2013 Bayfield apple fest preps

By KBJR News 1

September 30, 2013 Updated Sep 30, 2013 at 9:54 AM CDT

Bayfield, WI (NNCNOW.com) --- The 52nd Annual Bayfield Apple Fest is just one week away and local orchards are preparing.

The 3 day Apple Festival will begin next Friday October 4th, and will go through Sunday evening, October 6th.

Many orchards in the area say that they depend on the festival each year to make a steady income.

"Apple Fest is actually what makes us viable, financially viable," said Bill Ferraro, owner of Apple Hill Orchard.

Although this year's Apple Fest is supposed to be a great one, it will be tougher to prepare for than last, due to the long and cold spring.

"All the work we're going to be doing is going to be crunched into a small amount of time compared to last year when everything was a little earlier, we had time to prepare for Apple Fest. This year's going to be a little hectic," said Dane Hauser, who works on the Hauser family orchard.

Most orchards say that they will pick close to 400 bushels of apples for the festival the week prior, which totals to about 40,000 apples per orchard.

But selling apples isn't all that the Hauser family has to look forward to.

"We kind of treat it as a family reunion," said Jim Hauser, owner of Hauser Orchard.

To prepare for the apple-filled weekend, the Hauser's say that they have a lot of family and extended family that come back for that weekend to work.

"It's our free help," said Jim.

Apple Hill Orchard owners say that one of the bonus' about the special weekend is that they get a chance to be downtown away from the daily duties that the orchard calls for.

"It's just fun to see the people enjoying themselves out of the orchard, because you're out here the rest of the time all by yourself," said Ferraro.

All booths at the festival are set to open by 10 AM on Friday, and this year's batch is expected to be a juicy bunch.

The festival doesn't start for a week, but Friday night between 6 and 8PM there will be apple pie contest results and a community pie social at the Bayfield Lakeside Pavilion.

Elsa Robins