Thursday, August 25, 2011

Apple Festival on Labor Day Weekend Is A Perfect Fit.

The NC Apple Festival, celebrating Labor Day and the apple harvest, starts again next Friday and runs through Monday. Blocks and blocks of street vendors, food vendors and of course…Apple Vendors. Every year I find a new apple. Apples of the past years are Cameo, Pink Lady, Honey Crisp and Arkansas Black. I cannot wait to find out what this year’s new crop will bring me. The taste, freshness and crisp feeling of the first bite - Incredible!

The festival has something for everyone. Two of my favorite activities are the Gem and Mineral Show and the music. The music stage in front of the old Historic Courthouse is always entertaining. Jack Roper of South Carolina television fame will come do his magic show with audience participation and bands from all over the Southeast will try to outdo each other. I cannot hear it at the north end of the festival but as I get closer to the old courthouse it casually wafts my way, enticing me, and I find myself speeding up to get closer. There is usually a gospel group on Sunday morning and the evening bands will play beach music or oldies or both. I love to watch the couples dance in the cooler air of the evening.

I asked a few people what their favorite thing about the festival is. More than half of them talked about the different foods. Apples with dipping caramel, funnel cakes, gyros and apple ice cream. Kilwin’s Chocolates makes nine different caramel and/or chocolate apples. My favorite is one they call a turtle. It has pecans, caramel and chocolate. The crowd at the counter testing the fudge (made on property) cannot deter me from my mission! Those lovely people behind the counter will even cut the apple off the core so that I can easily eat it as I saunter down the street.

As I walk down the street, enjoying my turtle apple, and looking at the wares brought in from all over the south, I am always amazed at the variety of street venders. Art of all types, crafts, home crafted clothing, hair bows, yard decorations, furniture, and so much more fill the street. This year I am looking for a pottery piece with red and blue for the living room mantle.

The guests at the 1898 Waverly Inn enjoy special apple treats this weekend as Darla bakes all kinds of wonderful apple desserts. Apple pies, cakes, cookies, tarts and more. Do you have a great apple recipe you can share? Bring it with you. Darla is always looking for something new to try!

So why Labor Day weekend? In 1894 the US Congress made Labor Day an official holiday for the purpose of a street parade to exhibit to the public "the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations" of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families. Here we have three days of 'festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families' and then we have our parade! The King Apple Parade, right here on Main Street, starts at 2:30 Monday afternoon. Something you will not see in most parades, that we have? An inflatable dancing police officer and not to be outdone, a fireman! Kids of all ages love to watch them dance down the street. During last years' parade a dance school float got so enthusiastic with their dancing that it broke the axle. They had to pull it off onto one of the side streets so that the rest of the parade could continue down the street. I will be here watching from the front porch to see what funny thing happens this year.

This end of the summer street festival and parade combines small town fun and good old Labor Day traditions. You might see someone from your neighborhood. Yes, even if you are from Bugtussle, Kentucky. Now that is America at its best.

We hope we've given you yet another reason to visit the 1898 Waverly Inn in Hendersonville, NC very soon!

John, Diane, Darla & Debbie
1898 Waverly Inn
Bed and Breakfast Hendersonville NC

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