Rockford Cosplayer's Meetup at Edward's Apple Orchard

A few weeks ago I had created a group on facebook specifically to get cosplayers from Rockford, Illinois together. To kick it off, I also created an event at Edward's Apple Orchard in Poplar Grove. It's a yearly tradition for me to head out there and buy a few dozen donuts to pass out to friends and family. The turnout was pretty great but it was an even split between Rockford and Chicago area people.

It took us a while to actually get out to the orchard to pick our own apples since the tractor used to ride out there was a little out of the way and hidden. The price was a bit insane but totally worth it to be able to get photos out there. If only it were a bit warmer. @_@

 The day was rather cold but it was fun being able to hang out with a bunch of cosplayers at the orchard. The staff and other visitors were surprisingly very accepting of cosplayers in this area. Even better, the cosplays were kept pretty tame at the event!

Since the event went so well this year I may possibly be organizing another meetup at the orchard next year. One thing is for sure though; there will be many more meetups throughout the years to come for the Rockford Cosplayers group!

To see more photos visit my facebook album!


Edwards Apple Orchard Cosplay Meetup

Yesterday I went to a meetup at a place called Edwards Apple Orchard.  There are actually two places with the same name in this area, but we went to the one in Poplar Grove, IL.

Check out this video set to music that I made from the various clips:

If you want to learn more about my photographs taken at the orchard, check out my related article

Hot Cider
We met in the early afternoon.  Even so, the temperature was extremely low.  The place had a small stall where they served hot cider, which was great benefit given the situation, and reasonably priced at $1.20 plus tax.  After the cider was finished, I eventually went back to my car for gloves and a hat.  I'm incapable of handing the cold like most people. 

Some of the buildings.

There were multiple barns that each housed different types of food and gifts.  One had classic American foodstuffs like hotdogs and chips. Another had their specialties like apple donuts, cider and pie.  The main building had a large gift shop with a produce section as well as a fudge shop and more access to their specialty donuts.  As we had plans to eat dinner after this excursion, so we only focused on the specialty goodies.

Their specialty apple infused donuts.

I ended up trying their donuts and lemonade.  The donuts were still warm with a crispy sugar covered coating, yet the inside had a fluffy texture. I can see why people are so excited about the orchard's donuts.  It's the type of food that works best with the right conditions of having them from the kitchen to the customer, although I'm sure they are good when they are cold as well.  The lemonade wasn't a common store bought variety, but appeared to be made on the premises with some pulp in the mix.

The orchard also allows people to pick their own apples and pumpkins from their fields.  Our group decided to use that opportunity to have our main photo sessions out there.  The farm area was very busy, so we were unable to find a sufficiently decent spot to take some photos of the people in cosplay.  To access the apple orchard, there is a minimum fee involved where you must buy at least one basket of apples at $40 + 3 for the basket.  So whether you fill the basket or not, you will end up paying at least $43.  The fun part is that you get to ride a tractor with a flat bed trailer attached to the actual orchard.

The main photographer taking photos!
The orchard turned out the be a great location to shoot in.  Each row of apple trees were pretty thick, allowing for a nice natural backdrop. 

Our basket of hand-picked apples.
I was using a simple Pentax Optio WG-2 digicam, but I am happy with the results. While I don't currently have any DSLR camera bodies, it was fun to use something small and of lesser technical quality to challenge myself.

Smaller gatherings and meetups can be just as much fun as conventions if you allow them to be.  If you know a group of people with similar interests, I'd suggest trying to set something up.  Enjoy your mutual hobbies is possible in any setting.

The only decent photo I have of everyone including myself.
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