Sports cars, big and little royals, musicians, crafters, chefs, business folks, nonprofit groups and – drumroll, please – apples will all converge on Liberty Park for Batesville’s 24th Applefest. The celebration presented by the city’s Kiwanis Club is slated for Saturday, Sept. 28, from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 29, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Chairman Jay Reichmuth is hopeful Hoosiers will continue to support the weekend. “It’s an inexpensive afternoon out on a nice fall day. Enjoy some good food and good crafts.” He’s excited about one fresh attraction if the weather cooperates. “We’re going to have a cruise-in by the Corvette Club of Hamilton, Ohio” (please see schedule in box).
Right before the fest officially opens, the second annual Mayor’s Youth Council Trail Trek walk/run will draw athletes to the park. Participants can select one of two routes, 1.75 miles and 5 kilometers. Each contestant will receive a goody bag and there will be drawings for a YMCA family day pass, restaurant gift certificates and more prizes.
The cost to participate is $10 per person or $25 for a family of three or more, less than last year “to make the event more affordable,” explains sponsor Teri Fledderman. Proceeds will be used to maintain the Liberty Trail, the first phase of the city’s trail system. Registration forms are available at www.batesvilleindiana.us and The Herald-Tribune office, Memorial Building, YMCA, library and Sherman House.
History buffs and fans of the “Little House on the Prairie” books and TV show can visit two Pioneer Living Tents organized by Batesville Memorial Public Library staffers. “You’re actually going to be able to grind wheat into flour and take it home with you” at a station manned by Matt Nobbe. “You can make butter on the spot” with the assistance of Marlene Emsweller and her children, who will provide old farm tools, according to Reichmuth. Folk musician Larry Dimick will let visitors play some of his 15 instruments and make rhythm instruments to take home, reports Sandra Dickey, head of youth services.
An adjacent tent boasts children’s activities at eight stations, including panning for gold; making bread dough; looking at Indian artifacts, pioneer books and a ringer washer; making friendship bracelets after carding wool; creating more crafts, such as paper doll chains and optical illusions; and playing with vintage wooden toys. When kids are accompanied by parents and grandparents, “it becomes a story tent,” reports Dickey. “These stories just start coming out” as elders reminisce about days gone by.
Entertainment headliner Hogeye Navvy, also sponsored by BMPL, has performed at the fest before. The sound of the Indianapolis-based acoustic quartet blends vocals, guitar, octave mandolin, tenor banjo, concertina, bodhran and fiddle.
Bandmate Mac Bellner says, “This year at Applefest, our focus is on Americana, so we will be doing things that tell stories of American history and experience. This will include sea chanteys, too, and some of the Hogeye Navvy favorites. We encourage people to make requests for songs they really want to hear.” He adds, “We find the audiences there so warm and receptive, and would like to take them with us wherever we go!”
Other music will be presented by Dimick and Batesville’s Eureka Band, perhaps America’s oldest continuous community group. The Hoosier Hoedowners Dance Troop will highlight country tunes.
Tykes also will enjoy inflatable bounce houses organized by Denean Williams. The Girl Scouts are going to have about a half dozen games of chance for little kids. Trackless train rides will be another option.
Kiwanians will cook a nonstop menu that includes burgers, hot dogs, brats, metts, apple and goetta sausages and pork tenderloin sandwiches. Batesville Lions will serve steak sandwiches, St. Mark’s Lutheran Church members will offer up smoked pork sandwiches and apple dumplings and Boy Scouts will make their traditional cobbler. Vendors will add more variety, selling apple slices drizzled in caramel, caramel apples, kettle corn, smoked pork and chicken burritos, pizza and Hawaiian shaved ice.
Of course, a variety of apples will be sold by Villa Orchard. Festival-goers also can cart home pumpkins, chrysanthemums and more fall decorations.
About 40 crafts booths will offer everything from handmade jewelry and original paintings to fudge, preserves and holiday decor. Other booths will tout area businesses and organizations. Crafts booth space still can be reserved by calling Jay Reichmuth at Weigel Funeral Home, 934-3201.
Southeastern Indiana YMCA Master George Dwenger and his students will present small martial arts demonstrations periodically in the booths area. A spectator “can break a board for a fee” and students will lead a few games as well.
It’s the ninth year for a raffle with three cash prizes ($500, $250 and $100) that will benefit Kiwanis scholarships and youth programs and Batesville Soccer Club field improvements and equipment. Tickets at $1 each or six for $5 may be purchased from members beforehand or at the Kiwanis cashier’s table in the pavilion.
Debbie Blank can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 812-934-4343, Ext. 113.
Applefest Liberty Park, Batesville Saturday, Sept. 28 9 a.m. - Trail Trek 11 a.m. - Fest and food booths open 11 a.m.-2 p.m. - Wheat grinding with Matt Nobbe, pioneer tents Noon-1 p.m. - Rhythm instrument making with Larry Dimick, pioneer tents 1 p.m. - Royalty pageant, pavilion stage 1-2:30 p.m. - Butter making with Emsweller family, pioneer tents 2:30 p.m. - Hoosier Hoedowners Dance Troop, outside food court 3-5 p.m. - Hogeye Navvy, outside food court Sunday, Sept. 29 11 a.m. - Booths open Noon-1 p.m. - Folk musician Larry Dimick, pavilion stage 1 p.m.- Corvette Club of Hamilton, Ohio, cruise-in 1-2 p.m. - Eureka Band, outside food court 3:30 p.m. - Raffle drawing