Apple Pie Days offers a slice of old Rifle
Let them eat pie. Apple pie, that is, at Saturday’s third annual Rifle Apple Pie Days Festival at the Garfield County Fairgrounds in Rifle. Debbie Zemlock and her mother, Renelda Batson, have teamed-up to kick apple pie baking into high gear as the pair hopes folks from all around will submit their scrumptious creations for the enjoyment of all. Zemlock is the co-chair of the Rifle Apple Pie Days Festival Committee, but she admits she’s not much of an apple pie baker herself. She won’t be submitting any pies this weekend, either, because she and Batson will be too busy making sure the festival is a success. The festival’s history goes back to 1908 when it was started to celebrate the completion of a bridge across the Colorado River and the season’s apple harvest.
The festival eventually faded off, but as Rifle prepared for its centennial, residents pushed to bring it back, Zemlock said. “I came to be involved just kind of on a whim,” she said. “I went to a Centennial Committee meeting with my mother, and they mentioned they wanted to bring back Apple Pie Days.”Zemlock and Batson volunteered, and “the rest is history,” Zemlock said. She said the festival celebrates the fall harvest, sort of a “last hurrah before the snow flies.”Zemlock will announce the winner of the apple pie baking contest, which she said has been “really, really fun” over the last two years.
She said she invites anybody and everybody who wants to bake pies to enter the contest, with the stipulation that everyone must submit a recipe and two pies. “We are asking all our entrants to submit an apple pie recipe because next year, we’ll be publishing the first ever Rifle Apple Pie Days cookbook,” Zemlock said. Zemlock said she’s thinking big for this year’s festival, which she said started small, but is becoming more popular. And who can resist warm apple pie?”I’m hoping we’ve stirred up a lot of entrants and the whole town will come out,” she said.
If you’re hoping to nab the winning pie, you’d better bring a full wallet. Last year, she said, the winning pie was auctioned for a hefty $87. The festival will feature a dance for the kids, a tractor pull, 12 food vendors and fresh local produce.Apple Pie Days kicks off with a parade at 10 a.m. Saturday beginning in downtown Rifle. The pie baking contest begins at the Garfield County Fairgrounds at noon. Contact Bobby Magill: 945-8515, ext. email@example.com
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