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Old 09-12-2007, 10:20 AM
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Default Alamogordo/Cloudcroft, NM-High Rolls-Apple Festival

Alamogordo/Cloudcroft, NM-HIGH ROLLS-Apple Festival


Alamogordo/Cloudcroft, New Mexico
According to the collective memories of some old-timers, the first Apple Festival, two or three years older than the Cherry Festival, was sometime in the early 1960’s. Money was needed for school repairs and local charities; no one thought to record the date or keep records of the event.

Eldon Vann gets credit for thinking of, and building, a replica of a still from which “whiskey” (apple cider) could be sold by the glass or the gallon. The operator of the still (Eldon) wore blue Bib overalls hanging from one shoulder strap, a tall bee-hive hat, chin whiskers, puffed on a corn cob pipe, and blew imaginary smoke. The apple cider looked like the real thing.

Since it was not yet a well-known event, the early festivals did not draw many venders. Those who did come were mostly local retirees selling circular saw blades painted with county scenes, home-made napkins, place mats, doilies, etc.

The Mallette family of High Rolls, originally from Gatlinburg, Tennessee, made and sold weaving done in the Gatlinburg style. In addition to the small items, they also wove tablecloths, linen runners, hand towels, and bed covers.

In one of the early years, a local farm provided a tractor, flat bed trailer and loose hay for a Hay Ride. The Hay Ride did not survive. The legal wisdom was that an injury, especially to a child, could cost a thousand year’s profit. It was too risky for the reward for both the farmer and the Lions Club.

Over the years more vendors have come. Half a hundred and more now sell all sorts of arts and crafts: beads, bracelets, jewelry, paintings, sketches, shirts and skirts, and a wide assortment of knick-knacks, curios and mementos one expects to find at any major craft fair.

While there is variation, the popular apples include Red and Golden Delicious, Rome Beauty, Fuji, JonaGold, Gala and Jonathan. Home made apple butter, apple pies (with or without caramel or ice cream), caramel apples and apple drink are just some of the treats available.

When local apples are limited, efforts are made to bring in other mountain grown fruit. A Colorado State University study indicates that fruit grown at higher elevation tend to have richer color and better flavor. The area around CedarEdge Colorado, a favored supplier, is the same elevation as High Rolls-Mountain Park.

Entertainment is not the same every year. Sometimes Shetland pony rides are available. Sometime jumping balloons are a big item for the children. There is always great fun browsing through the Walk in the Woods where there are from 60 to 75 vendors selling their wares. Good food and drink is available from local non-profit organizations.

The Lions’ Club Apple Festival, along with the Cherry Festival in June, has become a major event on the annual social calendar in High Rolls-Mt. Park, so COME EARLY, STAY LATE; enjoy the wonderful things to do at the Festival in the beautiful, cool Sacramento Mountains.
A good time is had by ALL at the Apple Festival.

Courtesy of Jim Cadwallader.
High Rolls, NM

HIGH ROLLS APPLE FESTIVAL
Saturday & Sunday, October 20 & 21
Sat., 9 am-5pm, Sun., 9am-4pm
Free Admission & Parking.
Off US 82 in High Rolls, NM

Sponsored by the High Rolls-Mt. Park Lions’ Club

Visit us at: www.highrollsfestivals.org
Barbhorner1@aol.com

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