Wellesley Apple Butter and Cheese Festival sees visitors flock to village
The Wellesley Apple Butter and Cheese Festival, which takes place today (Saturday) throughout Wellesley Village, has been a township mainstay since 1975. For festival committee chair Bob Reid, its dependability has contributed to its durability.
“We don’t change it much,” said Reid. “We get comments on how well it’s run, and how smooth everything seems to go. My wife and I take care of the information booth on the main street, and people are amazed we can get that many volunteers to work at all the different booths we run on the main street of Wellesley.”
He added, “We’re a small village so we can’t grow much bigger, as far as the venue goes. But the fact that we get more people out, and they come back year after year, is a good thing for us.”
There might not be much change, but as the festival returns today, regular attendees can expect to revisit most of their favourite attractions.
After a pancake and sausage breakfast at 7 a.m., festivalgoers can take part in a tour of Jantzi’s Apple Butter and Cheese Cider Mill, various farm tours, and a street mall and farmer’s market on Nafziger Road. There will be live music and dancers, a puppet show and ubiquitous local musician Erick Traplin for the kids, and an antique car and tractor parade at noon. If the pancakes weren’t enough, you can cap the day off with a smorgasbord lunch from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The event will also include performances by local musicians Makayla Patey, Amy Rola, and Paige Warner, who are competing in the finals of the Wellesley Idol competition.
Year after year, the festival keeps attracting the same stable of reliable volunteers. “Most of them are from Wellesley, so they either belong to one of the clubs in town or they’re just contributing so that the festival is successful and we can continue to improve,” said Reid.
As always, money raised by these volunteers will help better the community, said Reid. “We’ve helped out with the arena building maintenance, we’ve helped out with the lions and their splash park. Now they’re putting in a new multi-purpose pad so the teenagers have someplace to go and play, and that’s something we’ve contributed to lately.”
In other words, the 2013 ABC Festival will look a lot like the 2012 ABC Festival, and plenty that came before. That’s as it should be, Reid explained.
“It’s a family day where they can come and enjoy our little village. Everybody seems to have a good time at it; everybody seems to be enjoying themselves in the different booths that we run.
“I think a lot has to do with the friendliness of the village. We’ve actually had some people who come to the festival and ended up moving here from Toronto!”