ITHACA, N.Y.—Provided that local and federal health agencies do not update restrictions on gatherings, Ithaca’s Apple Harvest Festival will return from Oct. 1-3, 2021.

The Downtown Ithaca Alliance made the announcement on Thursday afternoon after weeks of uncertainty regarding whether or not the festival would proceed. Last year’s event was canceled due to the still ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“Obviously this is all dependent on CDC, NYS, and TCHD guidelines around COVID-19,” said Scott Rougeau, the special events coordinator for the DIA. “The DIA and the Apple Harvest Festival will always adhere to these bodies’ guidelines when it comes to public safety. The Apple Harvest Festival will only occur with the approval of these agencies and if at any point it is deemed unsafe the event will be canceled.”

Cases have been steadily rising around Tompkins County despite a high vaccination rate, though hospitalizations have remained fairly low—perhaps a result of the county’s 70 percent of residents who are vaccinated. While there are 207 active cases in the county as of Friday, only three people are hospitalized currently.

Meanwhile, the Harvest Festival intends to be held and will update its event page with “ways to attend safely.”

“Apple Harvest Festival will host plenty of farmstand fresh apples and produce, delectable apple and seasonal baked goods, a variety of food trucks offering tasty bites, and a craft fair with artisans from around the region,” the announcement states. “There will also be live music and entertainment, plus a cider trail to enjoy refreshing cider in store and plenty of great apple and apples-inspired products for sale inside shops in and around Downtown.”

Matt Butler is the Editor in Chief of The Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at