Pick Annual Apple Festival For Great Family Fun
By Elsie Walker
Everything will be coming up apples on Sat., Sept. 19. That’s the day of the annual Apple Festival at the United Presbyterian Church in Flanders.
In addition to a variety of tasty apple items, the day will include auctions, a two buck table, music, a farmer’s market, fun for the kids, vendors and more. The festival will be held from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.; the rain date is Sept. 26. Vendor spaces are still available. For information call 973-584-8195.
“When the festival began more than 12 years ago, I believe apples were chosen as a good theme for the fall, with which apples and apple orchards have been associated,” said the church’s pastor, the Rev. Rick Oppelt. “For the past several years, we have made a special effort to include a wide variety of baked goods all using apples in some form. All items are homemade. Last year, we put together a cookbook of all apple-based recipes, which we are supplementing for this year and selling for a nominal price.”
There will also be a silent auction and a live auction. Items in both auctions include gift certificates from local restaurants, business, sports memorabilia and tickets to local and New York entertainment venues. Donations of items for both auctions are still being taken; the proceeds benefiting the church’s charitable activities and missions
One notable item at the live auction is being donated by church member Kathy Banfe, a licensed pilot
“I am donating a one hour flight in my Cessna 182 – single engine / four seater plane to the highest bidder,” said Banfe. “We will travel over New Jersey, or Upstate New York, Pennsylvania.”
Other offerings at the festival include a two buck table (nothing over $2), vendors, hamburgers and hot dogs, a Farmers Market, music, children’s activities and sign-up for a blood drive.
Oppelt said the farmer’s market has been “very popular in the last several years, has been an extravagant display of fruits and vegetables from RH Farms of Hackettstown.” There will be a DJ this year: Steve Roberts. He will do a mixture of music genre – including Rock, 70’s, and 80’s.
As for the activities for kids, Banfe said, “We are going to have about 10 games, plus bounce house, pitch burst (like a dunking machine with ball / target / water balloon burst on head vs being dunked). We will have arts and crafts along with face painting.”
There will be a table at which people can sign-up for the annual Fred Swinson Memorial Blood Drive, which will be held on Sept. 27 at the church. It is named in memory of one of the church’s members who organized the annual blood drive for many years.
Banfe said, “[The festival] is a great family event, kid- friendly, a safe place to spend an afternoon and have fun.”
Oppelt added, “We think a community event like this brings people out on a beautiful fall day to have some fun as a family. Many of our members are involved in their local communities in various ways and our Apple Festival is another way for us to channel our commitment to Mt. Olive Township and at the same time raise a few dollars that in one way or another will be re-invested back into the community through our church’s ministry and mission.”