NEW PARIS — New Paris’ Apple Fest was held this past weekend. The apple-themed festival ran from Friday, Sept. 27 through Sunday, Sept. 29, and offered craft and small business vendors, food, lots of apples, and various activities for children.
The festival opened on Friday, and brought a large crowd to watch the final round of the Battle of the Bands. Cara Clark won first place, Tony Hawley & Spacey placed second. Fire & Ice earned third place.
Fire & Ice was joined by their fellow musicians in paying tribute to their friend and fellow musician Darryl Young.
The Classic Car Show ran all day on Saturday, Sept. 28. The parade also kicked off the day of festivities that morning, during which, many organization were represented, including Wesler’s Orchards who handed out dozens of apples and the National Trail Marching Band and Cheerleaders who performed for the watching crowd.
Events on Saturday included: a cheer exhibition, apple pie eating contest, and live entertainment by Poundsalt.
Unfortunately, it rained on the Sunday of the festival, but not until the very end. Paul Wesler opened the day with Community Church Service in the morning. The Touch-a-Truck was held, bringing in MedFlight for children to interact with and see.
Other events included: kids camp and a local artists showcase, a kiddie tractor pull, and a National Trail Steel Drum Band performance.
All weekend attendees could enjoy: food vendors, craft vendors, apple dumplings, inflatables and games, DJ and live performances, the Budweiser beer garden, the Olde Schoolhouse Winery shelter, an apple scavenger hunt, bingo, contests, and raffles.
According to New Paris Chamber of Commerce and Conventions and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Jeff Ginter, the Apple Festival has been held for many years — the exact count of which is unknown due to a hiatus which ended more than seven years ago. The New Paris Chamber of Commerce has been hosting the Apple Festival in its current form for approximately seven years.
Ginter added, the main function of the festival is to celebrate New Paris’ “uniqueness” and bring visitors to the town.
“This is a great celebration for a small village with the theme of ‘apple.’ We try to partner with the whole village in lots of different ways to bring a fun weekend for all who live near,” he said. “I want people to be attracted to New Paris. Our slogan is ‘Destination Unique.’ We really feel that New Paris has a lot of unique things to do, places to go, and places to eat — we want to do everything we can to attract folks up here to enjoy the weekend and see all the other things we have going for us.”
As for turn out, Ginter said it’s been “great.”
“Friday night, we had our largest Friday night crowd and that was with a home football game,” he said. “Saturday after the parade and with the car show, that is normally our busiest time. [Sunday] we had a lot of events to attract people, as well,” he said.
Ginter added, they rethought the layout of the festival this year and thought it worked very well.
“It was a better way to see the acts [in the Entertainment Tent] and a great flow all the way around [the tent], utilizing the natural shade,” he said.
Ginter also thanked everyone involved with the planning or execution of the Apple Festival, including sponsors; Title Sponsor: New Paris Chamber of Commerce; Platinum Sponsors: Wesler Orchards & Valley’s Edge, LCNB National Bank, Reid Health Alliance, Reid Health, Howntown Propane & Oil, and Wallace Heating and Air; Gold Sponsor: American Legion Post 360; Silver Sponsors: Bud Reid Garage, Village Insurance, Natural Springs Resort, Riegel Feed & Grain, Olde Schoolhouse Winery, and Red Front Inn; Bronze Sponsors: Bill Sweet, Big Hill Real Estate, New Paris Antique Mall Today’s Harvest, Shane VanZant & MVCTC, Farmer’s State Bank, Village of New Paris, MacAllister Rentals, The Fischer Family, The Ginter Family, Hairy Decisions Salon; Other Sponsors: The Brown Family.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH