Photos by Peggy Gavan The crowd on Parkway, where members of the Excelsior Hose Company are selling hot coffee, cider, and donuts, heads towards South Street and then to downtown Warwick.

Photos by Peggy Gavan The crowd on Parkway, where members of the Excelsior Hose Company are selling hot coffee, cider, and donuts, heads towards South Street and then to downtown Warwick.

As evidenced by a few more parking spaces than usual, cloudy skies, light rain and temperatures falling just bellow 60 degrees may have kept some people away. But that was hard to prove from the heavy pedestrian traffic along South Street and Railroad Avenue.

Applefest, Warwick’s largest and most well-attended event, has always enjoyed good weather except for the very first Applefest, which was almost wiped out by Hurricane Hugo.

The 28th celebration of Applefest on Sunday, Oct. 2, again played host to about 250 craft and food vendors and there was free entertainment, children’s rides and besides the traditional apple pie-baking contest, a pie-eating contest sponsored by Noble Pies.

The traditional festival has been held since 1989 to celebrate the local apple harvest.

The popular festival, hosted each year by the Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Warwick Valley Community Center, is a major fund raiser and much needed proceeds from the event are used for town-wide community projects and non-profit organizations.

In spite of the magnitude of the event, the largest in Orange County and one of the largest in the Country, Applefest is surprisingly cost effective.

Members of non-profit organizations perform numerous tasks before and after the event.

Applefest earns its keep by renting space to vendors and organizations and by sharing the amusement income with the company that provides the rides. Most of the non-profit organizations serve food or sell retail items. And for many, Applefest is the major fund raiser for the entire year.

Last year’s Applefest raised more than $85,000.

The final tally for this year’s event, however, will not be available for several weeks.

Although the day can be an inconvenience to some residents, the monies earned are used to support valuable services for everyone throughout the year. And many of these services would normally have to be paid with additional taxes or donations.

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