NORTH READING — The 26th Apple Festival, a highlight on everyone’s fall calendar, is this Saturday, September 18 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Rev. Daniel Putnam House grounds, 27 Bow St., across from the town common. The rain date is Sunday, September 19.

The North Reading Historical and Antiquarian Society event is the fall staple that brings together dozens of local organizations and thousands of residents to celebrate the best of North Reading. Last year’s event had to be canceled due to COVID so everyone is excited to be back.

In addition to choosing the best tasting apple pie in town, the Minit and Militia will dedicate the refurbished flagpole on the grounds in the afternoon.

The event will feature free tours of the many historic buildings restored by members of the local Minit and Militia. Windows will be open to provide proper ventilation. Please wear facial coverings when indoors per COVID regulations. Be sure to also check out the First Meeting House, the barn, the cobbler’s shop, and the Farm Museum, the Sgt. Flint House and the West Village School where the art raffle and silent auction will be located.

Food and beverages will be provided courtesy of the Minit and Militia of North Reading whose members anticipate firing up the grill.

There will be pony rides, of course, and plenty of children’s games to keep the little ones entertained.

Art raffle, auction

Check out the original, signed artwork on display inside the West Village Schoolhouse donated to the society by local artists for either the art raffle or the silent auction. Donated artwork will remain on display at the library until Friday afternoon.

Local entertainment

As always, musical and martial arts performances will be a big part of the day’s festivities. The entertainment schedule is as follows:

• North Reading High School Band— 10:15 to 10:40 a.m.

• NOTEorious— 10:45 to 11:10 a.m.

• Art Grossman—11:15 to 11:40 a.m.

• Senior Echoes—11:40 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

• Apple pie contest winners announced—12:15 p.m. to 12:20 p.m.

• Taekwondo— 12:15 p.m. to 12:45 p.m.

• Aldersgate UMC Praise Band—12:50 p.m. to 1:15 p.m.

• Flagpole dedication ceremony– 1:30 to 1:45 p.m.

• Art Silent Auction and Raffle winners announced—2:45 p.m.

Vendors and non-profit booths

Dozens of vendors and local organizations will be on hand with informational booths and wares and goodies to sell including Historical Society merchandise and local artists original work. It’s time to become re-acquainted with your neighbors again after 18 months of Covid restrictions.

Among them will be: Rep. Brad Jones Jr. and NR Republican Town Committee; Trinity Evangelical Church; NR Girl Scouts will provide games or crafts; NR Cub Scout Pack 731(make and race small boats); NR Recycling Committee; NR Human Rights Group; NORCAM, Inc.; Boston Post Cane Award Committee; Friends of Council of Aging; Union Congregation Church (giveaway and crafts for kids; NR Cultural Council ; Senior Echoes (table runners and CDs to benefit Food Pantry and Senior Echoes); Mt. Carmel Eastern Star Mt. Carmel Eastern Star (baked goods); Frank and Ellie Botta of Freedom Jewerly;

As well as Sany Panico’s handcrafted / painted magnets, Christmas ornaments, figurines, flower pots; Carol Goldstein and Karen Byron of Sew Many Mittens (made from recycled materials); Jessica Hudson’s handmade New England sports jewelry; Louise Anderson’s paintings and prints of town scenes and greeting cards; Big Bright World tie dye clothing and accessories, toddler to adult 3X; Dawn Doke’s pot holders, dish towels, soup coozies, dog collars and leashes; Paul Adams/financial planner; Elizabeth Wiltshire’s handpainted household items; Diana Bruno’s linens; Jane Hudgins and Miriam Morales: jewelry and other items; Gus Lamont: local honey; Deborah Brophy and Laney Brooks: crafts: crochet items, wood signs, personalized headbands; Barbara Mann of Pampered Chef; Nancy Stewart and Kathryn Catania art; and Robert Lexth’s wooden spinning windbirds.

Who makes the best apple pie?

The highlight of the day is always the annual apple pie contest. All pie entries are compared for appearance, texture and taste by a panel of judges in blind competition. Judging will begin at 11 a.m. This year’s judges will be Art Gonsalves, Steve O’Leary and Liane Gonzalez

Official Classic Apple Pie contest rules:

Immediately after winners and runners up are announced, they will be presented with ribbons and awards (and bragging rights) and a photo op with the Transcript. The pies will then be sliced and available for a nominal amount either plain or with a scoop of Richardson’s ice cream.

Official classic apple pie contest rules:

• Contest is open to North Reading residents only.

• Youth entrants must be between ages 12-17.

• Adult entrants must be at least 18 years of age.

• Pies must be made from scratch

• Top and bottom crusts are required – no crumb crusts.

• No nuts, raisins, cranberries, or other fruits are allowed

• Pies must be at room temperature

• Lattice pastry work, decorative cutouts, and decorations with food coloring and/or sugars are permitted.

• Attach a 3” x 5” card to the bottom of the entry pie containing the entrant’s name, address, phone number, and age (adults only need to confirm that they are at least 18).

Deliver pies to the Rev. Daniel Putnam House (27 Bow Street) between 8 – 10 a.m. on Festival day.

If you are using a non-disposable pie plate, make a notation on the 3” x 5” card that it is to be returned to you. Pie plates must be picked up by 3 p.m. on Festival day.

Hundreds of festival-goers eager to sample the fruits of the fall harvest line up to sample the contest pies alongside dozens of other freshly baked donated pies made especially for the Apple Festival by many individuals and groups, served with an optional side of Richardson’s Ice Cream.

The North Reading Historical and Antiquarian Society is a nonprofit all-volunteer organization and all proceeds raised at the Apple Festival, which is its largest fundraiser of the year, will benefit the preservation of local historical buildings and antiquities by the society.

Those with any questions may contact Ginny Mills via cell phone at 978-857-6138, email [email protected] or mail: North Reading Historical and Antiquarian Society, c/o Apple Festival, Artists, P.O. Box 354, North Reading, MA 01864.