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By Taylor Wren
Rain or shine, this apple festival carried on. The light rain that showered periodically did not put a damper on the Apple Festival held at the Cheney Mansion Saturday, Oct. 2. The festival started at 9 a.m. that chilly morning and the foot traffic was consistent all day. State Street was lined with cars full of families excited for the festival throughout the day.
Over 20 vendors were set up this year, with adequate spacing between each of them for social distancing, and they all had much to offer their visitors. You could find anything from honey to handmade ceramics, stuffed toys to t-shirts and wonderful bows and wreaths. The festival had their signature foods of course which most enjoyed while they listened to the entertainment from the JCHS Jazz Band.
The Apple Festival was first held in 1990 and has been a steady event for Jersey County. However, due to COVID the Historical Society did not host the festival last year. While this year was technically the 30th Annual Apple Festival, it should have been the 31st. There were only a few changes made, since the virus is still lurking around, to this year’s festival that most are used to having.
Typically one would pay a $5 fee and be allowed entrance into everything, but this year only the mansion was able to be toured. You could still go up to the old school and cabins to peek inside and glance at history but unfortunately the rope across the doorway did not permit entrance. The restrictions this year didn’t seem to disrupt the enjoyable day had by all who visited.
This annual festival is one of the Historical Societies main fundraising events and it without a doubt brought in a generous crowd this year. There were many activities you could participate in and many did. Young children with faces painted from the face painting booth enjoyed the Pioneer crafts and chores over by the cabins. There was a spot where they would pitch hay, milk a cow or watch a blanket get made. The kettle corn was also very popular and was quite delicious. `
The Historical Society hopes that next year everything will return to its normal state and that the COVID virus and it’s mandates might allow it. Make sure to keep a look out for the vintage wooden signs along the roadside next year to know the dates of next year’s festival. It’s sure to be a wonderful time.