Phil Rossner practicing his apple bite.

Celebrating the harvest with an ol’ fashioned apple festival

Third annual festival expands with more vendors and music

Pirjo Raits

Sooke News Mirror

Phil Rossner may be biting off more than he can chew, but he is enthusiastic about biting into the coordinator’s role for the third annual Apple Festival.

The annual festival in celebration of the harvest and apples in general, takes place at the Sunriver Community Garden on Sept. 25 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Rossner said the festival will follow much of the same format as in the past, but he is hoping to expand the number and type of vendors.

There will be a number of new Sooke businesses represented.

“It used to be applecentric,” said Rossner. “We are reaching out to other vendors. An issue in the past has been lack of power on the site — however we’ve gotten word that there will be a permanent solar system on the site.”

He said there will be a certain amount of power available thanks to Clayton Fischer, a young electrician with Veridian Energy Co-operative.

Veridian donated part of the materials and labour for the installation of the solar system.

“That’ll be cool, very cool,” said Rossner.

Rossner, well-known in the Sooke music scene, will be setting up a main stage where performers Katrina Kadoski, Dave Gallant and Phil Rossner will entertain the attendees.

So bring a lawn chair, sit a spell and enjoy the music.

“The interesting thing about this festival is that it is short… only five hours. We are going to see what we can work in with the limited time,” Rossner stated.

What else is on tap at the festival?

A limerick contest with an apple theme, pie auction from different varieties of apples, apple pressing by Jessica Boquist, and information on apples and other relevant items. Children’s games and events will also be happening.

Rossner is also seeking volunteers to help with various aspects like traffic control and manning the information table.

Last year more than 1,000 people came by and enjoyed the event. As the weather is sometimes tricky at the end of September, folks should prepare for any kind of temperatures.

If you wish to volunteer, call Phil Rossner at 778-922-3254 or email:

The Sunriver Community Garden is located at 2380 Phillips Road.


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