Pumpkins are the star of the fall season. Whether it be pumpkin pie, pumpkin patches or pumpkin spice, they seem to be the first thing many people think of once the leaves start changing.
On Saturday, Oct. 7, New Paltz Reformed Church, in conjunction with Historic Huguenot Street (HHS), hosted the 29th annual Applestock festival.
“Applestock is an annual community festival that celebrates fall harvest and one of the Hudson Valley’s most prosperous crops, which is of course our wonderful apple,” said Kara Gaffken, director of public programming at HHS.
The festival honors the unsung heroes of the fall season—apples. When autumn comes around and the pumpkin hype train rolls out of the station yet again, we tend to forget about our delicious friends.
Apples are a more vital and important part of fall than we tend to give them credit for. Apple picking, apple pie, apple cider, apple cider donuts—just a few of the ways apples make our lives just a little more joyful this season.
This was the first year that HHS worked alongside the Reformed Church to plan the event. HHS decided to add their annual cider market, hosted in June of each year as a part of Cider Week Hudson Valley, to the festival.
“We realized that the festival feel that we were trying to gain was so similar to what Applestock already had,” Gaffken said. “Since Huguenot Street and the Reformed Church are very obvious neighbors and we work really well together, we decided to combine our efforts and do one big event as opposed to two separate ones,”
Applestock featured dozens of exhibitors, from local businesses to nonprofit organizations, selling apple-based treats and drinks. HHS took charge of the cider market, which featured vendors like Awestruck Premium Hard Cider, who had an expansive menu of hard cider drinks, both on tap and in bottle.
“There was a lot of hunting for vendors,” Gaffken said. “So, any local cidery, winery, brewery and all of those craft beverage makers that are becoming so prominent and well known in the Hudson Valley.”
Not every vendor sold exclusively apple products, however. Other vendors included a pickle stand, handmade soap and Aids Orphan Education Trust Uganda, a nonprofit that sells jewelry to benefit women in Uganda.
Along with food, drinks and crafts, Applestock also featured live performances from local bands and children’s activities.
“Of course, everything to the best of our abilities is as apple-themed as possible,” Gaffken said. “I know that the church makes hundreds and hundreds of homemade apple pies in the weeks leading up to this event, and they sell them there. It’s a really big fundraiser for them.”
Despite Saturday’s rainy weather, the day was still a success.
“It is a big event. It’s a community event,” Gaffken said. “We get a lot of New Paltz residents who see it as a part of their annual family tradition.”
Applestock is held in October each year. For more information on events being held by HHS or the Reformed Church of New Paltz, visit their websites at reformedchurchofnewpaltz.org and huguenotstreet.org.