NEW PARIS — After being cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19, New Paris’ AppleFest returns this year.
Board member Perrica Short said the decision was made early last year to cancel.
“We didn’t want to invest all this money – it takes a lot of manpower, and we only have seven members of the board, and we don’t have volunteers, other than we ask people,” she said. “So, we wanted to hurry up and make a decision just to make sure if we needed to move forward or not, which was probably one of the best decisions we made because everything was shut down anyway.”
Now, two years removed from the last AppleFest, she said community support is high for the upcoming weekend event.
“They’re begging us not to cancel,” she said. “They said, “Are you guys still having it?’ and saying we are 100 percent having it unless the governor shuts Ohio down. That’s the only way that we can’t have it.”
Over 50 food and goods vendors are confirmed for the three-day festival from Friday, Sept. 10 through Sunday, Sept. 12, and Short said there are plenty of new things going on this year.
The list includes a zip line, inflatables and games, and a Battle of the Bands competition on Friday night.
“We’re going have a beer garden. We’re going to have a wine garden,” Short said. “We’re going to have Wine Bingo with State Representative Rodney Creech on Saturday at 5 p.m., and then Sunday we’ll have Wine Bingo with Todd Appledorn, and a local insurance agent of Heater Insurance.
Saturday will feature a car show, a cheer competition, a K-9 unit demonstration and an evening fireworks show. Also on Saturday, the parade is set to begin on Saturday at 11 a.m., and following that, a 9/11 memorial will be held, featuring Mayor Kathy Smallwood, Chief Brad Simpson, Sheriff Mike Simpson, and Dave Martin from the Ohio Task Force, in addition to other guests performing.
“We’re going to have the honor guard doing the flag raising,” Short said. “National Trail’s marching band is going to do The Star Spangled Banner right as soon as the flag is raised.”
On Sunday, there will be a 3-on-3 basketball tournament and a local artist showcase, and later in the day, the National Trail Steel Band will perform before the festival closes.
The festival opens Friday, Sept. 10 at 4 p.m. and closes at 10 p.m. On Saturday, it opens at 9 a.m. and closes at 10 p.m., and on Sunday it begins at 9 a.m. and closes at 5 p.m.
For a full schedule of events, visit https://www.newparisoh.com/applefest/ or https://www.facebook.com/NewParisAppleFest.
Reach Braden Moles at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @BradenMoles