29. AppleFest 2008, Bayfield, WI. 46.81 N 90.82 W~620' amsl. October 3rd-5th, 2008.
Overdue, I know. I didn't take any pictures of downtown Bayfield (the festivities); okay, I actually didn't take any pictures at all. Some of the pictures here are swiped from websites - I'll give credit, and the other pictures are from a friend who joined us for the Fest.
One of the highlights of the weekend was the Pipes & Drums of Thunder Bay Wake-up Concert. (offical website here) They played atthe Port Superior Marina between the sailboats in the marina and the colored forest hillside - one of the pictures below gives a view from the water - and began at 10:00 on Saturday morning. The weather was fantastic!! The previous days had been chilly with rain, but the weather for AppleFest could not have been better, blue skies and calm winds! After a cool night (low of 32 on Maple Hill) the temperature was around 42 as we arrived for the concert. The sun rising over the Lake was perfect.
What makes up AppleFest? Quite a few things, I'll try to list a few.
*special Apostle Island Cruise Service's ships depart throughout the weekend. *people book the numerous guesthouses on the mainland and find places to stay on Madeline Is. *Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua presents musicians, shows, and theatre each day. *a park near the shoreline is transformed into a craft bazaar, kinda like Art Street in GB. *all the shops downtown are open with specials. *bars and restaurants are in full swing, several bars also have outside roof or deck areas to relax. *food booths line several downtown streets - apple cheesecake, apple brats, South Shore Brewery beer, apple chili, jugs of apple cider, apple pies, and on and on. *booths are erected along several other streets that sell different goods - blown glass, lawn ornaments, leather jackets and purses, wool hats, beeswax balm, lotions from Kenya, etc. *carnival rides for the kids with all the fun, naughty carnival food. *the orchards and berry farms (16 of them) have open-house with opportunities to pick your own apples. Bayfield is the proclaimed Berry Capital of Wisconsin.
Here is a link to a PDF document that lists all the scheduled events for 2008, just to give you an idea. Last year we were talking to a booth owner who mentioned that the annual average estimate of visitors is 40,000 total, spread out over several days. Of course it would depend on the weather. AF 2007 was subdued under British-like conditions and the crowd was bearable. AF 2008 saw absolutely perfect weather and an extreme crowd. Remember that Bayfield is an older city that is perched on the side of a large hill with a normal population of 700 people. From now on I think I'll only attend Fests that require a winter jacket, or at the very least, an umbrella.
In addition, we stopped at the Penokee Outlook (Google Map) on County GG just west of Mellen, Ashland Co. to take some photos and see some more color in the hills.
Two clips from the Concert.
At some point here, I also wanted to point out a site with the winners of the 2008 Photo Contest. They truly exemplify the feeling of this corner of Lake Superior.
And last, but not least, was the Bayfield Winery at Hauser's Superior View Farm, high on the hill above Bayfield. They truly do have a Superior view from their front door. The winery has their own orchards in addition to the winery and every year they have free wine tasting and a ton of yummy stuff to buy - apple butter, apples by the bushel, apple pancake mixes, pick your own apples, etc. They also have this nifty shuttle service that saves everyone from trying to park of Bayfield's sloping streets with thousands of other people vying for the same parking spots (or paying for parking!!). Besides, it's nice to not have to drive after a little wine :)