top of page
  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

CLEC celebrates 40th annual Apple Festival

by Sylene Argent

Since its inception, the Ruthven Apple Festival has raised more than $1million dollars for Community Living Essex County (CLEC). Thanks to many volunteers over the years, the funds raised through the major event has helped maintained the organization’s fleet of accessible transportation vehicles, which is a critical component of the services offered to its around 700 local clients who have an intellectual disability.

During the 2019 Ruthven Apple Festival’s opening ceremonies on Saturday morning, held at the grounds of Colasanti’s Tropical Gardens., supporters celebrated the event’s 40th anniversary. As part of the opening ceremonies, local dignitaries participated in the annual apple-peeling contest. Kingsville Mayor Nelson Santos won the competition. He noted the support shown over the Apple Fest weekend helps CLEC all year round.

  CLEC’s Manager of Community Relations and Resource Development, Tony DeSantis, thanked all the volunteers who have dedicated time and services to the annual event, or donated produce to the farmers’ market onsite, for their commitment.

  The Ruthven Apple Festival is known for its unique shopping experience as over 100 vendors setup throughout the event grounds. Musical entertainment is enjoyed throughout the festival weekend, and a car show is hosted on the Sunday. Area youth also had the opportunity to enjoy fun activities over the weekend, including bouncing around in giant inflatables.

CLEC’s Executive Director Karen Bolger explained the event not only celebrates the local organization and the programs and supports it offers to its clients, it also celebrates the fall harvest season.

bottom of page