October 10, 2018BRISTOL – Tapply Thompson Community Center's annual Apple Festival and Craft Fair was scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 6, but there was a lot of work that went into making it all happen in the days leading up to the event.
Now in its 35th year, Apple Fest organizers have a pretty good routine, beginning with where to seek some generous donations. Leslie Dionne, Executive Director of TTCC, said once again this year many local businesses stepped up to help out with the event.
"All of our apples came from Cardigan Mountain Orchard, Hannaford Supermarket pitched in with donations of lard [for the pies and other baked goods] and McDonald's in Plymouth sent down 15 lbs. of butter and dozens of more eggs," she said.
In addition to those contributions, members of the community also pitched in with donations of flour, sugar and more butter to help meet the needs of their time-tested recipes.
With ingredients on hand for apple pies, apple crisp, apple brownies, apple sauce, breads and more, it was then just a matter of getting the help to put it all together.
Dionne said this year approximately 40 volunteers of all ages arrived bright and early at the community center on Friday. There they peeled, sliced and diced the apples to prep them for yet another team of volunteers who assembled the pies and apple crisps or boiled down apples for homemade applesauce.
All of the baked goods were then transported to the nearby Bristol United Church of Christ on South Main Street, where still more volunteers kept the convection oven hot and ready to bake it all.
"It's a real team effort," Dionne said. "This year, we'll make about 125 pies and 80 crisps in addition to everything else."
And while that seems like a lot, each year it doesn't take long for the tables filled with all the apple goods to empty.
Besides taking home a fresh apple pie, patrons also took time to browse the many craft tables set up throughout the community center to either purchase locally made products for themselves or get an early start on their Christmas shopping.
Each year, proceeds from the annual Apple Fest and Craft sale benefit ongoing community programs and events at TTCC.