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Apple Festival draws crowds
More than 200 vendors set up in Springville
SPRINGVILLE — With a hodgepodge of hanging decorations made with driftwood and colorful glass balls, first-time vendor Tim Shea sat back and let his art speak for itself.
Shea was just one of the more than 200 vendors at the 32nd annual Springville Apple Festival on Saturday and Sunday.
“It’s a hobby, but most people seem to like it and I make some money” said Shea, who added that he also makes birdhouses out of wood.
A resident of Orange County, this is his first time at the Apple Festival as a vendor. He got started back in April and has a company called Driftwood Creations.
“I made one for my mom and she loved it,” stated Shea, who explained what products sell the best, either birdhouses or hanging decorations, depends on what show he goes to.
“Today, it’s been all birdhouses, but I’ve found that I can never count on what’s going to sell,” added Shea, who attends various shows throughout the year and estimates that it takes two hours of woodwork to build the birdhouses. While Shea builds the houses, his girlfriend decorates them.
Besides the vendor booths the festival offered a kids area with rides and an assortment of apple products including pies, tarts and burritos.
Near the food booths sat Peter Hickey of Hickey Sequoia Salvage, a vendor returnee, who offered small candle holders, lamps and crosses made out of a Giant Sequoia tree.
“[What you see here] is what is originally a Giant Sequoia tree that has been recycled,” said Hickey who added that of each tree that is cut down only 50 to 75 percent is used for fence posts and other products.
Using a lathe he works the wood into various shapes. Some of his candle holders were round, mushroomed and rectangular. A carpenter and mechanic by trade, woodworking runs in his family.
“I learned by trial and error. My grandfather worked with wood and since then I’ve acquired knowledge over a period of time,” added Hickey who had so far sold four of his pieces.
His collection of sequoia wood has been amassed over a period of 35 years and he receives wood from a variety of sources including private farms.
According to Hickey, the popularity of woodworking comes down to one thing.
“It takes you back to your basics. You use a part of your brain you don’t use today that of the left side, the creative side,” explained Hickey.
The festival also offered booths that sold items like hand-weaved baskets, jewelry, wooden windmills and painted fans.
Situated near the Hamburger Stand were members of the Orange Blossom Quilter Guild from Visalia, who were raffling off a pastel-colored spiral quilt.
“With the money we receive we buy more material to make quilts for Optimal Hospice, the battered women’s shelter and Grace Homes,” said Jeannie Sisco a member at-large and charter member of the guild. “Our goal was to make 100 for the year and we’ve already surpassed it,” stated Sisco.
Coming from Prescott, Ariz., Charles Kolar and his wife Nancy Svihus, were having a good time.
“We came back to enjoy the Apple Festival. We enjoy the whole scene,” said Svihus, who used to live on upper Rio Vista.
Underneath the food tent area were first-time attendees Stuart and Gena Gong from Fresno with their three children.
“We’ve never been here. We thought we’d check it out,” said Gena Gong.
Though the event was dotted with varying food vendors, including one that sold cheesecake on a stick, the day was all about the apples.
At Edwards Orchards the customers were in full force.
“We were putting up tables and tarps, and people were already buying,” said Edwards who offered a variety of apples including Fuji, Arkansas Black and Pink Lady. So far, they had sold 40 apple pies and 200 pounds out of 1,200 pounds of apples.
At the Springville Community Club Booth Sandy Whaling, publicity chair for the Apple Festival, sat down for a rest.
“It’s been a steady stream all day long. We have four left of the sugar-free pies,” said Whaling.