STERLING – The 15th Anniversary of the Fall Jamboree was held at Ontario Orchards this weekend.
The festival continues to increase the amount of activities each year, to provide family fun for the community.
“The jamboree not only helps with profits, but it also brings people out to the farm so they can see the whole operation and learn about where the food comes from. We want to educate people in knowing where their food comes from – a working farm right here in Sterling, NY,” owner Dennis Ouellette said.
In order to ensure that the event is successful every year, preparation has to start early.
A lot goes into organizing an event.
“You need to pay attention to detail, in order to make things run as smooth as possible,” said Ouellette.
Ontario Orchards gets the word out for its festival early using tactics such as social media starting way back in July.
“We start working on the jamboree every July by sending out applications, working on new ideas, creating our commercial for TV, radio, print, and social media,” Ouellette said.
The jamboree continues to grow every year with new vendors.
“We went from just a few vendors in the beginning to more than 50 vendors in the last 15 years,” Ouellette said.
Due to increased growth of the event, Ontario Orchards continues to make the field bigger for the event by pushing out a few more apple trees to allow more room for the people.
“It’s been very exciting watching this event grow with the help from our locals, and their families and friends,” Ouellette said.
Members of the community, such as Charles Itzin, have been attending the festival since the very first year.
Itzin, sets up a table with the Sterling Nature Center, selling hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, and refreshments. This year The Sterling Nature Center raised about $3,500.
“We hope to raise even more next year, because we are saving up for a new building at the Sterling Nature Center,” Itzin said.
SUNY Oswego students Samantha Rogers and Emma Carey attended the Fall Jamboree for the first time on Saturday.
“Now that we are sophomores we know more about what’s going on around in town. I always hear about people going to the jamboree so we decided to go on Saturday. It was so much fun, we’re definitely going to go again next year,” Carey said.
The Fall Jamboree hosted at Ontario Orchards is a free admission and free parking event where the families of the community, as well as many SUNY Oswego students come out to Ontario Orchards to celebrate the coming of fall with fun games, food, music and crafts.
The idea for the jamboree all started 15 years ago when managers Kathy and Laurie Ouellette used to help set up in downtown Oswego at the Pumpkin Festival.
Setting up for this event inspired them to start an event of their own.
“We came home from that and thought why don’t we have our own festival in Sterling where we grew up,” Ouellette said. “We wanted to invite families to the farm to see what we grew up with, apple picking, riding horses, running through the corn mazes, obstacle courses, and fun things like that.”
This was just the beginning in the creation of what became the Fall Jamboree. They began to create the successful event by finding new and fun games, searching for natural talent in the area, and asking around to get people to work with them to create the ultimate festival for the community.
According to www.ontarioorchards.com, Ontario Orchards is a family run and owned farm and market that has been serving the community for more than 50 years.
Ontario Orchards proudly provides activities and food for all four season of the year. The Cider Mill, Bakery, Nursery and Greenhouse provide a very complete selection of products 12 months a year.
Ontario Orchards has expanded Agri-tourism which includes U-Pick Apples, U-Pick Pumpkins and U-Cut Christmas Trees.
Ontario Orchards is happy to bring you the best tastes of Central New York that you will find.