Held every year on the October weekend after Canadian Thanksgiving, the Apple Festival is a family event for all ages, and celebrates one of British Columbia’s favourite fruits. All are welcome to attend, from children learning about the diversity of apples to those who remember tasting heritage apples in their youth.

Every year, between 11,500 and 13,500 kilograms (25,000 and 30,000 lbs) of apples are sold to a hungry public. Over 60 varieties of heritage, new and “tried and true” varieties are available, grown both conventionally and organically. These include the heritage apple ‘Grimes Golden’ and ‘Ambrosia’, recently discovered in Cawston, British Columbia.

Also available for sale are many varieties of apple trees grafted onto dwarfing root stock, perfect for the home garden or patio.

One of the most popular activities at the Apple Festival is apple tasting. For $3.00, curious eventgoers can taste up to 60 varieties of new and heritage apples grown in British Columbia. Learn the history of those varieties from the Friends of the Garden’s “published in-house” Apple Booklet.

The Food Fair showcases tasty treats, while the Shop in the Garden features apple-related merchandise. Craft vendors, UBC Herbarium merchandise and UBC Farm produce are also available on-site.

The Vancouver Island-based BC Fruit Testers Association mounts a display of the nearly 200 apple varieties still grown in British Columbia. Members of the association are on-hand to give demonstrations of grafting and cider-pressing. Try to stump them with apple varieties from your garden, as they are also available to identify apples (hint: bring along six apples from your unidentified tree). Nearby, Master Gardeners discuss apple-related diseases and pest management. Or, at any time of the year, you can visit UBC Botanical Garden’s online Fruit Trees discussion forum!

A new children’s area is in place for 2008: the Johnny Appleseed Orchard, featuring six activity stations. Kids (and adults!) also enjoy the apple pie, hot apple cider and other delectable treats available.

The Food Fair showcases tasty treats, while the Shop in the Garden features apple-related merchandise. Craft vendors, UBC Herbarium merchandise and UBC Farm produce are also available on-site.

Buskers provide musical entertainment throughout the day.

Finish off the day by taking home a purchase of jugs of British Columbian organic apple juice.