Hilton Apple Fest

59 Henry Street
Hilton, NY 14468



The Festival was founded in 1981 by Hilton Businessmen Patrick Marlow and Douglas Marple. Homer Marple of Marple Furniture, financed the Festival in its first year when it was organized by Coordinator, Carol Gursslin with just a handful of volunteers. It was held at Canning Street Square. And yes, there really was a pie the first year! We had approximately 75 craft booths and five food booths.

The purpose of the Festival was to offer free family entertainment while celebrating the apple harvest season, the Hilton/Parma community, and the local apple growers. Artists were given a showplace for their handcrafted goods and nonprofit groups of the Hilton Central School District raised funds by selling food.

In 1982, Carol Gursslin was once again the Coordinator but there were about 200 volunteers and it was held at the Hilton Community Center. Many local businesses provided finances the first five or six years. Organizers brought world attention to the Hilton area when they attempted to bake the World's Largest Apple Pie. Guinness World Book publishers gave the recognition to English townspeople who, one month earlier, had baked an apple pie in a larger rectangular pan. In an effort to show the British their sense of humor, Festival planners the next year baked the World's Smallest Apple Pie in a bottle cap.

The Apple Fest currently has approximately 200 craft booths and 24 food booths. Attendance reaches close to 70,000 people, most of which ride the shuttle bus to the Community Center. One of the reasons for its success is the help it receives from its approximately 300 volunteers. The Hilton Apple Fest donates an average of $5,000 per year of which some of the recipients have been Ambulance Corps, Library, Village parks, Food Shelf, Camp Good Days and Special Times, Historical Society, Hilton Senior Bash, Braddock Bay Raptor Research, and other Community Center projects. 

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