The Apple Harvest Festival—returning Friday, September 30 through Sunday, October 2—is celebrating 40 years. As always, it will take over the streets of Ithaca, closing down roads to make room for delectable food, timeless memories, and endless fun.

Coinciding with New York Cider Week, Apple Fest will bring farmers, cider makers, and the community together to share quality apple products and ciders—both alcoholic and non-alcoholic cider options will be accommodated.

Beyond the apple theme, downtown Ithaca looks forward to welcoming more than 50 artisans from around the region. Whether you’re interested in photography, spirituality, fashion, art, jewelry, soaps, or crafts, there’s certainly something for you. These shops will line the streets, attracting passersby from every direction. Walk along the roads void of cars with a seasonal treat in hand, allowing yourself to wander into any vibrant tent demanding your attention. 

No matter what, you’ll get lost in the excitement in the best way possible. As you’re looking ahead to plan for the festival, here’s what you need to know.

Street Closings and Parking

Because Apple Fest is hosted downtown, there will be many street closures throughout the weekend. Check the event map for details. Signage along the streets will also be available to detour and direct traffic.

There are a few different parking options for this event. There will be limited on-street parking, which is $1.50 per hour until 6 p.m. during the week and free on weekends—just be aware that you might be forced to park far away from the event because of street closures. 

You can also park in either of the Seneca, Green, or Cayuga Street garages. These are convenient because of their close proximity to the festival, but they fill up fast, so plan accordingly. On Friday, parking in the garages will cost $1 per hour; it’ll be free during the rest of the weekend.

Avoid parking all together by riding the TCAT or your bike. Buses run through the downtown area all-day, giving you plenty of opportunities to catch a ride to and from the festival. You can find bus schedules on the 2022 Ride Guide, https://tcatbus.com/ride/current-ride-guide/. If you decide to cycle downtown, there are art bike racks everywhere. Just look for one of these uniquely designed structures along your path.

Food and Drink Options

More than 20 local farmers will be selling a variety of apples, cider, maple products, and other seasonal goodies. Among these are Schweigarts Sugar Shack, Schoolyard Sugarbush, Maple River Sugar Company, and MacDonald Farms. Littletree Orchards is set to return with their famous cider donuts. 

An additional 20 or more vendors will be available, including stands selling lemonade, kettle corn, tacos, and barbeque. There will be conventional amusement treats as well, such as funnel cake, fried dough, and corn dogs—some offering seasonal flavor options. The lingering scent of sugary goodness will fill the streets all weekend. The smells alone are known to attract patrons. It’s almost impossible to ignore the distinct smell of cider donuts that makes its way across Ithaca.

Nine cider houses and wineries will also be represented along the trail of tents downtown. These are always a big hit for the adult crowd. If cider is your style, be sure to read up on what the larger New York Cider Week festival entails and how you can attend these events, https://ciderweeknewyork.com/

A full list of vendors can be found on the Downtown Ithaca Alliance’s website, https://www.downtownithaca.com/apple-harvest-festival/

Music Schedule

Music of all genres will be performed at the Bernie Milton Pavilion on Saturday and Sunday, starting at noon and stretching to 6 p.m. each night. If you need a break from all the walking, feel free to revert 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, Oct. 1: 

  • •12 p.m. Rachel Beverly
  • •1 p.m. Sunny Weather
  • •2 p.m. Firefly Jazz Quartet
  • •3 p.m. Janet Batch
  • •4 p.m. Leo + The Maydays
  • •5 p.m. Neo Project

Sunday, Oct. 2:

  • •12 p.m. Ageless Jazz Band
  • •1 p.m. Yamatai
  • •1:30 p.m. Fall Creek Brass Band
  • •3 p.m. Viva Mayhem
  • •4 p.m. Noon Fifteen
  • •5 p.m. Ariel Arbisser

Volunteer Opportunities

Vendor and performance sign ups are closed, but if you’re interested in getting involved with the Apple Harvest Festival, there’s still time to volunteer. This is a community event, so your support is both welcome and appreciated. The Downtown Ithaca Alliance has created a SignUpGenius link for your convenience, https://www.signupgenius.com/index.cfm?go=s.signup&urlid=10c0e48aca72aabf8cf8-2022&view=standard

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