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Foliage, apples, pumpkins, and syrup bring hundreds to local Maine orchards and sugar houses

As Maine starts to see peak foliage, apple orchards were packed with families, as hundreds also celebrated the 2nd Annual Maine Maple Festival

MAINE, USA — Apples, pumpkins, and foliage, oh my! 

Saturday made for a quintessential fall day in Maine, with cool but comfortable temps, perfect for folks to get outside across the state. 

It was a busy day for apple orchards, as hundreds packed places like Thompson's Orchards in New Gloucester.

"Oh this is great, it's a beautiful day. It's a nice, halfway cool day for it. Perfect day for picking," said Mike Thompson, owner of Thompson's Orchard. 

On Saturday, people came from near and far to pick apples and enjoy all Thompson's has to offer. 

"It's huge. And even the out-of-staters, we get out-of-staters that come here every year. They make the trip for something that we have. So we keep trying to add to that," said Thompson.

This year, Thompson's hosted an Artisan Fair, with local crafters and small business owners from around Maine setting up and selling their goods.

"The weather's just a little bit cooler, the bugs are gone, and what better day than to spend it at an apple orchard," said Ryan Hughes, owner of 'Maine Green', a clothing company with Maine-related designs all created by Maine artists. Hughes was selling his shirts, sweatshirts, hats, and more at the Orchard as part of the Artisan Fair on Saturday.

"I get to talk with all kinds of people, which leads us to new events, and gives us more creative ideas to go forward with," said Hughes.

Folks were out doing much more than shopping and picking apples on Saturday, however. It was also the start of Maine Maple Fall Fest. 

"It really draws a lot of people in," said Jordan Davis, owner of Maple Rush Sugar House. 

October 9-10 marks the 2nd annual Maine Maple Fall Fest. The event started last year, after Maine Maple Weekend in March was canceled due to the pandemic. Davis says having a fall event helps bring even more people out to his sugar house, which can be a big boost for revenue.

"We've had people from Texas, and Colorado, and everyone that wants to come to Maine to see the fall colors and all it has to offer," said Davis.

Maine Maple Fall Fest continues on Sunday. Davis and his family-run sugar house will be open to the public again as well.