Apple Harvest Weekend at Lake Metroparks Farmpark: A Celebration of Fall and Horticulture
Lake Metroparks Farmpark’s annual “Apple Harvest Weekend” once again delighted visitors with its celebration of the versatile and delicious apple. The two-day event, which marks the arrival of autumn, showcased the apple’s diverse appeal through a range of hands-on activities, including the creation of apple candy, cider, butter, sauce, and slushies. While the focus of the event is on apples, it also highlights the importance of harvesting and agriculture as a whole.
Horticulture Manager Valerie Reinhardt, who has been with the park since 1994, explained that the event has grown over the years, allowing more visitors to enjoy the fall festivities even when the weather doesn’t cooperate. Reinhardt emphasized that activities like plowing, threshing, and grain grinding are still critical components of the season, alongside the apple-related attractions.
During the Apple Harvest Weekend, attendees had the opportunity to explore the park’s apple orchard and take tours on the “Johnny Appleseed Trail.” They also enjoyed navigating the three-acre corn maze, participating in horse- and tractor-drawn wagon rides, and admiring displays of antique tractors. Reinhardt mentioned that future events will continue to connect attendees with different aspects of horticulture, highlighting the importance of harvesting as the culmination of the agricultural year.
The popularity of the Apple Harvest Weekend is weather-dependent, with attendance ranging from 2,000 to 3,000 people on a good weather weekend. Even in wet conditions, a surprising number of visitors brave the rain to attend. To enhance the festival experience, the staff has introduced additional attractions such as face painting for children, produce sales from local farms, and a Corny Apple Bar offering various food items.
Visitors are drawn not only to the country view and atmosphere but also to the playground spaces scattered throughout the park, providing entertainment for kids. Additionally, the presence of traditional farm animals adds to the unique experience that sets this event apart from other fall festivals.
As Lake Metroparks Farmpark continues to host events that celebrate horticulture and the harvest season, the Apple Harvest Weekend remains a favorite among locals and visitors alike. With its diverse range of apple-themed activities and its overall appreciation for agriculture, this event perfectly captures the essence of fall and the joy of harvest.