MALONE — A festival at Prairie’s Orchard will celebrate the end of summer and welcome the coming of fall this weekend.
Art at the Orchard will feature music, crafts, art, games and autumn treats from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday at 111 County Route 24.
Combining art with apples, cider with sweet treats, the event is in its second year at the Malone orchard, said Jenny Gessler, president of the Foothills Art Society.
“We are going to have all kinds of good things at the event,” Gessler said. “There will be music, we have musicians playing almost all day long.”
Gessler said the event will also feature activities for younger visitors.
“We are going to have lots of children’s activities — they are going to be painting birdhouses, painting gourds, they will be face painting, and I think they are going to be stuffing scarecrows,” Gessler said. “There’s lots of children’s activities, along with wagon rides. It’s one of those things that 10 years from now kids will say, ‘Remember that time?’ It just feels like fall, it’s kind of welcoming fall and enjoying all the things that nature provides. It’s a good way to give back.”
Gessler said Wead Library is providing an interactive book for the event.
“Throughout the orchard, the kids can walk through the orchard and read a book at different stations,” she said.
Gessler said the event will also feature en plein air painters — painters who paint outside or in the field.
“There will be plenty of artists out in the orchard painting away,” Gessler said. “There will be art and craft vendors, people showing their wares, showing what they got.”
Gessler said Stewart’s Shops donated ice cream, and there will be popcorn and two food vendors on hand for the festival.
There will be plenty of apples, cider, doughnuts and hard cider from Prairie’s. Gessler described the event as a partnership between Foothills Art Society and the orchard.
Gessler said last year’s festival attracted approximately 2,500 visitors.
“If it is a nice day we are going to have a lot of people there,” she said.
Gessler said last year’s event was the brainchild of Bev Quenville, a member of the art society.
“She was at the orchard and loved it so much and said, ‘How would you guys like to do something with Foothills Art Society?” Gessler said. “They brainstormed, put it together and did a great job. People last year, attendees were going, ‘Are you going to do this again next year? Please do this next year.’ It was a big hit, people loved it, the public loved it. We are happy to do it again.”
Gessler said she appreciates the community coming out for events, adding that their support makes the events possible.
“It is nice to get the community engaged and be able to do something like this for the community,” she said. “I am looking forward to the camaraderie of the community, and I am looking forward to listening to the music and the bands, and seeing the artwork that will be produced by the artists. I love working with the community and having the community come together.”
Sponsors of the event include Adirondack Frontier, Adirondack for Kids, Fleming’s Fine Furniture and North Country Community College.
Prairie’s Orchard is owned by Brandyn and Dan Prairie, who purchased the property in 2013, planted their first trees in 2014 and opened the store in 2020.
In addition to the orchard and its apple trees, the property hosts Mountain Miss CiderWorks, a business started by Brandyn Prairie and her friends, Tiffany Richards, Kelly Walfield and Tara West.