Celebrating 20 years of apples

Annual festival includes sweets booth, apple pies, dumplings, activities, games, a rummage sale and vendor booths

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The Riverside Adventist Christian School is celebrating 20 years of the Apple Festival this Sunday. The popular community event includes a sweets booth, apple pies, dumplings, games, activities and of course, apples. Pictured, left to right, are Dixie Knoll, Emily Turcic, Ben Stephenson, Anthony Ferzacca and Austin Lauser.

Every second Sunday in October, Riverside Adventist Christian School is transformed into a paradise of all things apple: There are boxes and boxes of Hood River apples, apple pies and apple dumplings.

In addition, there is a “sweets” booth, activities, a big slide, games, a country store, rummage sale and vendor booths.

It is a big fund raiser for the school, and provides items such as overhead projectors, computers and basic supplies.

“It all goes to help our students and the scholarship program,” Principal Dan Wister said.

The students, staff and parents are preparing for the festival by making 600 pies and collecting apples.

Karen Turcic is the parent in charge of the pie making. She and her crew of volunteers use the kitchens at the Washougal and Camas community centers because the school does not have one.

“A lot of it is coordinating things and making sure we get all the equipment,” she said.

Then, Turcic sets up an assembly line of sorts, with stations ranging from peeling apples to rolling dough. The 600 pounds of flour needed for the job is donated by Bob’s Red Mill in Portland.

The pies are placed in the Washougal Safeway deep freezer overnight to avoid denting, then volunteers take the pies home and stick each one in the freezer until the festival.

“It’s a little stressful heading up to it, but the fun part is watching the pies appear on the tables,” Turcic said.

Wister, who has been the principal for five years, said there is typically a big turnout for the festival.

“It has really turned into a community event,” he said. “It is just a lot of good, clean, wholesome fun. And there are lots of fresh apples.”

A new feature this year will be an Apple Festival Cookbook, available for $15.

Mary Charbonneau, a grandparent who volunteers at the school, put it together. It includes 299 pages of recipes from several different contributors.

“I started it in February and just finished it up,” she said. “The recipes just kept coming and coming. It was a great feeling of accomplishment when I was done.”

The apple festival will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Cash and checks are accepted for purchases, but credit cards are not. Riverside Adventist Christian School is located at 463 N. Shepherd Road in Washougal.