Beautiful weather, variety of vendors make for a successful Apple Festival
Beautiful weather, a wide variety of vendors and large crowds made the 2011 Bloomfield Apple Festival a success, according to board president Kris Jarman.
The new placement of the stage, between the shelterhouse and the baseball diamond, got the positive feedback the board had hoped for.
"For Friday night's deejay (Landon Groomer) and radio night, about 200 kids were out there (in the street) dancing, hanging out and listening to music. ... They had a fantastic time," Jarman said.
A wide variety of vendors consisted of new and returning merchandise. More than 120 vendors with guitars, art, handmade crafts and many other goods filled the Bloomfield park.
"We had lots of vendors. We even got some new food vendors we weren't expecting at the last minute," Jarman said.
Jarman was surprised at how consistent the number of Apple Festival visitors remains. The park had a constant flow of people snacking on vendor food, listening to music at the stage, and browsing merchandise.
"Friday was much more packed than expected, even in the middle of the day. Usually, it wouldn't start to get busy until after most people got off work," Jarman said.
The Fourth Annual Classic Car Show at the square was "overly successful," Jarman said, with more than 200 cars.
Jarman added they eventually had to stop parking cars because they ran out of room.
The 5K run and walk drew in around 100 participants Saturday morning.
"It was a perfect morning for a great run," Jarman said.
The Sunday afternoon parade consisted of 120 entrants. Sidewalks, curbs and yards were packed along the parade route, despite the 84-degree weather.
"The highlight was we had the beams from the World Trade Center entered," Jarman said.
The Bloomfield High School 1976 girl's basketball team, coaches and cheerleaders were cheering loudly and shaking pom-poms throughout the parade as grand marshals.
The team won the sectional, regional and semistate titles in the first year for a state tournament for girls. They finished the season with a 20-1 record, losing the only game of the season in the state championship against Warsaw.
"The girls (grand marshals) had a slumber party, a cookout and made shirts for the parade. ... The girls set a precedent for the future. They are a legacy," Jarman said.
Jarman said while the festival turned out really well this year, there are always changes that need to be made.
She would especially like to figure out how to make parking more accessible. There was a free shuttle service along Spring Street considering most people could not park close.
"The shuttle was full all weekend," Jarman added.
The music and athletic departments allowed parking on school grounds for $3 beside the junior high and behind the elementary school.
"It is always something to look at re-evaluating. ... How do we negotiate and rearrange? How can we make it more convenient?" Jarman said of the parking situation.
Apple Festival committee members have been working to achieve 501(c)(3) status, which will make donations to the festival a tax-deductible option.
"That should be secure within the next week, so the people who donated this year could probably write that off," Jarman said, noting it will also allow the festival board able to apply for grants.