Each year, at the beginning of October, Tehachapi farmers come together along with organizers, vendors, and the executive director David Brust, of Our Hope Chest, a non-profit organization located in Tehachapi, to bring in the apples. This harvest time marks a time-honored tradition, which enters its fifth consecutive year.
The idea of the annual celebration began with Brust, according to Linda Carhart, the coordinator of the annual festival. In previous years, Tehachapi’s apple harvest “would bring people from all around to pick and buy apples.” Brust decided that Tehachapi needed a festival to commemorate this event, and that is how the Tehachapi’s Apple Festival began.
This year the apple festival will be held on Oct. 7-8 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission and parking are free. The public can enjoy music, beer, homemade goods, food, fun, and games for children and adults alike. The fun begins on Green Street and winds through the vendor-lined canopied booths, where up to 80 vendors will be staged for the public’s enjoyment.
Vendors will feature everything from apple baked goods, caramel apples, apple cider, and dipped apples, to bacon-wrapped hot dogs, BBQ pit beef, buttered-corn on the cob, sausage, french fries, churros, stuffed potatoes and more. For shoppers, there will be apple-themed aprons and jewelry and crafts. American Legion Auxiliary, along with other local apple orchards, will also be selling their apples. According to Carhart, this is about “all things appley.”
There will be a specially designated location for children called the Kid’s Zone, where a variety of bounce houses will be staged; children are welcome to play all day in the bounce houses.
“For $10 they can go into as many bounce houses as they want and as long as they want,” said Carhart. Parents can stop by the Free Mason’s booth while they are there, which is located on the deck nearest the Kid’s Zone, to get their children a free identification card with fingerprints.
Live music and beer will be served up all day long at the Centennial Plaza. There is also The Red Car Show and an electrical vehicle show sponsored by the Kern Council of Governments (COG), an organization which focuses on regional transportation issues.
Kern COG is teaming up with a couple of dealerships to provide these electric cars, which are environmently friendly. The electric cars are not just for show, “people can test-drive an electric car,” said Carhart.
For those adults who feel lucky, they can try their hand at the Apple Drop, where “numbered apples are dropped from a crane onto a target below; The one whose apple is closest to the target wins,” said Carhart.
The Lion’s Club Booth will sell these apple foam balls for the apple drop during the first two hours of the festival on Saturday only. At 3 p.m. the balls will be dropped. The cost of each ball is $5, but the cash pot is worth over $1,000.
There is also the Apple Pie Baking Contest, where an entrant creates two apple pies; one will be judged for appearance, texture and flavor, while the other apple pie will be auctioned off later. The Apple Pie Auction usually brings in $50 to $100 for each apple pie. This event will be held on Saturday and is limited to eight entries and is sponsored by Tehachapi’s local paper The Loop. There will also be an Apple Pie Eating Contest, with a limit of 10 entries on Sunday.
Proceeds from Tehachapi’s Apple Festival will be given to local charities, including Our Hope Chest, Tehachapi Boy Scout Troop, and Make-A-Wish Foundation.
For additional information about Tehachapi’s Apple Festival email [email protected], call (818) 519-7144, or visit www.tehachapiapplefestival.com/baking-contest.html.