The Grist Mill and Gardens gave summer a festive send-off with their annual Heritage Fall Fair over the weekend.
“It’s a wonderful way to close out the main part of our season,” said Chris Mathieson, the Grist Mill’s general manager. “Now we switch to the fall things like school field trips.”
The Grist Mill had another year of great attendance spread over two days instead of just one like in 2022.
While there was only one – quite Barbie-tastic – zucchini racer on Saturday, there were plenty of families and kids who came out on Sunday to take part in the apple race.
“There were probably 50 apples in the water,” said Mathieson “As the guy who jumps in the water to pull them out, I will tell you the water was exceptionally cold.”
The tradition of the apple race is bearing fruit in another way, beyond the families who show up each year, with a tree on the creek that sprouted from the seeds of apples that went down the water.
“We’re carefully watching that apple tree because it’s pretty tasty and could be a new variety,” said Mathieson. “Maybe in five years at a future fair we’ll be introducing the world to a new apple.”
The apple pies were a also hit, with five entries that all were delicious and hard to decide between for the title of best of the fair.
The silent auction for the Grist Mill’s volunteer foundation raised about $1,500, which will go back into community programs and events.
The membership drive for the foundation was also a big success, picking up another dozen or so members to bring their total count over 100.
Mathieson also thanked the many sponsors, the most the fair has had, for their support. That support allowed the Gardens to do things like bring in the popular axe-throwing trailer, the Gotta Goat farm, and the other attractions to the fair.