By BOB TUROSZ
NORTH READING – The North Reading Apple Festival celebrated its 20th anniversary on the grounds of the Putnam House on Saturday with its signature recipe of food, fun, entertainment, arts and crafts and a dash of history for hundreds of area residents who know not to miss this annual salute to fall.
Held annually on the grounds of the Daniel Putnam House on Bow Street and sponsored by the North Reading Historical Society, the Festival also provides fair goers of all ages the chance to explore the historic buildings on the grounds, including the Putnam House, the 1680 Sgt. George Flint House and the 1845 West Village School House. This year also saw the public debut of the new Farm Museum, a 1 ½-year-old project of the town’s Minitmen, which will display authentic farm machinery that played an important part in North Reading’s agricultural history.
Inside the West Village School House were displayed the works of many local artists who donated original signed artworks for the festival’s silent auction or raffle.
But it’s not called the Apple Festival for nothing and at noon came the highly anticipated announcement of the winners of the Annual Apple Pie Baking Contest which yields delicious results, with the first place ribbon in the adult category going to Carolyn Costantino. Teresa Penney won the second place ribbon and Tony Sacco was third.
In the youth category the winners were Abby Wall and Kayla Imbriano, (first place), Katie Wall and Heather Morrisette, (second place) and Hugo Wiberg in third place. After the announcements, all of the pies entered were sliced up and served with ice cream for a nominal charge. Apple pie judges Jenna Stein, Kathy Anderson and Marc Stein had their work cut out for them in determining the winners from so many delicious entries but somehow they rose to the occasion.
This annual event is the signature fundraiser of the Historic Society and brings out all segments of the community from the very young, who hunted for candy in the hay pile and enjoyed the pony rides, to elder seniors. The Minitmen served hot dogs and hamburgers for lunch and of course apple pie was available to all for dessert. The Historical Society booth sold a variety of gifts with a local historical theme, including two new pewter designs of the old and new high schools.
Entertainment was performed throughout the day. The North Reading High School Marching Band opened the festivities and other performances were given by the North Reading Senior Echoes, Austin Prep junior Lena Syed, the North Reading School of Ballet, North Reading High School sophomore Maddy Chase, 11–year–old Brenna Barry and Master Shin’s Martial Arts Academy.
This was a very successful Apple Festival as the weather cooperated in every way and the crowds came out to enjoy the weather.
Raffle winners of the Apple Festival were: Norma Vito, who won Meg Robertson’s “Red Bike” photo; Sue Krysko, who won Anna M. Wong’s “Camden, Maine” photo; Nancy Ferretti, who won Kathi Lee’s “Peace Rose” photo; Scott Stimpson, who won Kathi Lee’s ‘Orange Daisy” photo; Pat Romeo, who won Ruth Hagearty’s “Apartment Sink” oil painting; Anne Lundell, who won Nancy Stewart’s “Conundrum” drawing; Ginny Mills, who won Don Doyle’s “Ryer’s Store” watercolor; Nancy Ferretti, who won Kathryn Catania’s “Steam Punk Earring” jewelry; Audrei Gilbo, who won Richard Stratton’s “Lone Pine’ watercolor; Joe Dillon, who won Hugh Connor’s “Ipswich River” photo; Chris Lutes, who won Stacey DeCarlo’s “Home Sweet Home–01864” handpainted wood sign; Claudette Thompson, who who won Marcia Cutlip’s “Untitled” glass.
Winners of silent auction were: Karen Picket, who won Louise Anderson’s “Band Concert” watercolor; Ginny Mills, who won Ruth Stone Hyer, “Fall Gathering” watercolor; Susan Tromey, who won Suzanne C. Korn’s “The Oliver Reed Homestead” acrylic on birch plywood; Pat Romeo, who won Don Doyle’s “Ball Team” watercolor and his “Putnam House Door (front)” watercolor; Julie Galvin, who won Doyles’ “Front Door with Flag” watercolor; Tom Parker, who won Doyle’s “Putnam House Door (kitchen)’ watercolor; Pat Romeo, who won Robert Cyr’s “Season’s End” Giclee print; and Kristen Kuperstein, who won Aly Budny’s “Fall Leaves” acrylic print.