News-Sun photo by KATARA SIMMONS Friends Sharon Riley, Etherl Moroney and Peggy Halim enjoy the first day of the Palms of Sebring Apple Harvest Festival Thursday. The trio continue to visit the festival each year and enjoy the event.
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published: Friday, September 28, 2012
Kesselring's vision lives on at Palms Apple Harvest Festival
By SAMANTHA GHOLAR
SEBRING - The wafting sweet aroma reaches well beyond the front entrance of the Palms of Sebring this weekend with the annual Apple Harvest Festival.
Thursday marked the public's first day to experience the annual event that is now in its 16th year.
The festival is a tribute to the autumn season and all the things that remind you of the upcoming holidays. The festival was created by Lester Kesselring, who had a huge love of fall. Kesselring spent many years bringing all things fall to Central Florida through his beloved Apple Festival. After Kesselring's untimely passing last November, the Palms family decided to continue the festival in his honor.
Palms wellness director Adele Dornheim took the reins this year for the first time in the festival's history.
"It has been a great big challenge," Dornheim said. "I got a little training under him (Kesselring) last year but I've never done this event by myself. I had some help with a co-coordinator this year. We wanted to keep it like he has always had it. I think we did a good job of that."
Dornheim, who has watched Kesselring travel to cities and states far beyond the boundaries of Florida, knows that the merchandise and decor have been a huge part of bringing the autumn feel to Sebring.
"He always used to say 'I don't think we have enough stock.' Now I find myself saying the same things ... He and his wife would travel all over the place buying things for the festival. I'm unable to do that, but we do a lot of shopping for the festival online to bring unique things here," Dornheim said.
Kesselring's wife, Barbara, still remains a huge part of the Apple Harvest Festival. Barbara helps out by running the bakery section of the festival where customers can purchase delicious, homemade treats such as pies, breads, jellies and the famous apple dumplings.
Customers and patrons continue to come to the Apple Harvest Festival year after year to enjoy the sights, smells and tastes of the fall season.
New Hampshire resident and newly-declared snowbird Pat Burns wandered in and out of Kesselring Square Thursday morning where she looked over items to purchase.
"This is my first time here. I love it. I'm from Apple Country and to see this is just wonderful," Burns said.
Others like Mary Remington and June Riger are veteran festival attendees and continue to enjoy the event each year with friends and family.
The Palms Apple Harvest Festival will continue today and Saturday.
The festival is inside the Palms Wellness Center at 725 S. Pine St. Festival hours are 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. today and 8 a.m. until noon Saturday.
shameful (by: concerned onlooker - 9/28/2012)
Lester Kesselring would be ashamed if he only knew. Wont be there this year and will never support them again.
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