By Taylor Boyd
The 20th annual Apple Dumpling Festival in downtown Stuart on Saturday, Oct. 16 went off without a hitch, according to Stuart Town Manager Bryce Simmons.
“Billy Gammons, who is our event coordinator with the town, he’s had this figured out for a pretty good while with this being the 20th year. I basically am here for moral support and to fill in where I can,” he said.
Simmons said attendees seemed to genuinely enjoy the festival.
“Everyone seems to be having a good time. We’ve been able to highlight our amphitheater with the bands up there this year, and the town guys have done a really good job with the maintenance and trying to get downtown ready for everyone coming in,” he said.
Highlighting the downtown area was a boon, especially with the forecast calling for rain.
“You hope for sunny skies, but you plan for rain,” he added.
Festival regular Courtney Moose, of Stuart, said the festival was a good excuse for her and her husband to see their good friends and enjoy good food.
“I always love seeing all of the organizations that are doing fundraisers for their groups, and I also enjoy seeing all of the homemade crafts,” she said.
Another festival regular Karen Corbett, of Stuart, said she enjoyed the opportunity to get out and see everyone and the fellowship of the community.
“Any opportunity to eat is always a good thing,” she joked.
Corbett said the multiple handmade gnomes at different booths and around downtown Stuart were an interesting part of the festival.
“The idea of the gnomes of this year is very different. I’ve not seen as many of those, and I think they’re really cool,” she said.
Festival first-timer Tammy Stillwater, of Laurel Fork, said she decided to attend the event with her dog Tweedy after seeing a post about it on Facebook.
“It’s been really dog friendly, and I really like seeing the crafts and the good food,” she said.
Stillwater said her positive experience at the festival made her interested in attending other town festivals.