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September 6, 2011 > Apple Festival features heritage apples and old-fashioned fun

Apple Festival features heritage apples and old-fashioned fun

Submitted By Isa Polt-Jones
Photos By Allan Mendez

Celebrate our farming and pioneer past during this year's Apple Festival. Garin Regional Park in Hayward is home to a heritage apple orchard with varieties of the fruit you won't find anywhere else. Music, dancing, crafts, and old-fashioned games make this event fun for the whole family!

In the region's early 20th century ranching days, a portion of today's Garin Regional Park featured a small apricot orchard. The apricot trees had perished by the time the area became a regional park, but the hillside got a new chance to bloom when Richmond resident and antique apple enthusiast Emil Linquist offered his potted trees to the district in 1985. Within four years, the orchard boasted over 200 trees.

Today the orchard is home to 200 varieties of apples, and as many as 300 individual trees. "The heritage apples have a totally different taste from what you can buy from the store," says Park Supervisor Ron Mueller. "Some of the heritage varieties aren't as pretty as the grocery store apples, but when you take a bite out of them, that's a totally different world." Among some of Mueller's favorites are the Red Baron, Emma's Apple, and King David. The sweet Hudson's Golden Gem was Linquist's favorite.

The orchard is tended from March through October by a group of dedicated volunteers. They've already got their eyes out for the ripest apples for park visitors to taste during the Apple Festival. Visitors may typically taste 15 to 20 varieties of apples at the event, depending on what's
ripe. Tours of the apple orchard are also offered.

In addition to enjoying live music, games, and, of course, apples and apple cider, visitors will also have the opportunity to learn about the ranching lifestyle of the 1800s and 1900s, thanks to the naturalist staff from nearby Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont. Hoist a hay bale in the Garin Barn, help make hand-cranked ice cream, or press apples for fresh cider.

This is a drop in program; no registration is required. Parking fees apply.

Garin Apple Festival
Saturday, September 10
Noon to 4 p.m.
Garin Regional Park
1320 Garin Avenue, Hayward
1 (888) 327-2757
Free event; parking $5

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