LEOMINSTER – After canceling last year’s Johnny Appleseed Arts and Crafts Festival, the fun begins today at 9 a.m. downtown and continues until 5:30 p.m.

Festival organizer Richard Marchand said they had done everything possible to make this year’s festival “as safe as possible”. The event is taking place not only downtown but on Main Street, making it more extensive, and disinfection stations will be set up everywhere. Masks are encouraged and will be available to those who need them.

For the 23rd year, the First Baptist Church in Leominster was making apple crisps on Friday September 24, 2021 for the Johnny Appleseed Festival. They are three different sizes. they are 500 small, 143 medium and 24 large. Cutting apples for chips is Debbie Legros doing hell for the first time. SENTINEL & COMPANY / JOHN LOVE

“This is something that we are all looking forward to, and we can’t wait to see each other,” he said. “It’s been a long year and a half.

Additionally, Community Health Connections will be offering the COVID-19 vaccine, and there will be three stages for musicians to perform on instead of a main stage. Picnic tables will be set up in front of everyone for people to sit and enjoy the music.

And, of course, members of First Baptist Church will once again be offering their famous apple crisp with ice cream.

The event is truly a community collaboration, with no less than 160 nonprofits and charities from across the region settling there with information and resources and local vendors, artisans and many more offering products and others.

Marchand said that AIS Inc. of Leominster will provide 250 meals for children and families and that the company has also sponsored 25 nonprofits and charities, deferring their costs as a festival vendor.

He said the festival gives people a chance to celebrate “the city’s culture and diversity, not only intergenerational but also multicultural”.

The food stand will feature the cuisine of the Spanish American Center and there will be two Brazilian barbecues as well as an American barbecue.

“There will be something for everyone,” said Marchand.