As Harcourt has changed, so has its apple festival.
One thing’s stayed the same though. It’s a chance for the town to celebrate its apple-growing history.
Secretary of the Harcourt Progress Association Jacqueline Brodie-Hanns said the town’s apple industry had changed “considerably” but Harcourt had never lost site of its heritage.
To her, Applefest was a chance to celebrate the traditional roles apples played in the community.
Ms Brodie-Hanns said Harcourt’s cold nights made it the “perfect climate” for apples and pears.
“Harcourt used to be Victoria’s apple centre, for the entire state,” Ms Brodie-Hanns said.
“Apple growing has been so central to the community’s identity, and to obviously their economic backbone.”
“The Applefest continues to celebrate that heritage and the tradition that apples have played in that community.”
The apple industry may have changed – many generational orchards have shut down in recent years – but the town still has local produce worth showcasing.
In fact Ms Brodie-Hanns said, more people are going back to farming to produce boutique goods.
These specialised producers will share the space with apples in all their forms, from fresh fruit, to cake and muffins. Among them will be local wine and beer makers.
With a booming population of children, Ms Brodie Hanns said the festival had a big focus on making sure kids were looked after, with kids events and activities.
The Applefest will take over the entire town. Festivities will run from one end of the main street to the other. It even includes the pool, which runs an annual pool party.
Ms Brodie-Hanns described the festival as a mix between “really quintessential country” and high quality produce.
“It’s really showcasing local producers. It’s very diverse. We have so much on offer, and there’s really quality experiences,” Ms Brodie-Hanns said.
“There's some really quirky you’d only find this in the country sort of experiences.”
Harcourt Applefest, Saturday March 9, High Street, Harcourt.
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