All others are encouraged to pack up the family and make your way to the downtown area — and specifically the Courthouse Square — for the annual Cleveland Apple Festival.
The fun is apple-based but it’s not all about apples.
You can enjoy the splendor of this marvelous autumn season by just frolicking in the great outdoors, but while you’re doing it you might as well stroll by the booths of as many as 75 to 100 vendors — folks who have a natural talent for eye-catching creations ranging from country and folksy arts and crafts to items more on the modern or innovative side.
While you’re there you’ll assuredly work up an appetite. When this happens — and it will — keep any eye open for the food booths. You won’t have to go far. Just follow your nose along an aromatic trail leading to fresh baked goods — and yes, many will be apple-based — but times will be ripe for any number of selections.
Some of the food vendors you’ll find are general concessions, fresh baked goods, hot dogs, popcorn, kettle corn, fresh doughnuts, barbecue, deli, funnel cakes, ice treats, lemonade and a veritable smorgasbord of other selections — including Cleveland’s own Apple Valley Orchard!
Speaking of food — and eating — if your timing is right you could partake in the festival’s crowd-pleasing apple pie eating contest. It kicks off Sunday at 2 p.m. at the gazebo. You must sign-in by 1:45 p.m. “Diners” will be split into two age groups — ages 7-12 and 13-to-Adult. Last year’s winners were Marian Kinder, 11, and Daniel Braun, the adult champion who wolfed down six apple pies.
If you’re more into baking, you should plan on entering the Apple Dessert Contest. Desserts will be judged Saturday from 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and the winner will be announced at 2 p.m. Again, this big event will center around the gazebo.
The kids will have plenty to do as well.
Head for the Trailhead Bike Kid’s Zone where youngsters will enjoy a slew of free activities like pony rides and a petting zoo. While in the area, the kids will have full access to some bouncing-fun exhibits.
Let no one forget the pageants.
Little Miss, Miss and Junior Miss Apple Blossom competitions will be held Sunday at 3 p.m. Three age groups are included: 5 to 7 years, 8 to 10 years and 11 to 12 years. Anyone planning to participate must sign in at the contest table by 1:30 p.m. and attend a dress rehearsal.
While strolling the festivities you’ll be treated to plenty of live entertainment on both days. Make sure you hang on to the Cleveland Apple Festival supplement in Wednesday’s edition of our newspaper for a full schedule of entertainers. You’ll find a diverse collection ranging from gymnastics to comedy to vocals and all points in-between.
Saturday’s hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday’s are 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Price of admission won’t break the bank — $4 for adults, $3 for seniors, $3 for children 12 and under, and children age 2 and under get in free.
Don’t think about it any longer.
Just get up and go!
It’ll be a fun time for the whole family.
And it’ll give you something to look forward to next year!