SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – It has been over three decades of family fun, rides and food at the Brewerton Speedway. Cars fill the parking lots and plenty of wristband tickets are sold to the public. It seems like any other town fair or carnival, yet the Lioness Club of Central Square brings a different element to their event.
It all comes down to community support at the Apple Festival in Brewerton.
With around 200 vendors each year, the activities are endless. And still, it’s not about the profit. Instead, all of the proceeds are taken in and given back to local charities.
For Festival Director, Denise Porter, it is why she has continued to serve the Lioness Club of Central Square for 24 years.
“It’s a great event. We give everything back to the community. And it’s a way to celebrate the apple,” said Porter. “It’s a way to come out and give back to your local community.”
Porter said that there are many different organizations that the profit from the festival is dispursed to.
A couple of them include a community backpack program that helps support kids who don’t have much food and school supplies, a dinner for the seniors at Central Square high school and their largest event: several food pantries throughout the year.
While some may not know about the support of local charities when they hand over their money at the festival, others are proud. Some like Casey Bliss, who has been coming to the Apple Festival with her husband and six-year-old daughter since she was born.
“Just knowing that the money that we spend here is going to help somebody else is great,” she said.
And the festival attracts people of all ages, giving them different things to look forward to, whether it be the food or the rides for the little ones.
Friday night was a night of rides and several vendors, but that’s not all for the weekend. The festival opens up again on Saturday and Sunday, which brings much more.
Things like concerts, apple pie contests, and the entertainment tent which crowns a new Miss Apple Festival each year. It will also be showcasing a fan favorite: the apple fritters.
In its 36th annual festival, Lioness Club of Central Square continues to put on a great event. And with community support, charity continues to strive as well.