GRAFTON, Mass. – The smell of apples emanating from the Congregational Church of Grafton can only mean one thing: it's time for the annual Harvest Fair and Apple Pie Social.
The church has been filled with volunteers peeling 12 bushels of apples, rolling out dough and assembling the 250 pies that will be the centerpiece of the 33rd annual social on Saturday, Sept. 22, which runs noon to 4 p.m. on Grafton Common.
"We're switching things up a little this year," said Carrie Peacock as she worked with pastry crust crafted from the church's secret recipe. "We actually started planning for this year last October, right after the last one. We wanted to add some new twists."
A highlight this year which already has residents talking is the dunk tank, which will feature several Grafton luminaries. The lineup includes:
- Noon-12:30 p.m. – Jerry Patraitis, Grafton Middle School teacher
- 12:30-1 p.m. - David Ross, Grafton Selectman
- 1-1:30 p.m. – Mystery Volunteer
- 1:30-2 p.m. – Sgt. Mike Mazzola, Grafton Police
- 2-2:30 p.m - Jim Pignataro, Grafton High School Principal
- 2:30-3 p.m. - Jay Cummings, Grafton School Superintendent
- 3-4 p.m. - Ron Burke, Grafton Soccer Club
The fair will also include children's games and crafts; sale tables for books, attic treasures and children's toys; a silent auction featuring a wooden rocking horse from the Vermont Toy Co., an antique Hammond Organ and a six-foot talking Elvis; and a raffle. Food includes apple pies, apple crisp, grilled items and chili.
"We always advise people to not wait until they're ready to go to get their pie," Peacock said. "We make a lot of pies, but they sell quickly and there's always someone's who is disappointed."
Live performances by local musicians include:
- Noon - Kelly Clark Jazz Band
- 12:30 p.m. - Apple Tree Arts Show Choir
- 1:45 p.m. – Hannah Bates
- 2 p.m. - Amelia Murray
- 2:30 p.m. - Whitinsville Christian Encore Group
- 3 p.m. - Congregational Church Choir.