33rd annual Apple Festival returns to Johnston this weekend


The apples are fat and ready for plucking.

The vendors are stocked and ready for selling.

Are you hungry and ready for stuffing?

The annual harvest season has arrived. And with the end of summer, the 33rd annual Apple Festival has also returned.

The Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce and The Washington Trust Company will sponsor a fresh take on the festival on Saturday, Sept. 11 and Sunday, Sept. 12 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Johnston Memorial Park, 1583 Hartford Ave.

The time-honored community tradition is free and open to the public.

For more information about the Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce, call 401-334-1000 or visit nrichamber.com

“We love seeing our old friends,” said Mary Lou D’Andrea, who with her husband Lou owns Appleland Orchards in Smithfield, the lone orchard involved in this year’s Apple Festival. “We’re looking forward to meeting new friends.”

Appleland will be selling several varieties of apples, cider donuts, dumplings, pies, gourmet chocolate covered apples, hot and cold cider.

The orchard owners will be assisted by cousin Alex DeNoncour and his fiancé Kaylee Hannagan, both Johnston residents.

After the festival ends, D’Andrea invites the public to the orchard at 135 Smith Ave., where pick your own hours last from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day through Christmas.

D’Andrea said we have entered prime apple-picking season, which typically lasts from mid-September through mid-October.

The orchard grows many different apple varieties, as well as peaches, and offers a plethora of baked goods and apple products in their orchard store.

Vendors will again line Artisan Row at the Apple Festival.

Attendees will have the opportunity to shop at a variety of vendor booths offering everything from seasonal home décor to unique gift items, according to the NRI Chamber.

“This will be the one-stop shop for your holiday shopping,” according to a press release. “Did we mention food? Don’t cook all weekend — there will be sausage & peppers, hot dogs, burgers, pizza, homemade ice cream and of course the festival favorite fresh apple cider doughnuts.”

The Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce represents businesses in Burrillville, Central Falls, Cumberland, Foster, Glocester, Johnston, Lincoln, North Providence, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, Scituate, Smithfield, and Woonsocket. The NRI Chamber also leads the Chamber of Commerce Coalition, representing nine area chambers of commerce from the Ocean State.

The Coalition is one of the largest business advocates in the state of Rhode Island and represents more than 6,500 businesses and 70,000 employees statewide.

Students from School of Rock will perform on-stage at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 11.

The event organizers promise a good time, ripe for the picking.


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