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Applepalooza hits the sweet spot of fruit and fun

An apple a day keeps the doctor away — plus, well…apple picking is just a whole lot of fun!

And fun and delicious fruit is exactly what Applepalooza is all about. Traditionally, the event is held at the South St. Seaport to promote apple-picking season in New York State. But this year, Applepalooza is being held on Sat., Sept. 26, from noon to 6 p.m., at the 150-acre Stone Ridge Orchard in the scenic Hudson Valley.

The farm is two hours from New York City by car or bus.

Elizabeth Ryan, the orchard’s owner, is one of the founding farmers of the Union Square Greenmarket.

Elizabeth Ryan, the owner of Stone Ridge Orchard, is a pomologist who can tell you everything about apples, pears, cider and more.

The event will take place at the farm and will feature socially distanced fun for all ages, baked apple goods and all sorts of apple products for purchase. Not only will attendees be able to pick their own apples, and taste a number of varieties of local cider and kombucha, kids can participate in socially distanced activities, like blanket bingo and cider donut-eating contests. There will also be a demo from Canal Forge Blacksmiths of High Falls and the Ulster County Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals will be doing an adoption event to benefit the shelter.

General admission is $10. Kids 10 and under are free.

VIP tickets, $49, will also feature special cider cocktails and an exclusive guided tasting (limited to 50 people, socially distanced) with pomologist Ryan under the farm’s famous 200-year-old oak tree. The award-winning cider maker will lead VIP guests on a taste exploration in the nuances of cider and discuss the history of the farm, its cider and cider-making as a craft.

VIP ticket holders will get a special “Cider 101” session under the 200-year-old oak tree.

Applepalooza-goers will get a chance to taste unfiltered classic European-style cider made from Wickson, Golden Russet and bittersweet Dabinett apples, which will also be available for purchase.

There will also be wood-fired pizzas for sale at the market and the Urban Fork Food Truck for food purchases, including Honeycrisp apple-flavored wings and fried PBJs.

Ryan noted there was a frost this year, which made things a bit tougher for the farm. Yet they still have a healthy crop of apples, including Mutsu, Empire, Gala, Honeycrisp, Golden, Cortland and Macoun varieties.

And, she added, “The Asian pear crop is gorgeous.”

It costs $28 to pick a half bushel, which equals around 100 to 120 apples and weighs about 25 pounds. There are also $19 bags and $10 bags.

There will be socially distanced activities for kids and families.

There are no wagon rides this year due to COVID but there will be a scavenger hunt and orchard maze. The entire event will be socially distanced and face masks will be required.

Applepalooza is dog-friendly, though dogs must be on leashes.

If by chance you miss this Applepalooza, Ryan said they may do a second one in October.

For more information, visit EscapeMaker.com’s Applepalooza page.

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