Historic Joanna Furnace in Morgantown begins its celebration of the fall harvest season during The Hay Creek Apple Festival 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 12, and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 13.
For almost 40 years, the ever-popular Hay Creek Apple Festival has been a family tradition. This event draws visitors of all ages to those favorite traditional foods, seasonal hands-on activities for kids, the historic iron-making complex tours, a large flea market and much more. The crisp fall air and the crackle of leaves underfoot set the mood for this old-style tribute to fall and delicious culinary delights based on the ever-popular apple.
With its tasty variety of apple foods, the Hay Creek Apple Festival is one of the best places in the region to experience the many ways apples were served over 200 years. Visitors can enjoy a variety of apple specialties, eating on-site or by taking the foods home. The two-day event opens each day with our Apple Pancake and Sausage Breakfast served from 7 to 11 a.m.
The Apple Festival menu includes such favorites as apple dumplings (served with milk), apple pies, apple crisp, Schnitz-un-Knepp, apple sausage sandwiches, apple fritters, apple bread, apple crisp (served with whipped cream), apples for sale, hand-dipped ice cream also available with apple specialties, and fresh-pressed cider.
Other menu items include Homemade Mabel’s Kettle-Cooked Soups (Chicken Corn, Beef Vegetable, Ham & Bean), chicken potpie, hamburgers and hot dogs, French fries, soda, water and coffee. As always, our famous chicken pot pie and Mabel’s homemade kettle-cooked soups are available by the quart to take home.
In the early days of the Joanna Furnace community, apples were an important food source all year long. Many varieties could keep for months. Children of the early families had the vital job of checking the apples stored in barrels in the root cellar, making sure that "one bad apple" did not "spoil the bunch."
The annual apple-baking contest will also take place. The Hay Creek Apple Dessert Contest is open to all those who have “that special family recipe,” which was handed down over the years, or to those who love to create their own special desserts. Details of the contest and prizes can be found at https://haycreek.org/apple-festival-baking-contest/
The Annual Hay Creek Flea Market will be open at 7 a.m. A huge flea market will take place both days where visitors can purchase everything from household items, antique, vintage, children’s toys and clothing, and craft/home décor items.
Interested in being a Flea Market vendor? Call Kathleen at 610-914-8152. Vendor registration and set-up starts Oct. 11 starting at 10 a.m. Vendor applications can also be downloaded by using this link: https://haycreek.org/flea-market-information/
Numerous family activities round out the fun. These family events include scarecrow building, pumpkin painting, face painting for kids, and hay and pony rides. The children will love to ride on the popular Apple Barrel Express. A toy train exhibit will be on display in the Mechanical Technology Building.
Visitors can also purchase ‘scarecrow kits’ to take home. These kits will include the "t" frame, pants, shirt, head, string and accessories. As each scarecrow will have its own personality, each kit will contain different details including such varying things 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 a Petting Zoo and early machinery exhibits operating in the Mechanical Technology Building. Everyone will be able to enjoy visiting the historic ironworks buildings and learning about the Joanna Furnace from our interpreters.
In recognition of National Archaeology Month, there will be an archaeology table set up to introduce families to this exciting activity.
“This is an exceptional year for Hay Creek. In 2019 almost $300,000 was invested in our preservation projects," said Mark Zerr, Executive Director. "Visitors will have an opportunity to see our latest restoration project, the wheelwright shop which was under study and planning for the past several years and is currently under construction.”
Also, visitors can see our other project - phase one of the furnace bosh preservation. This significant project was underwritten by a PHMC Keystone Historic Preservation Grant, a grant from the Berks County Community Foundation, a National Historic Preservation Appell Grant, along with the friends and members of the Hay Creek Valley Historical Association. The work on this valuable artifact was performed by the International Chimney Corporation of Buffalo, New York, famous for successfully relocating the Cape Hatteras Light House.
The Festival site is at Historic Joanna Furnace Iron Works located just off Route 10, three miles north of Morgantown; turn right on Furnace Road. Admission to the Festival is FREE. Parking is on site with a donation. For more information, visit www.haycreek.org or call 610-286-0388