By Steve Large

CAMINO (CBS13) – It is opening weekend at Apple Hill. The decades-long tradition is continuing this season, despite the coronavirus pandemic.

The apples are still there, and as we found out, so are the people — just not the crowds.

It’s an Apple Hill tradition with a twist.

“We kind of felt that it would be empty,” said Johnny Lee of Sacramento.

Sacramento’s Johnny Lee visited Apple Hill in the final hours of the opening weekend only to find all the apple fritters sold out.

“We got tri-tip sandwich and it was amazing,” he said.

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Business was brisk, according to High Hill Ranch. Even during the coronavirus. Our camera arrived near closing time, showing picnic tables taking over what were once parking spaces.

“We have acres and acres and acres — we can keep spreading picnic tables ’til the cows come home,” said High Hill Ranch owner Jerry Vizman.

Vizman says he was happy with the business this weekend. It was down about 30 percent as compared to a year ago.

“What we want to do is the people on the fence about coming out,” he said.
“We want them to feel kind of at ease — that it’s okay to get out of the house come up here.”

A visit this year will feel a little different from years past. Hayrides are canceled and there are hand-sanitizing stations are everywhere. The Apple Hill Association put out guidelines this year requiring masks, limiting groups of visitors to household members only, and requiring vendors to allow for social distancing.

Even the coronavirus can’t stop apple hill from making family memories.

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