UBC Apple Festival returned for its 31st year with its first in-person event since the pandemic.
After a long two years filled with Zoom meetings and adapted apple sales, this year’s in-person Apple Festival, organized by the Friends of the Garden volunteers, was a refreshing event that did not disappoint. For a UBC student like me, it was the perfect opportunity to take a break from midterms, get my friends together and discover what kind of apple I liked best. Here are some of my favourite things at Apple Festival:
For those who were lucky enough to snag a ticket for the Friends of the Garden Tasting Tent before they sold out, they were able to try up to 40 different varieties of apples. Guests could also read some facts about each variety and ask questions. With so many available varieties to taste (many of which I didn’t know existed), you are bound to find your apple soul mate. Each variety was unique in terms of taste, texture and appearance. Entering the tasting tent, I was greeted by friendly Friends of the Garden and excited volunteers. There were three large table setups that I could walk around and taste 10-15 different varieties, respectively. Ambrosia, Honey Crisp and Sweet Sixteen stood out to me as my favourites.
Bagged Apple and Apple Tree Sales
One of the main reasons why people attend Apple Festival is to bring home unusual and new varieties of apples or start growing an apple tree in their yard. Whether you like to bake apple pies, want to host an apple-tasting party, or are just an apple enthusiast, this area is for you. With apples sourced from 14 growers in BC, there was a delicious diversity of apples to choose from.
This year, Apple Festival had a wide variety in terms of selection. The entire parking lot area of UBC Botanical Garden was dedicated to apple and apple tree sales. Guests were able to purchase bagged apples for $7 and trees for $35. Those looking for the rare and unusual varieties of apples had to get in early and quickly as most of those apples were sold out within the first hour! Almost 200 apple trees were sold over the weekend, mostly to young families who were enthusiastic first-time growers.
Food Trucks and Vendors
After browsing the apples and apple trees, I passed through the Moon Gate to the other side of the Garden where I found a variety of food and craft vendors. This was the perfect place to grab a snack or pick up a gift for family and friends. From apple kettle corn to candy apples to warm apple pie, I was bound to leave having undergone the full apple experience. If you weren’t totally in the mood for food, there were many other options to browse. Some of my favourites were the apple art, scrunchies, beeswax cling wrap, and organic chocolate.
Additionally, in the food truck and vendor area was that there was a zero-waste station where volunteers could help you sort your recyclable and biodegradable waste.
If you’re a student like me, it can be easy to skip over the kid’s section. If you happened to miss it, I’d recommend that you check it out next year at Apple Festival. Bring out your inner child spirit and witness the infamous leaf pile – everybody’s favourite. Roam around and learn some new facts about biodiversity and the environment from the outreach partners – Society Promoting Environmental Conservation (SPEC), Stanley Park Ecology Society, West Point Grey Girl Guides and UBC Farm. Write a thank you to the apple growers who supply all the delicious apples for the Festival and hang it on the apple tree. Last but not least, take the opportunity to snap a polaroid picture at the photo booth! This was the perfect way to remember one of the most exciting days on campus!
Given the sunny, warm weather and the amazing turnout, it is safe to say that Apple Festival at UBC Botanical Garden was a success this year!
UBC Botanical Garden would like to thank everyone who worked hard on ensuring Apple Festival was a success! We appreciate the community’s support and enthusiasm at our first in-person event since the pandemic.
If you participated in or attended Apple Festival, please let us know if you have any feedback and/or suggestions!
Submitted by Ariel Baena-Tan, Marketing and Communications Assistant