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By Nisha Patel
Garin Regional Park is hosting its annual Apple Festival and kids of all ages are invited to enjoy apples galore along with a host of farm and ranch-style activities.
Garin Farm was a working farm, owned by the Garin family along with the Myers sisters of Alameda who lived in an estate a short distance away. The Apple Festival was inspired when over 80 heritage apple trees were donated to the park in the 1980s. There are now over 150 varieties of apples, grown on 280 trees, on the farm that ripen at different times of the year, from spring through fall.
Garin Regional Park shares a rich history with much of the Bay Area. According to event coordinator Kristina Parkison, the Apple Festival is a celebration of the ranching and farming past. Many activities will be a direct reflection of how farm families in the past would unwind and relax after a long day at work: square dancing and live music in the barn; old-fashioned group games including potato sack races, "Kick the Can," and tug of war; apple cider-making, crafts, face-painting, and storytime. There will also be an old-fashioned, hand crank ice cream machine, so visitors can lend a hand and then enjoy the result of their labors. Visitors are invited to take a docent-led tour of the orchard, and can help press apples into cider before sipping a sample.
The annual Apple Festival has been a fun family event for over 18 years. For those who enjoy preserving the orchard’s history, camaraderie of like-minded folks and reaping the fruits of orchard labor, volunteers are always welcome.
Garin Apple Festival
Saturday, Sept 8
12 Noon – 4 p.m.
Garin Regional Park
1320 Garin Ave., Hayward
Free admission, $5 parking fee