Wellsburg comes alive with apples

For almost 40 years, the Wellsburg Applefest has been drawing people from throughout the Tri-State Area for its mix of food, crafts, entertainment and fun, and this year should be no different.

The festivities will kick off for the 39th year Friday on Charles Street and the Wellsburg Town Square and continue through Sunday evening.

The festival annually celebrates Wellsburg’s connections to the Grimes Golden apple and the legendary Johnny “Appleseed” Chapman, and there are always plenty of apple goodies available, including pies, fritters, apple butter and cider.

This will be the first time for the festival without longtime chair Michael O’Brien, who died shortly after last year’s event. Festival committee members plan to have several tributes to O’Brien, who often would play the part of Johnny Appleseed, throughout the festivities.

The traditions will continue, though.

An assortment of bands, solo vocalists and dancers will perform on the town square through the weekend. Aspiring singers can even compete in Saturday’s Wellsburg’s Got Talent contest.

Those with a skill for baking or crafts may participate in the All Things Apple Contest, which includes categories for pies and apple-related foods, as well as apple-inspired crafts.

There are always plenty of activities for local children, with amusement rides, games and a pumpkin-carving contest, using safety knives, at 2 p.m. Saturday on the square. This year will allow young people to take a bigger part in the festival, offering vendor space on Saturday for those interested in selling beverages, their own baked goods, toys and other items.

A play about Chapman’s life will be presented by the Wellsburg Primary School fourth-grade class of Amanda DiMarzio.

The Wellsburg Applefest is a true Ohio Valley tradition, and we are sure it will, once again, be a true success.