Miriam Sage doesn’t have much of her voice left, but she’s got plenty of memories after her first year leading
Applefest, held this past weekend at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church and school grounds in Fenton.
“It’s all very bittersweet,” said Sage, who co-chaired the event with her husband, Ryan. “I’m relieved, but it’s also sad that it’s all over for another year.”
In contrast to the rainy forecast and spotty weather, it appears to have been another great Applefest year, although final tabulations will be ongoing for the next several weeks.
A Fenton couple won the Applefest Grand Prize, their choice of a three-year car lease, a pontoon boat or $12,000 in cash. The couple, who asked to remain anonymous, chose the cash prize. “We’re so pleased that it was a Fenton couple who won,” said Pat Lockwood of the Applefest financial committee.
“Saturday was beautiful, and attendance was consistent throughout the weekend, in spite of other local competitive events like the Kid Rock concert at DTE and the Ally Challenge golf tournament,” Sage said.
The specialty dinners that are so popular at Applefest were sold out, as were the apple pies and apple crisps, and elephant ears — just about every kids’ favorite festival treat.
Another record setting event this year was the Applefest Road Race, which included more than 500 registrations for the 10K Run, 5K Run, 5K Walk, 1 Mile, and 1/4 Mile. This event was led for the first time by Kasi (Hogeboom) Gebrael and Jami Hogeboom, of Boomers Boot Camp in Fenton.
The Apple Pie Auction and Baking Contest brought out winners and bidders who wanted a piece of the pie.
First place baker was Sarah Learman, a seventh-grader at St. John’s School, whose winning pie was sold for $2,750 to Gerry and Kay Willey, owners of Fenton Home Furnishings.
The second place baker was Lorraine Moller, whose winning pie was bought by Roger Sharp of Sharp Funeral Homes — a 30-year Applefest tradition. He purchased the award-winning second place pie for $2,250 for the privilege of supporting St. John’s, his home church.
Instead of taking this award-winning apple pie home, he shared it piece by piece at Applefest. “It’s just something I like to do every year,” Sharp said.
The third place pie, baked by Anne Shell, was bought by Mike Bade for $400.
New this year was the ability of festival-goers to purchase vouchers with credit cards to use at Applefest events and for most purchases. “It was very well received,” Sage said. “At Attic Treasurers, it replaced a lot of check writing. People even went back and grabbed more items.
Sage summarized this year’s Applefest by saying, “Overall, everything was great. There was an upbeat, positive attitude. We’re already thinking about areas of improvement for Applefest 2020.”