National Apple Harvest Festival in Biglerville

Tom and I enjoyed being in Harrisburg because it was so easy to get places from Harrisburg.  One Sunday, after church, we headed south a bit to check out the National Apple Harvest Festival in Biglerville, Pennsylvania.

I knew apple growing was a big thing in Washington state.  I also know Ohio has its share of apple orchards, so I shouldn’t have been surprised that Biglerville is a huge apple growing area.  On our way down to the festival, Tom and I saw acres of apple orchards.  And almost all of them had a stand set up for selling roadside.  But Tom and I didn’t stop because we were headed for the biggest apple-selling place in the area.

The National Apple Harvest Festival has been held in Biglerville for over 50 years.  It is held the first two weekends in October with 25,000 people per day visiting.  That’s a lot of people!  We got some idea of the scope when we parked in a big field and then climbed on a school bus to ride the five miles to the festival.  Tom, on the way there, said “I may have underestimated the size of this festival.”

Fortunately, it was one of the best organized festivals of its kind we have ever attended.  Everything was very well marked, with a fun and interesting map to follow with your paid entrance.  The streets were clear and had humorous apple-related names.  We tried to be systematic, but we ended up missing a few things (although not many).

There were three stages with entertainment on them.  We heard country acts, rock and roll, and saw some Native American dancers.  Tom got his picture taken with Johnny Appleseed and the Big Apple.  We watched demonstrations of every kind of apple tool:  presses, peelers, packagers.  The antique tools were really interesting with lots of two-stroke engines.  I watched a demonstration where they made cedar shakes for a long time.  We also enjoyed a small antique car show.

The National Apple Harvest Festival has over 300 crafters and vendors of everything apple.  We could buy applesauce, apple cider, and whole apples.  There were candy apples and caramel apples, apple cake, apple cobbler, apple dumplings and apple strudel.  We saw three kinds of apple pie:  Double-crust, Dutch crust, and French (had frosting).  Of course there was apple cinnamon ice cream.  Tom and I were pretty good about what we ate.  We each had a sandwich and shared some fries, then later we had some apple crisp with ice cream.  I also bought some Crimson Crisp Apples because I had never heard of them before.  Soooooo good!  I wish they were more common because they were delicious.

Tom and I enjoyed our time at the National Apple Harvest Festival very much.  We didn’t leave until close to closing.  Then we boarded the shuttle bus and headed back to the truck.  If you ever have a chance to go – don’t miss it!