Flanders Church Holds Fall Apple Festival

By Elsie Walker

Fall is just around the corner and that can only mean one thing: it’s time for the annual Apple Festival at the United Presbyterian Church in Flanders.
Oct. 1is the date and 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. is the time; rain date is Oct. 8. However, the festival is about more than apples. It offers something for all ages: from food to shopping to music to entertainment for children. There’s even a demonstration of country fusion. Vendor spaces are still available for $25. Vendors must bring their own table and the church does not keep any vendor proceeds.
For more information on the festival, call the church at: 973-584-8195.
“Everyone loves the transition from a hot summer to the crisper weather of the fall,” said Rev. Rick Oppelt, pastor of the church.
“Our Apple Festival is our effort to invite the community to come out and enjoy a fun event for all ages in our spacious backyard. It is not only a fundraiser, but an Open House for community families. It’s going to be a great event this year.”

Among the offerings at the festival will be food. The church will sell hot dogs and hamburgers with chips. There will be a fruit and vegetable stand from RH Farms in Hackettstown. In addition, there will be some homemade goodness in the form of a bake sale with items provided by church members.

For those interested in doing some shopping, there is a wide variety of opportunities.

Church member Kathy Banfe shared, “we already have funnel cake, several jewelry vendors, Mary Kay, Under Angel’s Wings, Origami Owls and Clever Containers.” For bargain hunters, there’s a “2 Buck Booth” which Banfe shared will be full of great values. There will also be an auction.

“We are working on the items, but know one is a one hour plane ride, [which is] a $300 value over an area of choice (except Manhattan),” Banfe said. In addition to shopping, the festival will have entertainment and activities, too.

“We’ve got the return of Rizzo’s Reptile Discovery [which provides entertaining programs about reptiles] and also our Music Director, Argaille Dimatteo from Boonton, will be there with a new children’s book she just published about the adventures of a young dragon named ‘Hitheranyon.’We’ll also have a demonstration of a new fitness dance craze called ‘Country Fusion’,” shared Oppelt.

Music will be provided by DJ Steve Roberts. For children, there will be hayrides, crafts, games and activities. Also, in honor of long time member Fred Swinson, who passed away three years ago, there will be a blood drive. The Red Cross Blood Mobile will be there.

While a day of fun, the festival is also a fundraiser which helps the church to continue its work.

“The funds raised by the church are distributed to church groups for their ministries and to needs of the community as we become aware of them. In the past the money has provided ‘seed’ money for new church projects, purchase of educational materials and support of mission projects. It functions like a mini ‘foundation’ to which others can ‘apply’ to request funds,” said Oppelt.


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