Last weekend, our HHPR team had the privilege of helping Farm Trails put on the 45th Annual Gravenstein Apple Fair. We had worked so hard before the fair started, but on the day of, I just got to go to the fair and enjoy. I hadn’t been to the Gravenstein Apple Fair since I was a young girl. I remember certain things vividly like climbing on hay bales, eating apple fritters, and seeing unique farm animals (yes, I’m talking to you Llama). Beyond that, I really didn't know what to expect.
When I walked in, I was in disbelief. Ragle Ranch Park had been transformed into an arena of gourmet food booths, animals, jewelry and live music, with something new around every corner. It made me feel like I did the first time I went to Disneyland as a child. My colleague, Caitlyn, and I started the day by walking around to each of the vendors. We got to talk to many of them about their beautiful products and hear the personal stories of how they got into making them. It was inspiring to see the passion they have for their work and the journey they have taken to create their own business. We fell in love with many pieces including paintings, earrings, pottery, and much more. As you can imagine, by the time all this shopping was done…we were hungry. It took us forever to decide what we wanted to eat because everything looked and smelled amazing! From award winning sandwiches to farm to table corndogs, how could one possibly decide? We settled on beautiful Gravenstein Apple artisan grilled cheeses from The Farmers Wife, and of course, the famous Grandma’s Apple Fritters. And although I thought it impossible, they both exceeded our expectations!
Keeping with Sebastopol’s effort to be green friendly, one thing that stood out to us was the new recycle stations with trash coaches. There were six total stands around the whole fair, each with a recycle, compost, landfill and other bin, and the coaches were there to help make sure guests put trash in the right bins. If you’re anything like me, I always want to compost and recycle, but never know the rules on what qualifies and doesn't. Having helpers there made a huge difference and made me feel good about my impact on the world’s waste. There were also free filtered water stations where you could refill your water bottle with drinking water. It was a hot day and having access to free, filtered water was a luxury.
But my biggest takeaway from the Gravenstein Apple Fair? The genuine sense of joy and fulfillment. There were people of all ages at the fair, and all were having a good time. The heat was strong but everyone was still in great spirits; it was impossible not to smile! This event somehow felt like the end of summer and beginning of fall, all at the same time. Apple Pie anyone?