For the fourth consecutive year, the Avila Apple Festival will return. Originally started by the Avila Beach Community Foundation, the Avila Beach Civic Association took the reins three years ago.
The festival takes place on Sept. 23 from 5-9 p.m. at the community center garden. Attendees will enjoy a five-course under the stars dinner inspired by the 75 varieties of apples growing in orchards around the community. Each serving will be paired with an appropriate wine to complement the dish. Live music will also be available for consumption on the Avila Wine Trail.
Mike Cirone of Cirone Farms is a keynote speaker during the festival. Cirone is one of the vanishing experts on Avila apple culture and will give a history of how the apples made their way to the beach community in the late 1800s.
A live and silent auction will be held as well. The live auction features a stay at Lake Tahoe as well as “unique experience items” said Debbie Collins, owner of the Del Monte Café in SLO and the Southern Station Restaurant in Santa Margarita, who is helping to organize the fundraising event. The silent auction will offer a variety of items including (but not limited to); a hiking basket, a trail basket, and gift certificates from various wineries.
Executive Director of the Avila Beach Community Center, Mary Foppiano, said that the event is being made possible by local support, generous contributions and especially two people who have been paramount in the production of the event.
“We could not have put this on,” said Fappiano, “if it weren’t for the generosity of Joan Geller-Sargent and Debbie Collins.” Fappiano encourages locals and the community abroad to help support this year’s festival with proceeds helping support the Avila community civic center.
“It’s going to benefit the community center,” said Fappiano, “so that we can continue to provide a place for community activities.”
The civic center services the area as a venue for town hall meetings, Envision Avila meetings, AA groups, senior exercise classes, and dance classes for children. The center is also available to rent for weddings, memorials, and conferences.
“Because we are not a government funded entity,” said Fappiano, “the only way we can keep the doors open is through membership, rentals, or events that we put on.”
Geller-Sargent went on to say that the civic center is the “heart of Avila” and “a treasure of the community” and that she hopes people will come out to support the event while enjoying good food, good music, and good company.
“Avila Beach is a beautiful community and I am proud to support this event that benefits our civic association,” said Geller-Sargent. “The Apple Festival is a new to our community, which showcases a long history of our apple industry.”
Tickets are $100 per person and $800 per table.
“We have sold a number of them already,” said Fappiano,” so we’re hoping the people will get their order in quickly.”
Being an apple event, not many doctors are expected to attend.
To purchase tickets, visit http://www.avilaapplefestival.com/ or call Mary at 801-4114
To help sponsor the event, visit http://www.avilaapplefestival.com/sponsor-info.html
Story by Mark A. Diaz