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Enjoy San Joaquin Valley Living

Join the Fun at the Springville Apple Festival

Sep 25, 2017 11:00AM ● By Jordan Venema

An Apple a Day

October 2017
Story by Jordan Venema
Photos courtesy of Springville Apple Festival

On October 21 and 22, the 37th annual Springville Apple Festival returns, bringing with it all the apple pie a person could ever want to eat. Springville resident Norma Inabinette, the festival’s administration chair, has helped coordinate the festival for 15 years. Asked what she does for the festival, she laughs.

“Better to ask what I don’t do.”

Sure, the festival is in its 37th year, but that doesn’t mean it runs on autopilot. This year, Springville’s Main Street will host about 125 booths and vendors, ranging from do-it-yourself arts and crafts to every kind of food under the apple tree – and then some. 

“People make fresh homemade apple pies and the Veterans of Foreign Wars make the most delicious hot apple burritos,” Inabinette says, referring to a kind of hybrid apple pie and chimichanga dessert. “Oh, you’ve got to taste them. That’s the one thing everybody asks for.”

The apple pie burritos definitely have their allure, but food vendors also include ethnic cuisines and favorite fair staples like popcorn and lemonade, even deep fried Milky Way bars, and “of course the Lions Club has their famous tri-tip dinner,” adds Inabinette.

Even with a full stomach, there will still be plenty to enjoy at the annual festival, from music in the park – “there are usually three or four bands that play on Saturday and Sunday,” says Inabinette – to the foot race on Saturday and a mountain bike race on Sunday.

“We have the Apple Run on Saturday morning,” which is a 5K run through hills and along the river. “And on Sunday we have the Fat Tire Classic, a mountain bike race, and people come from all around for that,” says Inabinette. 

For those who prefer to exercise their creativity more than their legs, the Apple Festival will host an artist village with about 15 to 20 local artists demonstrating and selling their wares, such as weaving, glassware and jewelry. And of course, there will be plenty more for the kids. “We have a family fun zone,” says Inabinette, “and that will have a petting zoo, pony rides, bounce house and a bunch of games for the kids.”

While there’s a little bit of everything for everybody, from food to footraces, the best part might be that the festival is free. Free parking is at the Springfield Rodeo Grounds with a free shuttle provided by Eagle Mountain Casino.

While there aren’t as many apple groves in Springville today as there were 37 years ago, the festival is still going strong and still much in the spirit of its founders. 

“There were a group of ladies that really wanted to showcase Springville,” explains Inabinette. “They owned apple orchards, and they wanted to have the opportunity to highlight what they had. It started relatively small, of course – just a few booths, but it grew to include a lot of crafts.” 

Always held the third weekend of October, the festival has that autumn harvest atmosphere, minus the pumpkins, but which is heightened by the sense of community itself.

“There’s only one route through Springville and that’s right on Main Street,” says Inabinette, which means those who happen to drive through Springville that weekend will be attending the festival whether they intended to or not.

“Most of the residents in Springville also end up having a lot family visiting during the festival,” adds Inabinette, who says she commonly hears attendees saying things like, “‘this is the 15th time I’ve been here. Can you tell me where I can find so-and-so because I bought something from them last year and I want to see them again.’ So we get a lot of return visitors.”

About 35,000 visitors in the span of two days to be precise, which is a lot for a town whose post office only has about 2,000 mailing addresses. “And we’re spread out a lot,” adds Inabinette.

But they do come together for the festival. 

“It’s located in a really beautiful community with a view of the mountains all the way around, and the river runs through town. Sometimes people will come and go swimming,” she continues. “It’s just a lovely little village. And it’s a friendly place. Everybody waves and talks to you.”

Which sounds like a slice of life that’s just about as American as apple pie. And though Inabinette says the apple orchards aren’t as common as they were 37 years ago, there are still plenty of stands where you can buy a fresh apple, rub it on your sleeve, and eat it on the spot.

Springville Apple Festival • (559) 202-6904

Saturday and Sunday, October 21 and 22