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Apple Festival of Kendallville

Submitted by on September 25, 2023 – 12:56 amNo Comment

Apple Festival of Kendallville, IndianaAn Apple Festival takes place from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. October 7, 2023, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. October 8, 2023, at Noble County Fairgrounds in Kendallville, Indiana. No admission is charged for entrance into the Festival.

More than 90% of the food vendors that participate in the festival each year are not-for-profit organizations from the community. (It must be noted, Road Trips Foodies, that the festival may honor the apple, it’s not featured prominently among the food offerings.)

The festival began in 1985 as the vision of four local organizer, Gary and Kay Shepherd, Barb Kelly and Kathy Baker, who wanted their small town to have a festival. They began with a budget of $5000 and had to encourage crafters to take part. The Lion’s Club was the first food vendor to sign-on and that first year there were only six antique dealers on the festival grounds. At one point the group wondered just who would show up, as it seemed most of the town was working at the event. Much to their relief, when that weekend finally arrived, a steady stream of visitors pulled into the Noble County Fairgrounds. The cars have been coming ever since.

Over the years the festival continued to grow, branching out into different areas, each section headed up by a team of volunteers. A large children’s area with games, activities, crafts and rides. A primitive traders village, demonstration buildings, a Civil War encampment and entertainment on three stages have all been added over the years. Today the festival budget is more than $100,000, and the festival hosts some 70,000 visitors each year. Nearly one hundred crafters sell their wares at the festival, more than 30 food vendors provide yummy treats, and antique dealers fill the Merchant’s Building.

The Apple Festival Committee has grown from those first four brave souls to 20 caring volunteers who strive to maintain the quality and affordability of this period festival. The Mission of the Apple Festival is the same today as it was in 1985, to Entertain and Educate visitors about our American Heritage.

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