WELLSBURG - From an assortment of hot and cold food to a mix of musical styles to a variety of activities, the Wellsburg Applefest offers something for everyone.
In its 34th year, the festival will be held Oct. 5-7 on the Wellsburg Town Square and Charles Street, with a few other events held at locations nearby.
Michael O'Brien, who co-chairs the festival with Ernie Jack, noted the festival was inspired by the Grimes Golden apple, a variety of apple discovered on the Grimes farm off state Route 27 in 1802.
FESTIVAL PLANNERS — Preparing for the 34th-annual Wellsburg Applefest are, front, from left, Michael O’Brien, co-chairman; Rita Ramsey, associate chairman; and Shirlie Rogers: and back, Mary Ann Sayre, Robin Snyder, Carol Lynn, Jacie Ridgely and Eric Fithyan. -- Warren Scott
Seeds for the apple, which spawned the Golden Delicious variety, are believed to have been supplied by the legendary Johnny "Appleseed" Chapman.
Each year visitors to the festival find an assortment of apples served in many ways, including pies, fritters, apple butter, cider sold by the glass or gallon and in bags to go.
There also will be a selection of hot and cold food as well as crafts and other items for sale along Charles Street.
The city's town square has served as the stage for many entertainers over the years. This year's lineup includes rock and country bands, dancers of all ages and the Wellsburg Middle School Band and Chorus.
A special guest will be Miss West Virginia, Kaitlin Gates, who will crown winners of the Wellsburg Applefest Pageant.
The festival also offers various activities for children, including pony rides, a pumpkin-decorating contest sponsored by the Friends of the Brooke County Public Library at 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 5 at the library; and a pumpkin-carving contest, using safety knives, at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 6 on the town square.
O'Brien said Main Street Bank will set up an arts and crafts tent on the town square where children may paint an Applefest decoration that may be displayed at the festival or taken home.
Also joining the festival's many business supporters is Mullenbach Funeral Home, which will be sponsoring the Apple for Everyone Contest on Oct. 7. The contest was formerly known as the Apple Pie Bake-off, which was expanded in recent years to include a variety of apple-related dishes. It includes three categories: Things made with dough, such as pies, cookies, dumplings, etc.; cakes; and miscellaneous, such as applesauce, apple butter, apple desserts, etc. Entries should be brought to the town square during the morning of Oct. 7 and no later than 1 p.m. in non-returnable containers.
O'Brien said the Applefest has benefited from the support of many businesses, groups and community members.
He, Jack and associate chairman Rita Ramsey lead the Wellsburg Applefest Committee, which begin planning the event several months in advance.