The saying goes, “It takes a village …” and that is definitely true when it comes to Applefest, now in its 47th year.
“There are over 1,000 people involved in running Applefest, including parishioners and other volunteers from the community,” said Pat Lockwood, finance committee co-chair.
“You don’t have to be a member of St. John’s (Catholic Church) to work on Applefest,” she added. “Many of our own family members come from out of town to help out.”
Heading up Applefest is the Core Committee, including:
• Ryan and Miriam Sage, co-chairpersons
• Kim Heethius
• Tom and Suzanne Danner
• Ron and Pat Lockwood
• John and Sue Dansky
“Every Applefest event has its own chair and co-chair,” Lockwood said. “They all come together a couple of times a year as a group and report to the Core team. Each event chair does its own scheduling for volunteers.”
One of the largest volunteer efforts is the set-up/tear-down committee, headed by Brianne (Hajec) Johnson, 39, and her husband, Mike, 38. It has been a Hajec family tradition for as long as the festival. “I’ve been doing it since I was 14,” Brianne said.
Set-up begins the Saturday before Applefest, then tear-down takes place on Monday or Tuesday after Applefest. “We get it going and make it look like a festival,” Brianne said.
Mike actually takes a week of vacation from his regular job as a custom homebuilder to handle the coordinating effort and physical work of setting up and tearing down Applefest.
“We have roughly 20 very dedicated volunteers every year, plus folks who help when they can,” Brianne said. “Our volunteers include parents and cousins, plus our Applefest family.”
What they really need are younger volunteers because the work is very physical.
“Getting younger volunteers, that’s the challenge,” she said. “We need heavy equipment operators, help with electrical set-up, coordinating tent set-up, tables and chairs, fencing, propane gas, etc.”
To sign up as a volunteer for Applefest, you can go online to:
• signupgenius.com/go/applefest2019- general