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Apple Fest draws a crowd

October 21, 2002|by JULIE E. GREENE

When the Chambersburg Apple Fest began 21 years ago, it was focused on apples, but several visitors said Saturday it was crafts that drew them to the event this year.

Debi Pisko, 31, of Smithsburg, went to the festival after her aunt, Joyce Spinn of Greencastle, Pa., told her it had a lot of craft vendors. There were about 200 craft and food vendors.

Pisko bought a snowman made from a gourd and a country-style lantern on a wooden post with a welcome sign.

Pisko's parents and a friend drove 21/2 hours from Waldorf, Md., for the craft festival. They bought crafts, but managed to find some apple baked goods, too.

Pisko's parents, Doug and Pat Dietz, and their friend, Nancy Pion, 45, bought apple dumplings and apple cakes, but couldn't find hot apple cider. They found some cold apple cider at the Salvation Army thrift shop, Pion said.

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Chambersburg native Joyce Short, 70, who now lives in Fort Washington, Md., said she remembers when the festival had hot apple cider and lots more apples.

"They used to have big piles of them like coal piles," Short said.

"It's gotten away from Apple Fest," she said.

Short's friend, Robert "Yorky" Yourkavitch, 69, of Fayetteville, Pa., said the festival started out small, but has grown with all kinds of craft and food vendors.

Organizer Barb Moran said the festival began because apples "were such a big thing" in Franklin County. During the years, the event has become more focused on crafts as many orchardists have become too busy to participate and many people buy their apples at produce stands.

For the second time, Apple Fest provided free apples to visitors.

Volunteer Roger Fisher of Fayetteville was having a hard time giving away apples because people were telling him they grew their own or had some at home to eat.

Janel Kauffman, 27, of Chambersburg, Pa., held Cameron, 4, as he leaned into a huge crate of free apples provided by C&R Fruit and Produce of St. Thomas, Pa.

"He likes to pick out his own things," she said.

Cameron and his brother, Brenton Kauffman, 9, had ghosts painted on their faces or hands and got a caricature of the two of them together.

Apple Fest, sponsored by the Downtown Business Council of Chambersburg Inc., featured a variety of crafts. They included jewelry, country-style furniture, iron works, picture frames, cedar flutes, painted mailboxes, leather crafts, soaps, photographs, dried flowers, stone lamps and a variety of yard ornaments.

There were some apple baked goods, especially at the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Grindstone Hill's booth.

The church sold out of 764 apple dumplings and more than 18 apple pies by 11:30 a.m., said volunteer Patsy Wildeson. The church also was selling apple bread, apple cakes and applesauce whoopie pies.

The festival had a wide spectrum of food, from traditional American festival fare to food with an international flare.

People could buy candy, hot dogs, corn dogs, pork barbecue, kettle popcorn, country ham, cheesesteaks, crabcake sandwiches, lamb gyros, chicken veggie wraps, kielbasi, nachos, funnel cake, Monkey bread, soft pretzels, tequila lime chicken, blooming onions, Thai chicken satay and chocolate-covered strawberries.

"That's what it's all about, trying stuff," Pion said.

Pion opted to try the chili rather than the deep-fried Twinkies. The Twinkies came with chocolate or raspberry topping.

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