Shadier Applefest a hit

PERFECT weather and a new shady location drew more than 3000 to the 2014 Harcourt Applefest on Saturday.

Harcourt Progress Association secretary Jacqueline Brodie-Hanns said the main event on Saturday was “really good” and they were very happy with the turnout.

The festival’s new location under the trees at Stanley Park had worked well, she said.

“It was more concentrated on one day than in previous years, and more compact,” she said.

“There was a great vibe and a really great atmosphere.”

Many attendees also liked the new location.

Applefest committee member and ‘Granny Smith’ Lyn Rule said she thought the park location was working well.

“It’s a perfect day and that helps, but the shade is wonderful and the ambience under the trees gives more connectedness,” she said.

Terina Bassett of Barkers Creek said the festival was lot better under the trees as High Street had been “really hot”.

Andrea Brasher from Harcourt, with her children Sammy and Declan, also liked the new layout and position.

Apples, apple cider, apple pies and apple juice were the stars of the show.

But the street parade, pet parade, vintage engines, art show, fruit growing workshops and Tri-Apple-thon were also highlights.

Ms Brodie-Hanns said cider tastings were popular.

New Harcourt cidermaker Scott Harrington gave a master class with tastings while Drew Henry demonstrated how to make cider at his family’s cidery on Reservoir Road.

John Starr from Castlemaine was among those taking in the atmosphere, resting in the shade with his 10-year-old Pembroke Corgi, Mr Bucks, after the pet parade.

Mr Bucks – named after footballer Nathan Buckley - won last year’s Applefest best-behaved pet, but missed out this year.

“There was double the entries this year,” Mr Starr said.

With his royal breeding, Mr Bucks is regularly saluted by a man in Castlemaine, Mr Bucks said.

The Harcourt Valley Primary School sang with audience participation to officially launch the event, and the street parade was an orderly spectacle of bellydancers, fire trucks, vintage cars, miniature horses, and CWA ladies offering tea from a trailer.

Crowds mingled to listen to the Castlemaine Highland and Clan McLeod pipe bands play, and to taste, talk and drink cider.

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