MONMOUTH – Jay Nutting chose the 5K race at the AppleFest to reacquaint his 61-year-old father with running competitively after a 40-year hiatus.

The Saturday morning race, which benefited the Friends of Cumston Hall, kicked off the annual Monmouth AppleFest.

The race was close to both father’s and son’s homes. Nutting, a lobbyist, lives in Vassalboro, and his dad, John Nutting, who is a state senator, lives in Leeds.

“This is the first time my dad has competed in a race in 40 years,” the younger Nutting said after the race. “He wanted to do a race and start up running again, and I wanted to help him keep the pace so he didn’t overdo it. It was a little more humid than I expected, but it was fun. I had a good time.”

Saturday turned out to be a warm, balmy day for this autumn festival that saw the first of this year’s apple harvest.

John Nutting, who ran in high school and college, was surprised to learn he beat the other runners in the men’s 60-to-65-year-old category.

“I won my class,” John Nutting said. “I’m amazed at how well I did. I ran the race in 25 minutes and 30 seconds.”

The AppleFest has grown over the past 22 years into a community affair with a bundle of different activities and events including a craft fair; antique tractor pull and parade; wagon rides; a presentation of “The Pirates of Penzance” at the Theater at Monmouth; a pie-eating contest; a pancake breakfast; and apples galore.

The Monmouth Museum buildings were open to the public, and the Boy Scouts sold hot dogs and hamburgers at their lunch counter. A steady flow of families came from around central Maine.

Shelia Sanford, museum president, said the celebration started out as a way to raise money to insure the museum on Main Street.

“We needed money to pay our insurance,” Sanford said. “At that time, Monmouth was just covered with orchards, so we thought, ‘Let’s call it an apple festival.’ The orchards are all gone now. But the festival has turned into a pretty good size. We have in the neighborhood of 1,000 people come each year.”

Sylvia Beauparlant of Sabattus stopped at the apple cart across the street from the museum to buy a bag of red McIntosh. She said they’d already picked their own at an orchard in Lewiston.

“The apples are just great — look at the size of them,” Beauparlant said. “When we picked the trees, they were just loaded.”

Dave Smith, a member of the Monmouth Historical Society, showed off his produce, which included McIntosh, Cortland and Gala apples, in wooden boxes on the cart and crates on the ground.

“Our sales started off very brisk this morning,” Smith said. “We have a variety of apples that came from the Highmoor Farm in Monmouth.”