Welles­ley set to wel­come a host of vis­i­tors for the 43rd an­nual Ap­ple But­ter & Cheese Fes­ti­val

The Woolwich Observer - - FRONT PAGE - FAISAL ALI

THE WELLES­LEY AP­PLE BUT­TER and Cheese Fes­ti­val will be back for its 43rd sea­son this week­end, bring­ing with it some of the best that Welles­ley Town­ship has to of­fer. From the fun to the food, the at­trac­tions and the pa­rades, the ABC Fes­ti­val is a cel­e­bra­tion of life in the coun­try­side.

The fes­ti­val kicks off Satur­day (Septem­ber 29) with an early-morn­ing pan­cake and sausage break­fast, and runs un­til the late af­ter­noon or early evening hours.

“Small towns need some­thing to add to the com­mu­nity, to bring peo­ple to­gether. And I think this is the big­gest thing,” said fes­ti­val chair­per­son Bob Reid, who’s been vol­un­teer­ing with the fes­ti­val or­ga­niz­ing com­mit­tee for close to 40 years, and has served many years as chair.

With a team of vol­un­teers, Reid has been keep­ing the small-town cel­e­bra­tion go­ing, year af­ter year.

The fes­ti­val will fea­ture a host of at­trac­tions for Welles­ley res­i­dents and out-of-town­ers alike, all with dis­tinctly lo­cal fea­tures. Fes­ti­val-go­ers will be able to sam­ple some of the finest fall-time fare in Welles­ley, in­clud­ing ap­ple frit­ters and cider, schnitzel on a bun and the smor­gas­bord din­ner, which be­gins early at the com­mu­nity cen­tre at 10:30 a.m.

Also on of­fer are a va­ri­ety of at­trac­tions from pony rides to the trac­tor pull (as well as a mini-trac­tor pull for the tykes). The fes­ti­val will also fea­ture a va­ri­ety of an­tique cars and trac­tors, which will join the noon­time pa­rade, and then re­main on dis­play near the Home Hard­ware in Welles­ley vil­lage for the rest of the day.

“There’ll be an an­tique road grader maybe there, a Sawyer-Massey road grader. And then one guy brings a whole pile of Al­lisChalmers. But the fea­ture is Cock­shutt and Oliver this year,” said Tim Leis, who is or­ga­niz­ing the trac­tor dis­play.

An an­cient, yet work­ing, Sawyer-Massey steam en­gine will also be on dis­play, as well as a baler and live sawmill.

There will be an ed­u­ca­tional com­po­nent to the fes­ti­val as well, as peo­ple will have the op­por­tu­nity to tour some of the lo­cal farm­lands and agro-busi­nesses.

For Krista Ed­wards, coowner of Ed­wards Fam­ily Or­gan­ics on 5295 Wil­liam Hastings Line, the tours are an op­por­tu­nity to show fes­ti­val-go­ers some of the unique traits of or­ganic farm­ing.

“It’s ba­si­cally to ed­u­cate what it’s like to be an or­ganic farmer, and how dif­fer­ent it is from the con­ven­tional sense,” noted Ed­wards.

“We’re also go­ing to have a lit­tle mar­ket out­side, and then our store in here will also be open and full of meat,” she adds with a laugh. The Mill­bank-based farm spe­cial­izes in sell­ing or­ganic meats, and dur­ing the tour, vis­i­tors will be able to meet with some of their or­gan­i­cally-raised sheep and chick­ens.

Back in the vil­lage of Welles­ley, the fes­ti­val will be coax­ing all day to the sounds of live mu­sic. Per­form­ers in­clude chil­dren’s en­ter­tainer Erick Traplin, fes­ti­val main­stay Kyle Ger­aghty, the pop and rock sounds of Those Guys, and the lo­cally based women’s bar­ber­shop cho­rus group, the Chord Spin­ners.

Per­haps the most an­tic­i­pated per­for­mances, how­ever, will be those of the three re­main­ing Welles­ley Idol con­tes­tants, Rachel Regier, Mitchell Roe­mer and Jus­tine Sharma. The Idol hope­fuls will be com­pet­ing for the cov­eted ti­tle with mu­si­cal per­for­mances, start­ing 2 p.m. in Welles­ley Vil­lage.

Round­ing out the at­trac­tions are the mar­ket place and arts and crafts show near the Welles­ley arena, while bouncy cas­tles, climb­ing walls and more en­sure the kids will be kept pre­oc­cu­pied as well.

“So that the kids can be en­ter­tained, so that it’s not just drag­ging the kids around from dif­fer­ent dis­play to dif­fer­ent dis­play. They can en­joy that too,” said Reid. Keep­ing the fes­ti­val ac­ces­si­ble, the event will be free to at­tend.

“To me, it’s a fam­ily day.”


An­tiques straight off the farm from decades-past will be on dis­play at the Welles­ley Home Hard­ware. Or­ga­niz­ing the trac­tor dis­play and par­tic­i­pa­tion in the noon­time pa­rade is Tim Leis, pic­tured with mod­els dat­ing back to the 1950s.

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