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Sooke gears up for annual apple festival

The event is scheduled to take place on Sept. 24
Orchardist Glen Thelin is ready for the Sooke Apple Festival on Sept. 24 at the Sunriver Community. The event is organized by the Sooke Region Food CHI Society. (Photo submitted)

As autumn paints the landscape with vibrant hues, apple enthusiasts across the region are gearing up for the annual Sooke Apple Festival.

The event will be held at the Sunriver Community Garden on Sept. 24, at 2380 Phillips Rd.

The apple festival, known for its smorgasbord of activities, is designed to tickle the taste buds, entertain the senses, and foster a deeper appreciation for the humble apple

“There’s something for everyone, from apple aficionados to families looking for a day of fun,” said Ellen Lewers, president of Sooke Region Food CHI Society, which hosts the event.

The festival includes a host of activities for all ages, ranging from apple bobbing, to apple pie auctions, apple sales, and the chance to press your own apples to produce fresh, pure apple juice.

Sooke musician Gord Philips will perform live music throughout the day.

Additionally, an apple identification table will be available for attendees to bring mystery apples from their own trees and have their variety identified. For those craving more than just apples, a tempting array of candied apples, apple pies, and various other mouthwatering treats are available.

“The festival allows people to visualize where their food comes from and what they can produce from it - from apple juice to apple cider to vinegar,” Lewers said.

The Sooke Apple Festival festivities kick off at 10 a.m. and will continue until 3 p.m.

The Sooke Region Food CHI Society, established in 2008, supports local food production by sponsoring gardens and a community orchard.

The community started the allotment garden and orchard in 2010 with donations of fruit trees from members. The orchard also preserves heritage trees planted by early pioneers like Captain Grant, Mugford, and Phillips in the late 1800s, said volunteer orchardist Glen Thelin.

Volunteers have improved the site with a pond, a native plant walk, an earth root cellar, and a rustic teaching classroom known as the Apple Shack. The Apple Shack is a central location for community garden meetings, workshops, pruning demonstrations, and educational displays during community events, adding to the site’s appeal.

To sustain the orchard, the Sooke Apple Festival was initiated in 2014 and has since become an annual tradition, held each year in late September.

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Kevin Laird

About the Author: Kevin Laird

It's my passion to contribute to the well-being of the community by connecting people through the power of reliable news and storytelling.
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