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The Apple Harvest Festival will bring thousands to downtown Waynesville this Saturday to enjoy fall, music, vendors, street food and apples of course.

Apples are the reason for the season at the Apple Harvest Festival this Saturday, Oct. 16. Organized by the Haywood County Chamber of Commerce, the Apple Harvest Festival celebrates a key component of Haywood County’s agricultural history.

Coming off of a COVID-induced hiatus, this year’s Apple Harvest Festival is expected to bring large, but not recording-breaking, crowds, says Haywood County Chamber of Commerce President CeCe Hipps. In 2020, the festival was pared down to a pop-up market, excluding live music and many of the other draws for a festival. It was called Apple Harvest Daze.

Now, Apple Harvest Festival is back in full swing. More than 100 vendors will be set up along Main Street with traditional arts and crafts on display. Hipps says the festival has loyal attendees, mostly drawing crowds who are in Waynesville for the fall color displays.

“Everyone seems to have a good time,” said Hipps.

Barber Orchards is one of the mainstays at the festival, bringing with them a host of their apple offerings and plenty of baked goods. They will be set up at their unusual spot — in front of the courthouse. Other vendors will also offer fresh-baked and fried apple pies, tarts, cakes, as well as plenty of fresh apples and cider.

Bluegrass and Americana music will provide the soundtrack to the event. Local clogging groups J Creek Cloggers and Southern Appalachian Cloggers will provide breaks for musicians in between sets. Hendersonville-based bluegrass band Junction 280 will kick things off bright and early at 10:15 a.m., then come back for another performance before Whitewater Bluegrass Co., a band that joins bluegrass, mountain swing and country ballads, takes the stage. Then, classic country and Americana band Texas Peat will close out the afternoon with their own two performances.

All the music will take place at the United Community Bank parking lot.

New to the festival this year is a beer garden, which will offer outdoor seating and craft and domestic beer. The beer garden will be located at 37 Church Street and be open from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Parking will be available at the parking garage at 143 Branner Avenue; the municipal parking lot at the corner of Montgomery and Miller Streets and on Wall Street.

A full schedule and list of vendors can be found on the Chamber of Commerce website. The festival is free and takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 16.

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