Apples galore at Darlington festival

Head out to Darlington this weekend for an all-day festival of crafts, live entertainment and of course, apples!

From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, the 25th Darlington Apple Festival is coming to the streets of Darlington. This rain or shine event will feature arts and crafts vendors, children's activities, famous apple dishes and live entertainment.

The festival typically draws 60,000 people into the small town of Darlington, offering an "exciting day," Committee Chairperson Elaine Calderon said, at a free admission street festival. The only charge to get in is the $5 fee at festival parking lots, the main one off Route 1 across from High's. That lot will also have a bus to shuttle people to the festival.

The daylong event features another kind of bus as well, a blue bus for the Stuff the Bus campaign. Attendees are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to help festival organizers stuff a bus for donation to the Harford County Food Bank.

The bus is behind the country store.

Visitors to the festival can expect no shortage of arts and craft tables to peruse; Calderon said they typically have more than 100 craft vendors with 150 to 200 vendors in general per year. These booths range from jewelers to wood carvers

"It's all handmade," Calderon said.

There are a variety of handmade wares including soy candles, flower arrangements, decorative wood carvings and fabric purses.

But one thing remains a staple at the Darlington Apple Festival – apples.

Local churches supply most of the baked products at the Darlington Apple Festival, Calderon said, ranging from apple pies to apple delight. Other vendors sell just plain apples, all varieties.

For the bakers in the area, there is an apple pie contest that anyone can enter. Apple pies can be crumb or plain, although one of each may be submitted, in a disposable pie plate cooled to room temperature and homemade, with a recipe attached.

Pies can be submitted at the Darlington United Methodist Church on Shuresville Road between 9 and 10 a.m. the day of the festival.

One church, she added, offers "fantastic" pit beef, while another has a fish fry that is "out of this world."

There will also be the "typical" festival food such as pizza, chicken, hot dogs and "all kinds of snacks." Keyes Creamery, a Harford County farm, will have homemade ice cream as well and will be joined by several other local farms selling their wares.

For families visiting the festival, the scarecrow making section and pony and hay rides are highlights for children and everyone can enjoy the live entertainment from local bluegrass and gospel bands, including the Gospel Travellers and Ed Sager and Friends, at the Hay Bale Auditorium.

The Darlington Apple Festival, Calderon said, offers a "fantastic day in a great town" and has something for everyone.

"We always have our farms and the craft vendors and wonderful food," she said.

For more information on the Darlington Apple Festival, go to Dogs will not be permitted at the festival.

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