apple harvest fest

HARVEST DAZE — They Haywood County Chamber of Commerce will hold a modified version of the Apple Harvest Festival on Saturday, Oct. 17 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A modified version of the Apple Harvest Festival is a go in downtown Waynesville this Saturday, Oct. 17 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The signature fall festival won’t look like that of past years and will instead be modified as more of a shopping event — with fewer and more spread-out booths, one-way foot traffic, limited food, no beer garden and no bands.

“We took all the festival aspects away from it — it’s really just vendors,” said CeCe Hipps, president of the Haywood County Chamber of Commerce. “It’s basically a pop-up market, and people will be selling crafts and there will be some food vendors available.”

However, live music and clogging won’t be happening this year, and vendor numbers are limited. Hipps said there will be about 80 vendors this year instead of the usual 200 that show up to the Apple Harvest Festival.

Food vendors will be limited this year, but there will still be the usual apple growers on site.

“The whole basis of the event is apple growers, they are kind of like our stars,” Hipps said.

Keeping attendees safe is the top priority for organizers this year. The event has now been modified to separate areas of Main Street into zones, which will be roped off to maintain the crowds. In addition, the flow of foot traffic down Main Street will be directed one way with exit points along the sides.

“If the crowds are getting too big we will ask people to wait for a few minutes,” Hipps said about the vendor stations, which will be marked into smaller zones. “Instead of foot traffic going down the center of the street, we will direct them to down the sides of the street on the sidewalks.”

Hipps said the Chamber was still in need of volunteers to help encourage mask wearing and direct the flow of foot traffic.

“It’s all going to depend upon the visitors to do what we ask them to do,” she said. “some people will follow directions and some won’t.”

But Hipps emphasized that the main reason for holding a modified event was to help local businesses.

“We had so many requests to please do this … we said we would proceed cautiously with high hopes,” Hipps said. “ That’s kind of where we are right now. We are going to be as responsible as we can. With it being outdoors that gives it a safer aspect.”

Apple Harvest Daze will be held on Saturday, Oct. 17 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Anyone who is interested in volunteering should call the Chamber at 828-456-3021.

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