Autumn has officially arrived. Lenox translation: it’s Apple Squeeze time!
The always-popular event that transforms historic downtown into a savory street fair is slated for this weekend, September 28-29 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Delicious aromas and live music fill the air as pedestrians – locals and visitors alike – stroll through the many vendor booths offering everything from crafts and clothing to corn chowder and kettle corn.
This year the 34th annual Squeeze is going big, expanding to include about 25 additional vendors, according to Lenox Chamber of Commerce director Ralph Petillo. “We’re looking at between the local stores and vendors probably close to 100 or more,” he said. “It’s going to be a big year.”
Some of the new vendors this year include Leahy’s Farms featuring fresh yogurt, Elmartin Farms offering organic beef, Moose Mountain Maples, Hilltop Orchards with their apples as well as wines, and new Pittsfield-based winery Balderdash Cellars. They will join perennial favorites such as Chocolate Springs, George Bernard Knits, and Zabians’ gigantic cakes. “Mary Zabian with her huge cakes is always popular,” said Mr. Petillo.
Another addition to this year’s event is an apple chili contest on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Library Reading Park. The contest features seven local restaurants competing to win over samplers’ taste buds.
The entertainment lineup has also been expanded. A stage will be set up in the parking lot on the corner of Housatonic and Church Streets, with the music starting at 11 a.m Saturday and noon on Sunday. This year’s bands include Moonshine Holler, Terry ala Berry, Bootleg, Mountain Breeze, Skinny Janes and more.
On Saturday the Morris School PTO is sponsoring an all day “kids’ fair” at Lilac Park featuring rides including hay rides and pony rides, as well as games and plenty of fun food options.
Also new this year as part of the event expansion will be a walkway to Church Street via the post office parking lot. According to Mr. Petillo, there will be three 3×6 signs placed around the area directing people to the event via Church Street.
In opening up the event to more vendors, the Lenox Chamber is hoping to draw more people into the downtown area. The Chamber wants to “definitely increase the amount of traffic,” said Mr. Petillo, and also allow more local businesses to showcase their best stuff.
“Everybody wants to be in it,” he said. “It’s become such a popular event, that we decided to do what we can, and it worked.”