full lineup of acts set to take the Bernie Milton Pavilion stage. Ithaca College’s student-run radio station, WICB 91.7 FM, and Finger Lakes Comedy Festival will join forces to MC the main stage on Saturday and Sunday, and will announce special giveaways in between sets from Mighty Jet Band (bluesy, folkie & rock tradition), Vee Da Bee (southern blues, soul and hip-hop), NEO Project (soul, jazz, funk), and more.
For those bringing younger guests, check out the free games and activities at the Family Fun Zone presented by Tompkins Trust Company located inside Center Ithaca and stop by the Wizarding Weekend tent to take a spin on their special Wheel of Magic. It’s only $1 to spin and every spinner is a winner! Proceeds offset the costs of the festival. You’ll also get to learn more about what’s planned for Wizarding Weekend, grab your copy of the festival program, the Daily Non Profit, and purchase Passport Tickets, Potions Crawl passes, Magical Artifact Hunt Passes and City of Magic Ball Tickets.
“Apple Harvest Festival is one of those community events that you simply don’t want to miss. It’s the perfect opportunity to sample all of the yummy fall foods and tasty beverages that this region is known for, and it’s a wonderful introduction to downtown for those who have never been here before,” says Tatiana Sy, special events director for the Downtown Ithaca Alliance (DIA), a not-for-profit group that organizes this annual affair. “We are truly grateful for the community’s continued support of this event.”
Parking for the festival will be available in the Green, Seneca and Cayuga street garages for $5. For more Apple Harvest information, visit downtownithaca.com or check out our Facebook Event Page.
Concurrent with the Apple Harvest Festival, 2 Funny Entertainment will present its Finger Lakes Comedy Festival from 6 p.m. to midnight, Thursday, Sept. 28 through Saturday, Sept. 30. Comedians will be performing at several downtown locations. In addition, the Multicultural Resource Center is presenting its First Peoples’ Festival, an annual celebration of indigenous culture, on Sunday at Dewitt Park, 315 North Cayuga St., Ithaca. The event will feature a traditional opening at 10 a.m., followed by live music, performances, arts and crafts, food vendors, children’s activities, and a smoke dance competition.
Also, don’t miss the Finger Lakes Cider Week activities, including Monks and Makers: A Cider and Food Pairing Salon on Sunday, Oct. 1 from 1 to 5 p.m. at Ithaca Marriott Downtown on the Commons. The DIA has partnered with the NY Cider Association for this special event which will feature an intimate 40-minute tasting session inside the event space in the Ithaca Marriott. Engage with a loaded roster of 9 stellar New York State cideries and enjoy delectable bites from one of Downtown Ithaca’s newest restaurants, Monks on the Commons. These sessions are free to attend with RSVP at eventbrite.com. A very limited number of walk-up spots will be held. All participating cideries will also be selling by the bottle!
For additional information on any of these and more spectacular events happening downtown, visit our Facebook Event Page.