When I say fall, what do you think of?
For me, it’s pumpkins, apples, corn mazes, Halloween, and cool, crisp air. And we got to experience a little bit of all of that last weekend in Adams County, Pennsylvania! If you’re not familiar with where exactly Adams County is, I order you to go directly to my post Beyond the Battlefield: What ELSE There Is To Do in Gettysburg. I had to chance to visit the Gettysburg area almost a year ago and spent all of my time outside of Gettysburg proper.
What I learned is that the people are friendly, the food is delicious, and agriculture is a huge part of Adams County which is where Gettysburg is situated. We visited orchards and goat farms and wineries and orchards and cideries and orchards. This area is all about APPLES!
It makes sense then that every year, for the first two weekends in October, Adams County is the host of the National Apple Harvest Festival!
What is the National Apple Harvest Festival?
You want the real answer or the delicious answer? How about both. The National Apple Harvest Festival is a chance to celebrate the season of apples. Apple picking typically occurs in Pennsylvania from mid-September to Mid-October and this festival is the time to take advantage of this plentiful fruit.
Where is the National Apple Harvest Festival?
Located at the South Mountain Fairgrounds in Biglerville, Pennsylvania, the National Apple Harvest Festival is an outdoor event than run rain or shine. It’s only 10 miles from Gettysburg in the heart of Adams County. It’s here that you’re surrounded by local farms and apple orchards – the perfect place to celebrate the agriculture that’s so important to the area.
How Do I Get There and Where Should I Park?
Follow your GPS to 615 Narrows Road, Biglerville, PA 17307 where you’ll either find parking directly across the street from the fairgrounds (if you’re lucky like we were) or you’ll be directed to an offsite parking area where a shuttle will take you directly to the festival.
What is There to Do at the Festival?
Over the course of the four days of the festival, you’ll find musical acts, crafts, demonstrations, events, and, of course, FOOD. We tried to sample a little bit of each but I’ll admit it. I just went for the FOOD.
What Should I Eat There?
What’s the best part of any festival? THE FOOD! I had it on good authority that I should try the pit beef and the apple dumplings. It was time for a late lunch when we arrived so we all split up with money in our pockets. We each had our heart set on very specific fair food. My husband and son went for sausages and hot dogs but I listened to the local and went right for the pit beef and I’m not one bit sorry.
We also made our way to the bloomin’ onion, a butter dipped handmade pretzel, and then APPLES. There’s no shortage of apple-themed pastries: turnovers, bread, dumplings, donuts, and my personal favorite: apple fritters. If you haven’t had them they’re like a funnel cake made with apples. I shared but it was hard. I wanted to shove that whole thing in my mouth!
To wash it all down, there were plenty of adult beverages to sample. Adams County is the home to many distilleries, cideries, breweries, and wineries – all there with things to sample!
Wrapping Up the Experience
Depending on how crowded it is, I’d allow for three hours at the festival. That will give you plenty of time to eat, walk around, and eat some more. If you bring your kids, you can check their height as a yearly growth marker and take the mandatory photo in front of the giant apple.
On your way out, you’ll want to stop one more time for a souvenir to take home – a bag of freshly picked Adams County apples! We went ahead and splurged on a bag of Honeycrisp apples. Perfectly sweet!
If you missed the National Apple Harvest Festival this year, go ahead and put it on your calendar for next year. It’s always on the first two weekends in October!