NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

September 13, 2013

Family Farm Day marks a milestone for Appleton

By Jonathan Phelps
Staff writer

---- — Appleton Farms will celebrate its 375th anniversary at its annual Family Farm Day on Sunday.

It is one of the biggest events at the Ipswich farm each year, drawing as many 3,000 people. The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., rain or shine.

“We have families who look forward to this each year,” said Holly Hannaway, marketing coordinator for The Trustees of Reservations. “They like the simplicity of the event, but there is a lot to do.”

The event will feature live music, barnyard animals, a 4-H Calf Show and pony rides. There will be plenty of events for kids, including crafts, pumpkin painting, face-painting, tug-of-war and a hay obstacle course.

New this year will be an antique tractor show and a beekeeping exhibit. There will also be tours of the Old House and dairy operations.

In honor of the farm’s 375th anniversary, there will be an exhibit featuring Appleton family portraits.

“There is a wonderful collection of old family portraits,” said Susan Hill-Dolan, cultural resources specialist. “We want to highlight that and tell some of the human stories behind the subject of the portrait.”

The portrait collection also represents the work of some of America’s leading artists of the 19th and early 20th century, including Sir Alfred Munnings, Lydia Field Emmet and Eastman Johnson, who was called “the American Rembrandt” of his time, according to the Trustees.

They also plan to show some other family memorabilia, such as Mrs. Appleton’s World War II Red Cross uniform.

Hannaway said Family Farm Day is one of the first events that the Trustees have held at the property since the Appleton family donated the land in 1998.

The festival is intended to be a “zero trash” event, Hannaway said, with food served in compostable containers. From ice cream and burgers to seafood and apple cider, all food at the event will be local, organic and/or fair-trade, she said.

Ben Rudnick and Friends, a family-friendly group that plays everything from The Beatles to “Old MacDonald Had a Farm,” will perform live during the event.

If you go

What: Family Farm Day

When: Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: Appleton Farms, Route 1A, Ipswich

Admission: $25 per car ($20 for Trustees of Reservations members)

More information: thetrustees.org/appleton or 978-356-5728