ALTAMONT — Returning to the Capital District for the 29th year is the Capital Apple and Wine Festival. The family-friendly festival, hosted by Starbird Events, will take place at the Altamont Fairgrounds on Sept. 16 and 17.
“We are excited to bring back this popular event now in its 29th year,” said Cheryl Dooley who co-founded Starbird Events with her husband, Charley.
The event was originated by Altamont Orchards. Starbird Events took over the festival last year, following its hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Festival attendees are welcome to explore the shopping, music and activities for all ages.
“The festival is a cornucopia of arts and crafts booths, specialty foods, kids activities, a car show on Saturday, and live music Saturday and Sunday,” said Dooley.
A barn will be transformed into a marketplace that sells arts, crafts, specialty foods and apples, with the opportunity to purchase directly from the makers. Altamont Orchards’ booths are an essential part of crafting the autumnal festival experience with their signature products.
“Apples are a large part of the show, and we’ll have Altamont Orchards in the barn selling a variety of fresh apples, mixes for home baking, Concord grapes, mums, and more,” said Dooley. “There will be a variety of food concessions to enjoy as well. We’ll have tacos, empanadas, churros, chicken pita, sausage and peppers, burgers, fresh shrimp summer rolls, dumplings, noodles, Jamaican food, pulled pork sandwiches, and more.”
Attending the festival for the second year is Nine Pin Cider.
“We will be providing pours of New York State beer and wine— and of course, Nine Pin Cider,” said Nine Pin Cider event coordinator Jessica Riordan.
Live music will be performed on both days. Mentioned in Billboard Magazine as one of Irish music’s biggest sellers, the renowned Celtic band Hair of the Dog will take the stage on Saturday.
“They are a regional music treasure,” noted the Daily Freeman in 2008.
On Sunday, the Tom Petty tribute band The Broken Hearted will perform. The band melds their love of performing with Petty’s iconic style of Tom Petty.
The most popular event of the festival is the presence of New York Wine and Spirits. Their building and tent, which require proof of age and a $10 entry fee, are where visitors can receive a commemorative tasting glass and proceed to sample and taste wines and spirits from 25 New York producers.
A Kids Zone with bouncy houses, climbing walls, games, bow and arrows, pumpkin painting, and a haunted house set the tone for the seasonal festivities. Other festival activities include the car show on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., with Sunday as the rain date.
“This festival is really a celebration of two of New York’s great agricultural powerhouses: apples and grapes,” said Riordan. “It’s a unique way for the community to gather and support the industry while supporting many other local vendors and businesses.”
The Capital Apple and Wine Festival is a rain or shine event, with many exhibits inside buildings. The event hours are Saturday 10 a.m.–5 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Adult general admission is $10. Children’s admission is free, and parking is free. No pets are allowed per the fairgrounds policy. https://www.starbirdevents.com/capital-apple-and-wine-festival.
This story appeared on page 3 of the September 13, 2023 print edition of the Spot518