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Members of the First Congregational Church of Dummerston make apple pies at the church on Monday, Sept. 26, 2022, for the 53rd annual Dummerston Apple Pie Festival on Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022.

DUMMERSTON — The first signs of fall include the smell of apple pie wafting throughout the house, or in some instances, the center of town. After two years of COVID-related restrictions and drive-through sales only, the Dummerston Apple Pie Festival is back to its traditional form.

The center of Dummerston is buzzing with activity as the Congregational Church (at the intersection of East-West Road and Middle Road) gears up for its 53rd annual Apple Pie Festival on Sunday, October 9. Last week, the members, friends and neighbors of the church began making homemade apple pies, either in their homes or at the church.

Volunteers are still needed through Thursday of this week to help make the pies, at the church from 9 a.m. to noon and between 4 and 9 p.m. All help is needed and welcomed, from running the apple peelers, coring and slicing the apples, rolling the pie dough, filling the pie plates with apples, and placing the pies in three “pizza” ovens.

“Apple Pie Sunday” begins with an abbreviated Sunday church service, followed by the laying out of tables with whole or sliced pies, and the bell is rung at 10 a.m. to signal the beginning of the festival. People from all over the northeast line up to buy a pie, and perhaps sit and have a slice under the big tent. Other items for sale will be locally made doughnuts, Grafton Cheddar Cheese, and fresh apple cider, and the youth of the church will have hand cranked ice cream for sale.

Over the years, other activities have been added, from a pancake breakfast at the WDVFD Center Fire Station (7 to 11 a.m.), family yard sales around the village, and a craft fair and cookout at the Evening Star Grange (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) across the common from the church. You can also stop by the Dummerston Historical Society Museum from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to see and learn a little history of Dummerston.