About Us

The Midt-Telemark region has naturally good conditions for fruit production. The municipality is the most important fruit municipality in Telemark, and every fourth Norwegian apple you buy in shops across the country is produced here.

Furthermore, our district is also a major producer of both morels and plums. Therefore, the residents are proud of their municipality and the position the region has in the Norwegian fruit market.

The Norwegian Apple Festival was organized for the first time in 2006. Since then, the festival has taken various forms and shapes, but the core has always been the celebration of the yearly harvest with a market day. Here local producers showcase a variety of small-scale produced food, drink and crafts in over 50 sales stalls, as well as several different cultural elements.

The market day starts with the possibility for an “apple walk” through the fruit landscape, from Nes Kyrkje to the center of Gvarv, with a stop at Galleri Nyhuus to look at the works of this year's artist.

Every year, the students at Sagavoll Folkehøgskole make an apple board which is exhibited at the station building in the center of Gvarv, and also arrange activities and games for children on the market day. Previous years we have had visits from Princess Martha Louise, Moods of Norway, Det Norske Kokkelandslag, Ingrid Espelid Hovig, Jonny Andvik and others at the Apple Festival.

On the market day in 2023, Kulturskolen (The Cultural School) arranged singing and music, and voluntary organizations showed themselves in Gamlegata in Gvarv. The Apple Festival continues to evolve, with new features on the horizon. Rest assured, there's something for everyone to enjoy here.

The activities that take place both before and during the market day are largely based on hard work and cooperation between the board of the Norsk Eplefest AS, Sauherad Idrettslag and Gvarv Vel, and especially Midt-Telemark municipality. Voluntary organizations, galleries, as well as the fruit industry with their local shops, are also important partners who participate during the Apple Festival.

In addition, we celebrate the elderly and children's Apple Festival at the institutions and schools throughout the municipality in the days before the market day. The program and more information about the various years of the Apple Festival can be seen in the festival newspapers.

Much of the Norwegian Apple Festival are local events, but on a national level we organize a competition in collaboration with Hanen AS, with a selection of Norway's best apple juice, cider and fruit wine. We also have a desire to develop further cooperation with the Apple Festival in Rødding (Denmark), where we visited in 2023 to get inspiration and see how they celebrate the apple, as well as reestablish contact with the Apple Festival in Kivik (Sweden), so that we together can put the apple on the map in the Nordics.

Background

In 2005, MTNU (Midt-Telemark and Nome Development) collaborated with fruit and cultural stakeholders in Sauherad to pioneer a festival, aiming to put Fruktbygda on Norway's cultural landscape.

The aim of the project was to gather all the good forces in the former municipality of Sauherad, now Midt-Telemark municipality. Norsk Eplefest AS was established and organized as a Norwegian limited liability company (AS), and is a voluntary organization that continues the good work that was started by Midt-Telemark and Nome Utvikling.

We focus on an important industry in the region, we have brought out the arts and cultural life, voluntary organizations, and we have contributed to the fact that the inhabitants have become a little more proud of their municipality.

Kommunevåpen Sauherad
Development

The Norwegian Apple Festival has become an important event in Midt-Telemark. It has helped to strengthen our profile as a fruit municipality, and has become a central arena for the cultural aspect in our municipality. It has also become a good arena for the art and culture community, which has had good visits and good sales at exhibitions connected to the Apple Festival.

It is important for us to promote Norwegian sustainable fruit production, with particular emphasis on production here in Midt-Telemark, but we also want to be an important point of contact for international actors in relevant fields. On the market day in 2023, we had a visit from a delegation from our municipality's twin city in Poland, Nisko municipality, who got to participate and experience the festival.

We believe that Norsk Eplefest AS has brought out and clarified qualities and a profile that has "always" been here in the region, and which has a much greater significance for the inhabitants of the entire municipality than just what the festival showcases.

We hope and believe that public attendance will increase gradually over the years. Maintaining a good quality of the event is the most important success factor, and we develop the Apple Festival in collaboration with other industry actors and cultural organizations.

The Norwegian Apple Festival wishes that:

  • People in Telemark and nearby counties will find out about and participate at the Norwegian Apple Festival
  • Those who live here and everyone who visits the festival should have fun together
  • Everyone should be able to see, smell, taste, and buy apples in all varieties
  • Art and cultural life in Midt-Telemark will flourish at the Norwegian Apple Festival
  • We will bring people of all ages together on the market day and be a natural meeting place for both locals and visitors

In uncertain times for the fruit industry, we have consciously worked to promote new product development, increase the motivation of producers for further operation and contribute to sustainable development in the agricultural industry in Midt-Telemark.

For the fruit industry, Norsk Eplefest AS wishes that:

  • Apple production in Telemark will be visible in our country
  • Both the industry and local producers will see new opportunities in apples as a product
  • Apple producers, other businesses and organizations will receive income through the Norwegian Apple Festival
  • Norwegian apples will become competitive on the basis of quality and taste
  • The Apple Festival will be an arena for the exchange of experience and knowledge development

How to get there

Gvarv is centrally located in southern Norway and approximately in the middle of Telemark, between Bø, Notodden and Skien.

The Norwegian Apple Festival is organized at Gvarv train station where Sørlandsbanen passes by, but the nearest train stops today are Bø and Nordagutu. There are good train connections with Sørlandsbanen to Oslo, Kristiansand and Stavanger, as well as to Notodden and Skien/Porsgrunn with Bratsbergbanen. You can buy tickets on vy.no or goahead.no.

By car you can get to Gvarv by taking Rv36 from Porsgrunn/Skien (E18), from Seljord (E134 from Vestlandet), or Fv360 from Notodden (E134 from Oslo). You can find good and free parking options all around the center of Gvarv.

You can also get to Gvarv by bus from all over Telemark. You can buy tickets on farte.no.


Do you have any questions?

Contact us at [email protected]

Updated february 2024.