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Downtown Ithaca’s Apple Harvest Fest returns

The 29th Annual Downtown Ithaca Apple Harvest Festival returns September 30th – October 2nd on the Commons and the surrounding streets in downtown. Perennial Apple Harvest attractions such as the Apple Pie eating contest, Craft Show and the Farmers Market return as the festival takes place from noon to 6:30 pm on Friday the 30th and 10:00 am until 6:30 pm on Saturday and Sunday. In addition to the traditional Apple Harvest activities, this year’s festival will feature a vast array of entertainment including comedy, magic, theatre and dance. New to the Apple Harvest Festival this year will be a special Collegiate Apple Harvest version of the popular game show “Minute to Win It.” On Saturday at 5:00 pm teams of two students from Cornell, Ithaca College and Tompkins Cortland Community College will compete in a variety of one minute challenges in hopes to take home $100 in Downtown gift cards. The Apple Harvest Festival is free and open to the public and will feature more than a dozen area farmers and wineries over the course of the three day event. Fresh farm produce and home baked goods will be available for sampling and purchase while numerous local vintners will be on hand providing tastings of some of the region’s finest locally produced wines and ciders. In addition to the local culinary bounty, the Apple Harvest Festival will feature over one dozen unique food vendors featuring cuisines from Indian to Thai, Italian to Laotian. In keeping with a more recent Apple Harvest tradition all food vendors have agreed to use compostable dishes and utensils. Composting stations will be placed around the Commons and volunteers will help ensure trash is disposed of in the most environmentally friendly way.While opportunities to dine and indulge in a considerable selection of cuisine will abound at this year’s Apple Harvest Festival, the opportunity to shop and appreciate the visual arts will be equally as plentiful as the annual craft show will feature over fifty artisans. This year’s Apple Harvest Craft Show will feature everything from fine art to textiles to some of the region’s most delicately crafted glass art and jewelry. Artisans from throughout the central New York region and the greater Northeast will be represented. Not to be outmatched by the assortment of food, art and eclectic entertainment present at the Apple Harvest Festival, live music will flourish as well. Over thirty live acts will take to the pavilions and the streets to entertain festival goers over the course of the three days. Headlining musical acts performing in the Bernie Milton Pavilion include local funk and R&B group, the Jeff Love Band, a return of the beloved Americana band Driftwood on Saturday and a final two hour set to close out the festival on Sunday by Southern fried Jazz band the Dixie Cats. Further events of interest taking place during Apple Harvest weekend are the Little Apple Fall Follies presented by the Rotary and the Savage Club at the State Theatre on Friday September 30th at 6:00 pm. The production showcases local talent in a variety show format, with 22 acts aimed to please family members of all ages. On Saturday evening the History Center presents their unique brand of haunted history tours beginning at 7:00 pm. The History Center invites you to let the spooks chill you with tales of murder, jealousy, insanity and many more tragic horrors of Ithaca’s past. Finally, on Sunday at 3:00 pm the State Theatre presents Dinosaurs! Dinosaurs! features Fossil, the Dinosaur detective, who mixes fun and facts in this colossal show inspired by everyone’s favorite prehistoric creatures. The 29th Annual Downtown Ithaca Apple Harvest Festival is sponsored by the Tompkins Trust Company, the Ithaca Times and Community Energy; a program of NYSEG. The Apple Harvest Festival is produced by the Downtown Ithaca Alliance (DIA) in cooperation with the City of Ithaca. For more information please visit downtownithaca.com or call the DIA office at 607-277-8679.A schedule of events and performers is below.Friday Bernie Milton Pavilion12:00-1:45 Caribe Jazz All-Stars2:00-3:15 Terry Burns3:30 – 5:30 Jeff Love Band5:45 – 6:30 Comedy FlopsSaturday Bernie Milton Pavilion10:00-10:30 Cayuga Suite Barbershop Quartet10:45-11:15 CU Chorus11:30-12:45 Vitamin L1:00-1:45 Ithaca Academy of Dance2:00 – 2:45 Melodramatics3:00 – 5:00 Purple Valley5:15 – 6:30 DriftwoodSaturday Amphitheatre11a-12:00pm June & Chandani Dance Troupe12:15p-12:45p Mirage1pm – 2:00 Story Dance2:00 – 3:00 Nate and Kate (kids)3:15 – 4:45 Dee Specker and the Lone Rangers5:00 – 6:00 Minute 2 Win It.SundayBernie Milton Pavilion10:00 – 12:00 Ironwood12:15-1:15 Radio London1:30-2:15 Apple Pie Eating2:30-4:15 Zydeco Trail Riders4:30-6:30 Dixie KatsSundayAmphitheatre11a-12p Mantra & Mantrellas12p-12:45p Mirage1-2p Nate the Great2p-3:15 Sound Train3:30-4:30p Jomo and Johnnycake

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