The 2020 Gravenstein Apple Fair has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. We’ll keep you posted on alternative ways to celebrate local apples and farms in the coming months. Meanwhile, please visit Sonoma County Farm Trails (www.farmtrails.org) for ways on supporting local ag during the shelter in place.
“The sweetest little fair in Sonoma County”
The Gravenstein Apple Fair is hosted by Sonoma County Farm Trails and has a long and rich history in Sonoma County. Sebastopol staged its first Apple Show in 1910 on Main Street in a tent across from the Petaluma and Santa Rosa Railway Depot.
This small event celebrating the tart but sweet apple called the Gravenstein became an annual bash occurring every August, focused on showcasing apples and apple products during the peak of their season.
The fair annually sported huge custom structures for front entrance gates and elaborate apple displays by local packing plants, canneries and apple drying companies. Processing and marketing apples had become big business.
Sculptors were hired to build ¼ scale buildings and even a locomotive out of whole fresh and dried sliced apples. Those early fairs had a carnival like atmosphere and were attended by people from all over the United States.
Today, the Gravenstein Apple Fair continues the tradition of celebrating and exhibiting apples, combined with fantastic live music on two stages, great food, demonstrations from local chefs and artisans, arts and crafts booths, farm animals and so much more. Visitors experience the feeling of an old time country get-together, shop the local artisan booths for handmade jewelry, clothing, pottery and gourmet goodies. There are fun activities, like the Hay Maze for the kids, kid focused performances, bee keeper displays, and a fine selection of local cider, wine and brews for the adults.
What kind of a fair would it be without games and contests? We are pleased to welcome the Ag Games to the Gravenstein Apple Fair, presented by Farmer’s Guild/C.A.F.F. , where you can test your skills and watch local farmers compete for the gold. Local home cooks can enter a pie in the Apple Pie Baking contest sponsored by the Sebastopol Chamber of Commerce or adults and children can enter the Pie Eating Contest, the no-hands Caramel Apple Eating Contest, Applesauce Drinking Contest, and Apple Juggling Contest. There is no doubt that the Gravenstein Apple Fair is one of the most kid-friendly festivals of the year, but it’s fun for adults as well. With an incredible selection of food and craft libations from all over Sonoma County, there truly is something for everyone.