Gravenstein Apple Fair: An Old-Time Country Festival
Where can you spend the day walking under ancient oaks following your nose from food booth to food booth (featuring frying apple fritters or slices of four-inch high apple pie), taking in terrific acoustic music, and experiencing the sights and sounds of a turn-of-the-century barnyard? At the annual Gravenstein Apple Fair, of course!
Sonoma County's summertime jewel takes place in Sebastopol's Ragle Ranch Park this weekend, August 12 and 13. 2017's event is the 105th Gravenstein Apple Fair, which showcases the best in arts, crafts, food, wines and beers, games, entertainment, and farm life activities.
This year's theme is "In Praise of Pollinators", and the Sonoma County Beekeepers will host a pollination simulation activity for kids where they can learn a bee dance and pretend to be bees by pretending to pollinate flowers. Kids can also participate in a pedal tractor pull, ride an electric wheelbarrow around Ragle Ranch Park, make seed balls with native pollinator plant seeds to take home, participate in a bee-themed scavenger hunt, enjoy live music, watch cow milking and sheep shearing, and participate in fun contests like apple pie eating and apple juggling.
The Gravenstein Apple Fair is produced by Sonoma County Farm Trails, and celebrates Sebastopol's iconic sweet and tart apple variety. While the fair in days past was a massive agricultural and food processing showcase, the modern version features family friendly fun like arts and crafts vendors, an artisan tasting lounge, chef demonstrations, live music on two stages, a petting zoo, animal displays, a chance to experience a taste of farm life, a hay maze, artisan booths selling handmade goods, and of course apples. There's truly something here for the entire family, so try to make it if you can.
If You Go
The 2017 Gravenstein Apple Fiar takes place Saturday, August 12 and Sunday, August 13, from 10 am to 6 pm. The Fair is held at Ragle Ranch Park, located at 500 Ragle Ranch Road in Sebastopol.
Admission at the door is $15 for adults 13+, $12 for adults who bike to the fair, seniors 65+, and veterans, and $10 for kids 6–12; kids 5 and under are admitted free. Advance tickets are available online and at Copperfield's bookstores and Oliver's Markets and cost $12 for adults and $8 for children.
Premium on-site parking at Ragle Ranch Park is $5, and there will be free valet parking for cyclists. Free parking and shuttle buses will be available at O'Reilly Media, 1005 Gravenstein Highway North, and the Holy Ghost Hall at 7690 Mill Station Road.
To get there, take Highway 101 north to the Highway 116 exit. Head west on Highway 116 into Sebastopol (about 10 miles) and follow the signs with the blue arrows to the fair and parking areas.
Photos: Gravenstein Apple Fair
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