Hay Creek to hold Apple Festival two days this year

Open fire kettle-cooked apple butter will be made at the Hay Creek Apple Festival Oct. 12 and 13. Visitors can also purchase homemade apple pies, dumplings, crisp, and fresh apple cider. Photo courtesy of Hay Creek

Historic Joanna Furnace presents the hallmark celebration of autumn, the Hay Creek Apple Festival, on Oct. 12 and 13.

This year’s event will see the beginning of a new Hay Creek Valley Historical Association (HCVHA) tradition. The 2013 Hay Creek Apple Festival will take place over two days, this Saturday and Sunday.

For over 30 years, parents have made this event a family tradition beginning with those great traditional foods, seasonal hands-on crafts for kids, family scarecrow making, historic iron-making complex, flea market and much more.

This year’s event is being extended into two days because of expressed public interest. Mark Zerr, HCVHA’s executive director, states, “Over the years so many people have been urging us to extend this event over into a second day. Since we do not charge admission, people said they were interested in coming back again with more of their family and also return to pick up take-out foods. It was two years ago that we did run the event for two days. This was because our earlier September event was flooded out. The families attending liked the two day format so much that after we returned to a one day run last year, we were ‘flooded’ with requests for an additional day. The board was heartened by the community support and they responded to this community interest.”

At this year’s Apple Festival, visitors can savor a wide variety of apple foods and apple specialties, eating on-site or taking the food home. Both days will open with the traditional Hay Creek Apple Pancake Breakfast, served from 7-11 a.m. New on this year’s general menu, people will find many traditional early American dishes. The famous traditional Apple Festival menu includes such favorites as apple dumplings, fritters, pies and crisp, apple pot pie, schnitz-un-knepp, apple sausage sandwiches, candy apples, hot mulled cider and fresh pressed cider. Other menu items include open fire-cooked homemade kettle soup (chicken corn, beef vegetable, ham & bean), chicken potpie, hamburgers, hot dogs, French fries, soda, water and coffee.

The annual Hay Creek Apple Dessert Baking Contest will take place on Saturday only. The Apple Dessert Contest is open to everyone, adults and youth, who love to create their own special apple-based desserts. Bring your entries: pies, cakes breads & muffins, desserts and Heritage Recipes to the Festival Food Court area between 8 and 9 a.m. A complete recipe must be included. The winning recipes from last year’s Apple Dessert Contest have been compiled in the annual Apple Dessert Cookbook which will be available for purchase at this year’s event. 2013 winners will have their recipes published in next year’s cookbook edition. Bakers interested in entering a favorite recipe should see details on the website for categories, rules and prize amounts. Various editions of the annual Apple Baking Contest Cookbook from former years will also be available for sale.

The Annual Hay Creek Flea Market will be open both days. For anyone wishing to participate with a flea market stand, the cost for Saturday is $20 for members and $25 for non-members. To receive the discounted rate, members must submit a valid 2013 membership card. Vendors may reserve a space for the flea market starting at 10 a.m. on Oct. 11. Interested people should call Kathy at 610-286-0388 for details.

Numerous family activities round out this year’s two-day festival. These family events include scarecrow building, pumpkin painting, early American games, hay and pony rides and self-guided tours of the historic complex complete with interpreters in the buildings. The children will especially love a ride on the popular Apple Barrel Express. Visitors can purchase ‘scarecrow kits.’ Kits will include the “t” form, pants, shirt, head, string and accessories. As every scarecrow will have its own personality, each kit will contain varying details such as bandana or belt, hat, tie, etc. and a small amount of straw to stick out of the hands and feet. Homebuilders can use their own newspaper to stuff their scarecrow.

Additional activities include working archaeologists at the Wheelwright Shop and numerous exhibits in the Mechanical Technology Building.

According to Zerr, “The Apple Festival has it all – a full menu of some of the best apple foods available in the area, Historic Joanna Furnace with the restored buildings open and ready to explore, a flea market, all kinds of things for children and families to enjoy, and the opportunity to spend quality family time in the 19th century. What better way is there to spend a fall day? Plus, admission is free!”

The festival will be open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. The Festival site is at Historic Joanna Furnace off Route 10, three miles north of Morgantown. Turn on Furnace Road. Admission to the Festival is free. Parking is on site with a parking donation. For more information visit www.haycreek.org.

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