By TAYLOR MURCHISON-GALLAGHER
Families and individuals flocked to Southington last week to observe the opening ceremonies of the 51st annual Apple Harvest Festival, and the Hall family exemplified the “Bushels of Family Fun” theme as their grandmother, Delores Hall, was named the 2019 Granny Apple.
Nominated by her granddaughter Kaylee Hall, a DePaolo Middle School sixth grader, Delores Hall said she was “very, very surprised and excited” to learn of this honor.
“I had no idea. My son told me,” said Granny Apple 2019. “It was a great surprise.”
Each year, the Apple Harvest Festival committee asks students in grades 4-6 to write an essay explaining why their grandmother deserves to be named as Granny Apple. This year, more than 15 Southington students submitted their letters to the committee.
Kaylee read her winning essay on stage, describing what makes her grandma “Dolly” the best grandmother in town.
“She’s very special to me because she sings ‘Happy Birthday to You’ in a funny voice and sends it to you on your birthday and leaves it on your answering machine at home,” said the sixth grader. “When I see her, she’s always doing funny dances and making silly faces to make us happy and laugh.”
The 2019 winner, according to her granddaughter, has been living in Southington for over 80 years, and still lives on the street where she grew up: Academy Lane. To this day, Delores can be found at the YMCA where she exercises in the Silver Sneakers classes with her 91-year old sister.
“We want to acknowledge those people from town and all the contributions they’ve made to our community,” said town councilor Chris Palmieri, AHF chair, “and who better to showcase them than their own grandchildren.”
The duo said they were looking forward to taking part in the 2019 Apple Harvest Parade, held on Sunday, Oct. 6, and a few days later they were escorted by Southington police and fire trucks at the front of the parade.
The Hall ladies join the Granny Apple ranks following past winners Susan Buckler and her granddaughter Kylie Savage (2018), Mary Sheehan and her granddaughter Riley Bard (2017), and Helen Swanson and her grandson Anthony “A.J.” Angelillo Jr. (2016), amongst other duos.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Taylor Murchison-Gallagher, email her at TMurchison@PlainvilleObserver.com.