Busiest Sunday of the year
The hard work of volunteers, such as the ones seen here last week in the Dummerston Congregational Church kitchen, produce the apple pies that people come from miles around to buy at the church’s annual Apple Pie Fest, which will be held this year on Sunday, Oct. 9.

Busiest Sunday of the year

Dummerston Apple Pie Festival, pancake breakfast, and other fall traditions return on Oct. 9 for the first time since 2019

DUMMERSTON — The first real sign of autumn's arrival here is not the trees changing color. It's seeing the big wooden crates of apples by the doorway of the Dummerston Congregational Church kitchen.

When the apples from Dwight Miller Orchards arrive at the church, it means that the Dummerston Apple Pie Festival is not far away.

The event has historically attracted hundreds of people on the second Sunday of October since the early 1970s, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced the festival to be curtailed to a drive-thru pie sale in 2020 and 2021.

But this year, on Oct. 9, the Pie Fest will be back in all of its appley glory.

In the two weeks leading up to the festival, the Congregational Church kitchen is given over to the pie makers, who work in two shifts, assembling and baking the apple pies that have made Dummerston famous.

Volunteers run the apple peelers, core the apples, slice the apples, roll the pie dough, fill pie plates with apples, keep up with the apple peelings and cores, and place the pies in the church's three pizza ovens, each holding 12 pies at a time.

By the Friday before the festival, approximately 700 pies will have been baked ahead of Dummerston Center's busiest Sunday of the year.

“Apple Pie Sunday” begins with an abbreviated Sunday church service, followed by the laying out of whole or sliced pies on long tables under a big canopy beside the church. When the church bell rings at 10 a.m., that's the signal that the festival has begun.

Pies will be available (whole pies for $20 and slices for $5) until 2 p.m. or until they sell out, whichever comes first.

People from all over the Northeast line up to buy a pie, and perhaps sit and have a slice - with a slice of cheddar or a dollop of ice cream on top - under the canopy. Other items for sale include homemade doughnuts, Grafton Cheddar Cheese, and fresh apple cider. The youth of the church will have hand-cranked ice cream for sale.

Beyond the pie

Pancake breakfast: Whether you have room for a slice of pie on site will depend on whether you have already stopped at the West Dummerston Volunteer Fire Department's pancake breakfast. The all-you-can eat tradition will return this year at the station in Dummerston Center from 7 to 11 a.m.

Craft fair and cookout: At the Evening Star Grange's craft fair and cookout, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., more than 20 crafters will sell Alpaca products, jewelry, pickles, jams and jellies, wool knit products, wooden crafts, and more. A food area will offer hamburgers, hot dogs, chili, homemade baked beans, and corn chowder.

And more: There will also be an open house at the Dummerston Historical Society from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and big yard sales around the village center.

The festival is a major fundraiser for both the Church and Grange.

For more information about the pie festival, call the church office at 802-257-0544, the Grange at 802-254-1138, or Grange Master Larry Lynch at 802-310-0799.

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