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Our seventh annual Apple Festival was a success. Sunny weather contributed to good mood of all the participants, guests and participating organizations. 

Village life became more exciting with cheerful anticipation of the occasion. Children who took part in the festival concert rehearsed their shows in colorful costumes, and adults explored the culinary wonders of apple pies, salads and other delicious treats decorated with carvings from apples, marrow, pumpkins and other fruits and vegetables.

City dwellers can find it hard to understand the scale of such event for a villager whose days generally more slowly-paced. With this in mind I decided to question people about their impressions of the festival.

Cholpon, teacher of the 7-v form of Baetovo School that won the contest in the nomination ‘carving, said that, "it is for the first time we participate in such event. It’s a great occasion for our children. They showed great enthusiasm in preparation to it, didn’t sleep at nights drawing wall newspapers and creating new carved articles. Our main author is Aman; almost all these figures that you see are his creations. I think such events are very important for us, as they both promote gardening in our region and develop creativity and fantasy in our children. Moreover,  when children are preparing for contests they learn a lot of new and interesting things about fruits and vegetables and their use for young organism. 

Erkin and Orozbubu – Baetovo villagers, guests of festival, agreed that, "it is great that Kompanion holds the festival in our village this year! Just look how happy our children are. Even the youngest participants from kindergarten Tynchtyk brought their handicrafts and prepared dances for show. Though we live in highlands we also can show our nature’s treasures here. Everythinggrows here; just have a look, apples, cabbage, beet, and marrows. We need more such festivals!" 
Amina and Gulzat – Kompanion headquarter employees, guests of the festival, stated,"sunny weather met us in Naryn and Baetovo. Sun was shining brightly and fresh breeze blew. It was joyful to see villagers welcoming guests preparing their best works from grown apples to dresses made from fruits, plastic bags, paper and other unexpected materials. I liked drawings from the festival. It was a special pleasure to see the boy – young artist who was happy to see how his works impressed the guests.
The weather was very warm. It made me glad to see how well the villagers are prepared to the festival. The festive concert’s program was very rich. We enjoyed seeing the exhibition of culinary and decoration articles from apples. The most interesting for me was the auction where the biggest apple weighing 410 g and the most delicious pie were exhibited." 

Chinargul – manager of Kompanion Balykchy branch, member of the jury, said, "I was a member of contest commission. I was impressed how the participants were prepared for the contest. I even counted 22 apples dishes that were presented by one of the villages. There were hoshany and manty (steamed dumplings) with apples, pies, salads, jams, compote (stewed fruit) and kissel (sweet jelly drink). I tasted everything and couldn’t even imagine that such traditionally meat dishes like hoshany and manty might be cooked from apples.  
I have taken part in the festival for five years and this event was perfectly organized. We all could not believe that apple trees are growing in such a highland region. But it appeared that they grow and of great varieties. I loved this festival very much and now when the torch of the festival is given to Balykchy branch which would be held in Kara-Oi in 2013 we do our best to hold the festival on the highest level."   
Kurmanjan lives in Kara-Oi village of Issyk-Kul region and was the first prize winner in the category of "the biggest apple” in Darkhan village in 2009 and second prize winner in Chaek village in 2011.
She spoke fondly of the festival, saying, "it has been four years since we took part in festival and were winners of “the biggest apple”   contest. Participating in contests is my favorite part. It is interesting to prepare for the contests: to look for the biggest apple and make experiments with apple dishes. In our garden we grow mostly three varieties of apples – aport, belflor and mezgut and today we brought our Issyk-Kul grapes. We actively participate in projects Kompanion holds in our region. Thanks to these educational trainings the quality of our harvest considerably improved. This year we came to Baetovo to take up the torch of the festival which is due to be held in our village next year. All Kara-Oi villagers are happy to accept festival and already are thinking about the festive program.    
In conclusion, I would like to add that festival was a great success! Kompanion thanks all participants and guests of the festival and also all people who helped to prepare the holiday. Next year we hope to see our old and new guests on our festival of the Tastiest, Ecologically Safe Apples!"  

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