Posted: 12:05 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013

Things To Do

Lebanon’s Country Applefest is Saturday

Bringing great food and unique crafts to town.

Lebanon Applefest 2012
David Moodie
Lebanon's Country Applefest was held Saturday, Sept. 29. The day-long event featured food, music, crafts and of course tons of apples. Photo by David A. Moodie, contributing photographer

By Christie Schmidt

Contributing Writer

Nothing can stoke a festive fall spirit quite like a trip to Country Applefest — the largest and longest running craft festival in the City of Lebanon, now in its 31st year. This year’s festival is expected to draw 70,000 people.

A small committee of dedicated women organizes country Applefest each year. “We literally put it together over our dining room tables,” said Jiffy Stiles, festival chairperson. Joining Stiles on the committee are Kathy Stine, Sheila Kitchens, Pat Kirk, Cindy Fugate and Joyce Horner. This year’s Country Applefest is dedicated to the memory of committee member Rita Jackson, who passed away.

As always, visitors to the one-day celebration will find a seemingly endless assortment of delectable apple confections and one-of-a-kind crafts made by the hands of some of the areas most talented artisans. From foods like apple fritters, caramel apples, fudge covered apples and of course, apple pie to crafts like jewelry, wood crafts, pottery and quilts — there’s sure to be something for everyone.

What visitors won’t find? Political or informational booths. The organizers of Country Applefest take pride in the fact that they don’t accept corporate donations and that only food and craft vendors are accepted at the event. Although last year, to celebrate their 30th anniversary, the festival featured some live music entertainment, organizers wanted to get back to their roots of the festival featuring primarily crafts and food.

“There will be 200 booths at this year’s event,” said Stiles. “We’ll also have a caricature artist at the gazebo and Tears the clown will be back making balloon animals for the kids.” Also, Cheri Brinkman, author of Cincinnati and Soup: Festivals and Frolics, will be in the Golden Lamb gift shop from 12-2 p.m. with free recipe cards. And of course, Country Applefest would not be complete without an apple pie bake-off contest.

In addition to providing a fun, family-friendly fall event, Country Applefest Inc. is a non-profit 501C charitable organization that believes in giving back to the community. “Every year since 2008, we have donated at least $3,000 to the Lebanon Food Pantry as well as wrapped Christmas gifts to a number of residents at the Kindred Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Lebanon,” said Stiles. “Since 2008, we given $19,500 back to our community.”

So grab the family and head to Lebanon and enjoy all that Country Applefest has to offer.


How to go

What: Country Applefest

Where: Historic downtown Lebanon

When: Saturday, Sept. 28, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; rain or shine

Admission: free

Parking: a free shuttle is available from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. – part at Sweeney Chrysler Dodge Jeep (518 W. Main St./Ohio 63). Limited parking is also available at the four City of Lebanon Municipal lots: Sycamore Street - between Silver St and West Mulberry St.; Sycamore Street — behind the Golden Lamb; Intersection of W. Main St. /Ohio 63 and Sycamore St. (Electric Dept parking lot); Mechanic Street — behind the City of Lebanon City Building.

More info: www.countryapplefest.com

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