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Published: 07/28/2006    print this story   email this story  

Boxford: New England to the core

By Harlyn Aizley

The annual Boxford Apple Festival was once a small town secret. Today, some 30 years after its inception, the quintessential New England event boasts attendance in the thousands. For the occasion all of East Boxford Village is closed to traffic. Elm Street is lined with approximately 150 street vendors including artisans of handcrafted goods and local culinary favorites. The epicenter of activity is the 1760 Holyoke-French House, which opens to the public during the festival and features a blacksmithing demonstration as well as cider pressing on an authentic 19th-century cider press. Admission is free and proceeds from sales of goods go to support the Boxford Historical Society, most of whose budget goes to the maintenance of the Holyoke-French House.

In recent years the Boxford Cultural Council has incorporated its music festival into the event. Live music from the stage at East Village Common accompanies festival-goers throughout the day. Scattered hay bales make for great seating while you sample hamburgers, hot dogs, and the other best-kept Boxford secret, pickles!

Follow those with homemade apple pie from Boxford's own Ingaldsby Farm and vanilla ice cream from Benson's Ice Cream, also of Boxford, and you've got it made in the shade of Elm Street. The Boxford Apple Festival takes place this year on Saturday, Sept. 16, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., with a rain date of Sunday, Sept. 17.

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