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      How do you like them apples? Despite grim apple forecast, Lafayette Apple Fest still a tradition for many

      A little mud, a brisk breeze, the smell of apple fritters and the colors of fall made up Lafayette Apple Festival this weekend, as thousands came out to enjoy not only the rides and the games, but the tasty apple treats as well.

      A tradition for many, it did not matter that an early freeze and a dry summer hurt this year's apple crop, and those who traveled out to Lafayette were more concerned with keeping tradition than anything else.

      "We've been here when it was snowy," Corinne Kurgan, a Lafayette resident who has gone to the Apple Festival each of its 40 years of existence, says. "It didn't hold us back did it? We're tough out here."

      While many locals like Kurgan attend the festival every year, faces from all over the nation dotted the grounds this weekend, some coming from places like California, Chicago and Connecticut. Claudia Neddermann, who was visiting from Connecticut, said the Central New York region is more aestically pleasing this time of year compared to her hometown.

      "There's a lot of trees and land, it's more spread out so its prettier. We come apple picking a lot up here," Neddermann said.

      Those in attendance were not too concerned about the possible lack of apples this season, but did admit they were not looking forward to paying for the apples elsewhere.

      "I think they set aside enough apples for this," Lisa Reiss, a Kirkville resident and Lafayette native says. "I just wasn't looking forward to the prices in the stores."

      But, whether it is a Lafayette native like Reiss, or a California family just visiting some friends, the family atmosphere and breathtaking colorful fall foliage is what keeps them coming back year after year.