St. Anne’s Prepares for 20th Annual AppleFest

Baked goods are among the many items that visitors to St. Anne's Applefest will have the opportunity to browse on September 30th, as shown in this photo from last year's event. Applefest will run from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and all are welcome to attend. (Photo courtesy of Sara Gavit)

By Lura Jackson


For the past twenty years, St. Anne’s Episcopal Church in Calais has welcomed the start of fall with Applefest, a day-long event open to everyone in the community. As the name implies, attendees will have the opportunity to peruse a variety of apple-based products, including pies, pastries, and applesauce sundaes, but there are many other reasons to stop in and see what’s happening on Saturday, September 30th.  

The festivities begin immediately at 7:00 a.m. with the opening of an outdoor flea market and the serving of a complete breakfast – including eggs, bacon, toast, and muffins – for those that desire it. The flea market this year will feature a wide array of gently used goods, all of which have been donated to the church. “We received some really nice used furniture and household items,” said Reverend Sara Gavit. Among the new items featured this year at the flea market will be vintage clothing and costume jewelry. Inside the church, the community hall becomes transformed into a market. A whole corner will be dedicated to baked goods, offering an array of nearly every imaginable treat. While apple pies will be present in abundance, so, too, will other seasonal pies. Guests will have the option of buying whole pies or trying them by the slice.

Another section of the hall will be dedicated to crafts created by community members. “Crafters work on projects all year round for Applefest,” said Gavit. “They’re usually really high quality goods for a low price.” Some crafters utilize their knitting skills, while others quilt, crochet, or mix their talents to create unique, funky, and useful items. In the past, the crafting section has featured everything from pot holders to baby sweaters to hats. Community members that are themselves crafty will appreciate one of the new additions this year: fabric remnants collected by other area crafters, to be used in special projects to add that perfect touch. 

If you’re inclined to take a chance on winning some choice items, you’ll have the opportunity at the Applefest. There will be a silent auction with items divided by theme, along with raffles for items and gift cards donated from businesses around the area. 

The biggest drawing of the day will undoubtedly be for the Collection of Downeast Delights, which is new for this year. The collection of items is housed in a Passamaquoddy-made basket donated by Nellie Walton. The winner will be able to spend a night at the Commons Condo in Eastport, have some laughs at the Tim Sample “sampler”, attend meals at St. Anne’s, Mason’s breakfast in Lubec, the Fire Hall in Charlotte and Christ Church in Eastport. Also included are Chandler’s maple syrup, Raye’s mustard, Pat Sammer’s whoopie pies, Emma Irish’s pies or cakes, and many more local area treats. Finally, the collection includes gift certificates to businesses such as Crumbs, Quoddy Bay Lobster, Helen’s, and Knock on Wood. “There’s enough in it that even if you only want a few items for yourself, it would still be worth the price of the ticket – and then you can give away the rest,” said organizer Christine Felker. 

Applefest is meant to be a family-oriented affair and children are welcomed. Some of the youthful parishioners will be offering face painting for any in attendance who wish to have their visages beautified and games will be conducted to keep everyone entertained.

Applefest is St. Anne’s largest fundraiser of the year, with all of the proceeds going into the church’s general fund. The fund is used for many purposes, including maintenance on the church and community outreach. The church attempts to assist community members in need by helping to offset the cost of traveling to medical appointments or by arranging assistance for food, rent, or fuel when possible. 

The contributions to Applefest and donations to community members in general are remarkable from Reverend Gavit’s perspective. “This is a very, very generous community,” Gavit said. “Washington County may be the poorest county in the state, but it is the most generous. If you have it, you share it. To me, that’s really what it’s all about.”

Applefest will take place on September 30th from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church in Calais.