Fresh Pickings

Annual Busti Apple Harvest Festival Returns Sept. 24

The Busti Historical Society and Busti Volunteer Fire Department will present the 43rd annual Busti Apple Harvest Festival on their grounds at 3443 Lawson Road on Sunday, Sept. 24, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
P-J file photos

The Busti Historical Society and Busti Volunteer Fire Department will present the 43rd annual Busti Apple Harvest Festival on their grounds at 3443 Lawson Road on Sunday, Sept. 24, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. P-J file photos

BUSTI — As with each of the previous 42 years, Busti is the place to be for area residents looking for something to do on the last Sunday of September.

The 43rd annual Busti Apple Harvest Festival — co-sponsored by the Busti Historical Society and the Busti Volunteer Fire Department — will be held Sunday, Sept. 24, at the historical society’s grounds at 3443 Lawson Road from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

As the direct successor to the Busti Pioneer Crafts Festival, the original crafts festival in Western New York, the Busti Apple Festival was founded on a previously-established reputation for residents far and wide as being a premier venue for the sale of unique and homemade crafts, wares and food. Within a few years, the festival had grown to include a large farmer’s market of locally grown apples. Homemade apple pies are a major draw to the festival, which also features many food and craft vendors as well as historical demonstrations, exhibits and activities.

Jesse Robbins, Busti town supervisor, said the apple festival serves as one of the town’s largest and most reliable annual revenue streams.

“This is our primary fundraiser, and it helps keep everything going for us,” Robbins said previously. “The Busti Fire Department and Busti Historical Society split the (proceeds from) parking, and the rest of it goes to the vendors themselves. It’s a nice deal that only happens one day out of the year.”

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Every year, thousands of visitors enjoy homemade lemonade, saltwater taffy, beef on Kummelweck, funnel cakes, corn on the cob, caramel apples, cotton candy, homemade apple cider and pies and much more. Well over 100 craft booths line the street with everything from jewelry to homemade candles to woodcrafts and much more. Crafters, demonstrations and food vendors are subject to change from year to year.

Some of the regular activities offered by the Busti Apple Harvest Festival include: spinning and weaving; quilting; log hewing; flax breaking; wood carving; pioneer-style apple butter making; Civil War-era re-enactments and displays; shingle making; and stagecoach rides. The mill runs continuously and visitors can watch grain and corn being ground into flour and cornmeal in the exact same way it was done in the mid-1800s. The flour and cornmeal made on-site is for sale.

The Busti Apple Harvest Festival is held rain or shine. It is handicapped-accessible, free to children 12 and under. The original Busti Pioneer Crafts Festival was held Sept. 16-17, 1972, and was patterned after a festival first held May 22, 1965, in Madison County. The Busti Apple Festival continued with, and expanded upon, this tradition — with a few modifications — and has adapted itself into the largest grossing annual event held in Busti.

For more information, visit bustihistoricalsociety.com or find the event on Facebook.

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