The Year-Long Preparations of the Bayfield AppleFest

By KBJR News 1

October 3, 2012 Updated Oct 4, 2012 at 12:57 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - Anything done for 50+ years becomes second nature.

"We've got this down to a science," said Cari Obst, Executive Director of the Bayfield Chamber and Visitor's Bureau

"We've done it [for] 51 years, so we know how to do it," said Bayfield Mayor Larry MacDonald.

But, according to Obst, there's little time to enjoy the fruits of the community's labor. Planning for AppleFest begins a week after AppleFest wraps up.

"[We're busy] lining up our Committee Chairs, ordering our supplies, doing our promotion," said Obst.

As time draws near to the big weekend, Bayfield sends out what Obst calls a "community SOS," asking for volunteers, organizers, and donations. For example, most of the apple pies are donations from the community—the apples for which come from area orchards that are busy ensuring only the best of the crop makes it to the cutting board.

"You get them in, and then you grade them—grade the apples. You have to pick all the [bad apples] out; you just put your number ones in the bag. Then you have to turn around and put them in a cooler," said Allen Rabideaux, of Rabideaux's Orchard.

Then they're off to places, like Sweet Sailing gift shop and candy store, where many get the "golden treatment"... but you could call it caramel.

"Then they dip them in nuts, and they pour candy over them, and they put them in pumpkin fudge and chocolate fudge, and caramel glaze over the top of it all, and everything you could think of," said store clerk Marion Jonas.

It's a long, daunting task that Obst says comes to fruition for two reasons:"We have a wonderful city, and we have fantastic volunteers."

It''s a community effort that not only makes this weekend possible, but all the more sweet.

And, all the hard work has paid off for the area, as Bayfield was recently acknowledged as one of the nation's top 10 Fantastic Fall Festivals, on weather.com.