Sunday, September 24, 2000

Despite rain, folks take shine to town's Applefest

By Jenny Callison
Enquirer Contributor

        LEBANON — From sticky apples on a stick to freshly pressed cider, the fruit treats at Saturday's Applefest offered ample evidence that Johnny Appleseed was onto something.

        Dodging raindrops, festivalgoers thronged the sidewalks and streets of Lebanon's historic downtown, sampling delicacies such as candied apples and apple chips.

[photo] Customers try to keep dry as they make their way through the streets of Lebanon.
(Mike Simons photos)
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        At the Spurling Farm booth, Kim Byrd sliced apples and covered them with caramel sauce to create apple chips. Folks who like extra garnish can order the deluxe version with nuts and whipped cream, said Ms. Byrd's father, Ted Smith.

        Business was brisk at the nearby apple fritter stand, staffed by volunteers from Lebanon's St. Francis de Sales Church.

        “There's been a steady flow. We're even ahead of previous years,“ said Philip Frederick, who predicted that the fritters would be gone by 1 p.m.

        The ladies of St. Patrick's Episcopal Church stayed busy, helping their apple pies find good homes. Two hours into the festival, their stock of 117 pastries had been whittled to about 20.

        “We're having exactly the same kind of turnout we always do. Normally we're sold out by 1 p.m.,“ said aproned volunteer Molly Wolford. “The crowd goes and comes with the soccer games.“

        Festival booths lined Broadway and spilled onto connecting streets. Although visitors stopped at craft booths and explored specialty shops, food was clearly in greatest demand.

[photo] Meagan Westrick, 5, savors a bite of a fudge-covered apple offered by her sister Dayna, 7.
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        The orchard provided eight types of fall apples to choose from, including an heirloom variety called northern spy.

        “An heirloom apple is an old-fashioned variety that isn't grown very much anymore,“ explained Barb Brock, who owns Riverwood Orchard with her husband, Bob. “A lot of old-timers come out for these.“

        While cider flowed freely at many stands, some folks chose to ingest their apple juice in the form of cider doughnuts at the Irons Fruit Farm and Bakery booth. Others bought apple cider butter from canner Sonya Staffan.

        “I've also got spiced apples, and this winter I plan to make caramelized apples that people can use on top of pancakes,“ she said. “If I want it for me, I make it, and then I sell some.“

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