The Apple Harvest Festival has taken over the streets of Ithaca, closing roads to make way for delicious food, timeless memories and endless fun.
Coinciding with New York Cider Week, Apple Fest brought together farmers, cider makers and the community to share quality apple products and ciders – alcoholic and non-alcoholic cider options will be offered.
Beyond the apple theme, Downtown Ithaca hosts over 50 artisans from across the region. Whether you’re interested in photography, spirituality, fashion, art, jewelry, soaps or crafts, there’s sure to be something here for you. These shops line the streets, attracting passers-by from all directions. Stroll along the car-free roads with a seasonal treat in hand, allowing you to stroll through any bustling tent demanding your attention.
Either way, you’ll get lost in the excitement in the best possible way. Before heading downtown, here’s what you need to know.
Street and parking closures
Because Apple Fest is hosted downtown, there will be many street closures throughout the weekend. Check the events map for more details. Signage along the streets will also be available to divert and direct traffic.
There are various parking options for this event. Street parking will be limited at $1.50 per hour until 6 p.m. on weekdays and free on weekends. Just be aware that you may have to park away from the event due to street closures.
You can also park in one of the Seneca, Green or Cayuga Street garages. These are convenient due to their proximity to the festival, but they fill up quickly, so plan accordingly. On Fridays, parking in the garages will cost $1 per hour; it will be free for the rest of the weekend.
Avoid parking all together using the TCAT or your bike. Buses run through the city center all day, giving you plenty of opportunities to take a ride to and from the festival. You can find the bus timetables in the 2022 Ride Guide, https://tcatbus.com/ride/current-ride-guide/. If you decide to cycle downtown, there are artistic bike racks everywhere. Just look for one of these uniquely designed structures along your way.
Food and drink options
More than 20 local farmers sell a variety of apples, cider, maple products and other seasonal products. These include Schweigarts Sugar Shack, Schoolyard Sugarbush, Maple River Sugar Company, and MacDonald Farms. Littletree Orchards is back with its famous cider donuts.
At least 20 additional vendors are available, including stalls selling lemonade, hot corn, tacos, and barbecue. There are also conventional amusement treats, such as funnel cake, fried dough, and corn dogs, with some offering seasonal flavor options. The lingering scent of sweet goodness will fill the streets all weekend. Smells alone are known to attract customers. It’s almost impossible to ignore the distinct smell of cider donuts that runs through Ithaca.
Nine cider houses and wineries are also represented along the downtown tent trail. If cider is your style, be sure to read up on what New York Cider Week’s biggest festival involves and how you can attend these events, https://ciderweeknewyork.com/.
A complete list of vendors is available on the Downtown Ithaca Alliance website, https://www.downtownithaca.com/apple-harvest-festival/.
Music of all genres will be played at the Bernie Milton Pavilion on Saturday and Sunday, from noon until 6 p.m. each evening. If you need a break from all the walking, be sure to come back to the Commons for some quality entertainment. Music brings people of all ages together, and these performances are no exception. Here’s who you can expect (and when!)
Saturday October 1:
- • 12 p.m. Rachel Beverly
- • 1 p.m. Sunny weather
- • 2 p.m. Firefly Jazz Quartet
- • 3 p.m. Janet Lot
- • 4 p.m. Leo + Maydays
- • 5:00 p.m. Neo Project
Sunday October 2:
- • 12:00 p.m. Ageless Jazz Band
- •1pm Yamatai
- • 1:30 p.m. Fall Creek Marching Band
- • 3 p.m. Viva Mayhem
- • 4:00 p.m. Noon Fifteen
- •5 p.m. Ariel Arbisser