Wheelock Rides brining fun to LaFayette Apple Festival

LAFAYETTE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — It’s like a village that pops up overnight as some 400 vendors roll into Apple Valley in LaFayette.

It’s the 50th anniversary of the Lafayette Apple Festival which in a good year draws as many as 30,000 people. And the vendors want to have what the customers are looking for.

Wheelock Rides have been here almost from the start, missing just the first couple years. Owner Avery Wheelock realizes the rides aren’t the main focus but a great supplement.

“People come with their grandkids and kids, and it gives them something to do while grandma and grandpa and mom and dad are shopping for goodies in the tents, while the kids can find something to do down here,” Avery said.

Wheelock Rides started in 1946 when Avery’s father took his first Ferris Wheel on the road. This weekend, they’ll close their season with 11 rides at the Apple Festival.

It’s the rides. It’s the food. And it’s definitely the crafts that draw people to the Apple Festival. And this year’s line-up promises the best choice in each of those categories.

“The show’s fantastic, and it gets a ton of people here, no matter what the weather is, if it’s snowing, raining, muddy, they still come,” said Randy Ritz, one of the festival’s longtime vendors.

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