Fireworks to cap this year's Applefest
By Bonnie Adams, Government Editor
Northborough – It may only be early August, but plans for Northborough's annual festival, Applefest, have been heating up. And in spite of the downtown construction, this year's festival, to be held Sept. 13 to 16, promises to be just as much fun as prior years, organizers promise.
The festival was started in 1991 by a small group of volunteers who aimed to promote the downtown businesses as well as acknowledge the town's agricultural roots. Since that time, it has grown into a beloved weekend extravaganza with participation from local businesses, nonprofits, and just about every town group imaginable.
Normally many of the events are held in the downtown area. But this year, that particular section of town is undergoing a significant traffic construction upgrade. As a result, many of the activities will be held instead at Algonquin Regional High School (ARHS), 79 Bartlett St.
The construction project has necessitated that organizers cancel the annual parade. But there will be many other events going on, Michelle Gillespie, the Applefest committee chair, said, including the return of the popular fireworks display.
“We have not had fireworks for probably the last five years because of financial constraints, but this year we are able to do so, thanks to the hard work of the Applefest committee and the Community Advocate, who helped to secure donations from local businesses,” she said.
Since a formal Applefest committee and the Rotary Club of Northborough took over the planning for the weekend, the festival has grown significantly, Gillespie said.
“We know everyone is busy, but we would love for them to consider going to as many events as possible that weekend. Many of the vendors and participants give so much back to the community; attending as many events as possible is a great way to show support for them,” she said.
The “Northborough Has Talent” show has always been a highlight, with many of the town's vocalists, musicians and dancers competing for prizes. This year's show will kick off the weekend Thursday night, Sept. 13, at ARHS. Those who wish to participate should contact Patti Murphy at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 508-393-6101 or 508-393-1616 to schedule an audition time.
Events such as a street fair showcase many of the town's merchants as well as local crafters, clubs and food vendors. No one will go hungry that weekend, as there are a number of other food-related activities including the Applefest café, several barbecues and an ice cream social.
Another popular event that has grown in size over the years is the Applefest 5K Road Race presented by the Corridor Nine Area Chamber of Commerce. This year's race will be held Saturday, Sept. 15, starting at the Marion E. Zeh School, 33 Howard St. Prizes will be awarded to individuals who are top finishers in the following divisions: 12 and under, 13 to 19, 20 to 29, 30 to 39, 40 to 49, 50 to 59, 60 to 69, and 70 and over.
As before, local high school cross country teams in the region are invited to compete, with a trophy then awarded to the boys and girls track team that has the fastest time of the race. The cost is $22 if you pre-register before Friday, Sept. 7, and $27 on/after Sept. 7. To obtain an application, go to www.corridornineareachamber.org/events.php?eventid=JV20070915 or call the Corridor Nine office at 508-836-4444.
“Donations are welcome and needed,” Gillespie said, “to ensure that we can continue Applefest year to year.”
Donations can be mailed to: Applefest Committee, P.O. Box 216, Northborough, MA 01532
Here is a listing of events by day – go to the website www.northboroughapplefest.com for specific times and for additional events.
Thursday, Sept. 13:
“Northborough Has Talent Show,” ARHS
Friday, Sept. 14
Bake-Off, Northborough Senior Center, 119 Bearfoot Road
Senior Luncheon, Senior Center
Magic Show, Robert E. Melican Middle School, 145 Lincoln St.
Coffee House, Senior Center
Algonquin Football Game, ARHS
Saturday, Sept 15
5k Road Race, Marion E. Zeh Elementary School, 33 Howard St.
Street Fair, ARHS
Apple Pie Café, ARHS
Roaming Train, ARHS
Library Book Sale, ARHS
Art in Bloom, Northborough Historical Society, 50 Main St.
Chicken BBQ, American Legion, 402 West Main St.
Saturday night BBQ, Concert and Fireworks, ARHS
Sunday, Sept. 16
Classic Car Show, Northboro Shopping Center, 243 West Main St.
Ice Cream Social, Historical Society
Art and Bloom, Historical Society
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