The sweet smells and sounds of the Darlington Apple Festival

The wind blew through trees Saturday afternoon in Darlington, tossing the first signs of fallen leaves around dozens of apple crates and at the feet of festival-goers.

The insanely popular Darlington Apple Festival was as packed as ever, people walking in hoards to the heart of the community just for a taste of an apple delite or to browse locally made crafts.

The air smelled like cinnamon and nutmeg as local church groups played music for the crowds.

Edgewood resident Linda Devenport, wearing an Orioles jersey, was browsing at handmade goods at one stand.

"I come every year," she said proudly. "I like to look at the crafts and hear the music and get the good food."

Devenport highly recommends the apple delites and said no one should leave the festival without getting one.

She also brought her niece and niece's daughter for the first time so they could see why she loves coming so much.

Nancy Blevins, a crafter who lives in Abingdon, has been selling her handmade sweaters, blankets and knit hats at the festival for the past five years.

Blevins has been knitting and crocheting since she was 8 years old, being taught by her great aunt.

"I make just about everything," she said, pointing to her various pieces displayed in the white tent.

Blevins explained that making a sweater takes about three months and is the most time-consuming of her projects.

Even when she wouldn't sell her goods, Blevins said she would come every year "just to browse" at everything for sale.

Couple Mandy and Jason Naylor also came out to the festival from Abingdon, along with their 4-month-old son, Zachary. Father and son were both decked out in O's shirts.

"This is our first time," Mandy Naylor said, explaining that her sister-in-law convinced them to come. "It's awfully packed."

Her husband chimed in, "There's a lot of nice crafts," adding that they had bought a family placard for their home.

One of the great things about the apple festival is that it attracts people of all ages.

Kids love the tractor pulls and hay rides, adults love the fried food and, if you're like the Windons, love the people watching and running into familiar faces.

Roger and Ruth Windon, originally from Forest Hill, moved to West Virginia 12 years ago, but still make the drive every year to Darlington.

"I like the people," Roger Windon said. "It's Harford County, what can I say?"

His wife, who Windon has been with for 35 years, has been diagnosed with throat cancer and wanted to make sure they were able to come for the apple festival.

Ruth Windon said the entire family comes this one time year - the cousins, nieces, nephews and 20 grandchildren - and she loves getting to see all of them.

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