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AppleFest brings sense of communuty to borough

October 21, 2007|By ASHLEY HARTMAN

CHAMBERSBURG, PA. - Designed as a way to bring the community together and celebrate south-central Pennsylvania's apple crop, the Chambersburg AppleFest drew 10,000 people downtown Saturday, according to Jenn Daley, special events coordinator for the downtown business council.

"The purpose is to create a community festival and to help people feel connected with the downtown and feel a sense of community," Daley said.

The dedication of the founding family memorial statue and the "AppleFest Idol" contest were major attractions, Daley said.

"There are some talented people in this region," Daley said of the "AppleFest Idol" contest, where eight local singers competed for the title and $500.

The winner of the contest was Sean Bockseie of Waynesboro, who sang "Anyway" by Martina McBride.

"I feel awesome," said Bockseie, 38, a graduate of the Shenandoah Conservancy of Music. "There were a lot of people here and they supported everyone."

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Bockseie said she got involved in the competition because "it seemed like a good opportunity and a good venue."

The festival also featured 150 crafters and artisans, 30 food vendors and a variety of musical entertainment.

Alice Knoll of Chambersburg tries to attend AppleFest each year.

"It just brings people out together and you see a lot of your friends," said Knoll, who enjoyed looking at the variety of items sold by vendors.

Michelle Otto of Chambersburg considers AppleFest a tradition each year.

"It's a time for everybody to get out and see people you don't see a lot," Otto said. "It's a good way to get people downtown to see what is going on."

Otto said she buys items at the festival to decorate her house. She also likes to buy gifts for her son and daughter.

"I got some potpourri and some smaller fall-type items for my shadow boxes," Otto said as she picked out a necklace for her daughter.

It was the first time that Karen Barnhart attended or had been a vendor at AppleFest.

"This is my son's first year starting the produce business," said Barnhart of her son Brent's produce business, Country Creek Produce, which she was helping to promote. "It's been going pretty well."

Barnhart said gourds and peppers were selling well. The business also sells mums, pumpkins, tomatoes and corn, most of which are grown on their family farm in Chambersburg.

Lyn Bertrand brought her handmade soaps to AppleFest for the third year in a row.

"I live in Franklin County, and I just enjoy seeing people I know," Bertrand said. "It brings everyone out and brings neighbors and friends together."

Bertrand's soaps are made from olive oil, goat's milk, cow's milk and oatmeal.

"I make olive oil soaps because they're moisturizing and gentle," she said.

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