No Gravenstein Apple Fair this year, but alternative plans to celebrate local apples and farms are underway
The Farm Trails Board of Directors recently announced that we are indeed canceling our annual fundraiser, the beloved Gravenstein Apple Fair. The ultimate decision came from the County, but we were of course watching and weighing the risks, trying to decide if, even given permission, holding the fair would be responsible.
Though we can hardly imagine August in Sebastopol without the Apple Fair, we are fully on board with the County’s decision to cancel large gatherings. We are so grateful for the health care workers and first responders on the front lines and for all of the essential businesses (farmers/producers, nurseries, grocery store workers, postage and parcel services, etc.) who continue to sustain and support our lives during these unprecedented times. We are also appreciative of the sacrifices our entire community is making by staying at home to help flatten the curve.
We very much hope that swift progress is made on the fronts of therapeutics, vaccinations, and herd immunity such that we may converge safely in August 2021 with an elevated appreciation of the ability to gather in public, experiencing one of the most basic, elemental, human joys: sharing music, art, food, and libations in community.
However, the Gravensteins will still ripen this August, and we will still celebrate our region’s most treasured apple. We have an incredible wealth of knowledge and talent to offer through our members and fair exhibitors. We’re especially interested in finding creative ways to bring content from our ‘Do It Yourself’ and ‘Life on the Farm’ venues to our community and keep the spirit of the Gravenstein Apple Fair alive virtually. We are also looking at how to ensure that locals can still purchase and enjoy these amazing apples during their short season.
“We’re doing everything we can to make sure that Farm Trails continues to be make good on its mission to preserve farms forever in Sonoma County,” says Farm Trails Board President Vince Trotter. “With our main fundraiser off the table, we’re certainly facing some financial challenges this year, but our farmers are fighting through this, and so will we. We’re cutting our expenses to the bone and looking at some creative ways to bring in revenue and make the 2021 fair better than ever,” said Trotter.
To that end, in March, we at Farm Trails mobilized to quickly pull together our Shelter-in-Place Resource Portal on our website to help consumers buy directly from farms and other agricultural businesses during Sonoma County’s mandatory shelter-in-place order.
If you would like to donate to Farm Trails to help us continue with our mission during this difficult time, please click here. To fine out how you can support local farms and agricultural producers during shelter in place, please visit the Farm Trails website: farmtrails.org.
Take good care, and stay tuned for details about how to celebrate Gravensteins and support local agriculture.
All Best Wishes,
Carmen and the Farm Trails Team
The Gravenstein Apple Fair voted Best Festival in Sonoma County by North Bay Bohemian
Thanks to the readers of the North Bay Bohemian for voting for the Gravenstein Apple Fair as the Best Festival in Sonoma County! We found out we won just before shelter in place was declared, and now that we’ve had to cancel this year’s fair, the award is a little bittersweet. But we are hopeful that we will be able to gather again under the majestic oaks of Ragle Ranch Park in 2021. We’ll keep you posted!