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Apple Butter Festival is in 33rd year

Souvenir bricks from damaged courthouse for sale during event

Souvenir bricks from damaged courthouse for sale during event

October 05, 2006|by TIFFANY ARNOLD

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - Would you like a brick to go with that apple butter?

Officials in Morgan County hope so. The Berkeley Springs-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce will be selling bricks from the historic, fire-damaged Morgan County Courthouse as souvenirs at the Apple Butter Festival this weekend.

The festival, in its 33rd year, is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 8, in downtown Berkeley Springs. Usually, the piping hot apple butter - handmade in the town square - is the star of the two-day festival. But this year, town officials and the business community will use the event to help raise money to rebuild the Morgan County Courthouse, which burned Aug. 8 and has left county offices operating out of trailers.

"It's going to take millions to rebuild," said Beth Curtin, the chamber's executive director.

Court and town officials will sell the yellowish bricks for $10 each at a booth near what remains of the courthouse.

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"Right after the fire happened and folks were standing on the street, there was so much sentiment and emotions flowing. They were taking the bricks down from the structure to make it safe," Curtin said. "Those yellow bricks are symbolic of the structure's history. So while they were taking those bricks down, people were asking, 'Can I have one of those bricks?'"

Last week, Morgan County Commissioners granted the chamber permission to sell the bricks. Chamber member John Douglas told county commissioners Sept. 26 that 400 bricks would be available for purchase during the festival. Curtin said she's not certain about the number but believes more than 400 will be available.

Aside from bricks and apple butter, about 200 vendors will be on hand, including jewelry peddlers and a jambalaya and gumbo food vendor from Hagerstown, Curtin said.

Bad weather put a damper on attendance last year, when 15,000 people still showed up. "But the weather is supposed to be good this weekend," Curtin said.

The chamber expects 40,000 people to attend this year's festival.

"That's our normal crowd," she said.




Schedule



Saturday, Oct. 7

Festival hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Daylong activities include: apple butter making in the square, vendors, a gallery show and sale at Ice House Gallery, and "Apple Butter Festival" and "Old Community Band" exhibits at the Museum of the Berkeley Springs.

9 a.m. - Parade. Begins at Berkeley Springs High School and continues through the square, ending at the old train station on William Street.

10:30 a.m. - Festival begins. Voice of the Apple Butter Festival (emcee) Jeanne Mozier, from the bandstand.

11 a.m. - Turtle Race: Contestants bring live turtles for racing and assemble at the courthouse. Parade winners announced (at bandstand); Hall of Fame honors 46 event organizers.

11:30 a.m. - Turtle race winners announced.

11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.; and 12:45 to 1:30 p.m. - The Professors, jazz band at bandstand.

1:45 p.m. - Winners of apple butter and baking contests announced. Contact the Berkeley Springs-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce, 304-258-3738.

2:50 p.m. - Beard and mustache contest, at the bandstand.

Sunday, Oct. 8

Festival hours are noon to 5 p.m. Daylong activities include: apple butter making in the square, vendors, a gallery show and sale at Ice House Gallery, and "Apple Butter Festival" and "Old Community Band" exhibits at the Museum of the Berkeley Springs.

1 to 2 p.m. - Red Moon, bluegrass band.

1:15 p.m. - Egg toss. Bring partner and assemble at bandstand.

2:15 p.m. - Hog calling contest. Junior and senior divisions. Assemble at bandstand.

2:45 to 4 p.m. - Red Moon performs.

4:15 p.m. - Apple butter quilt drawing. Quilt stitched by Rika Bennett. Tickets cost $1 and are available at the Berkeley Springs-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce booth.




If you go ...



WHAT: 33rd annual Apple Butter Festival

WHEN: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 8

WHERE: The festival takes place along Washington Street, between Fairfax and Independence streets. The bulk of festival activities will take place at Berkeley Springs State Park, off Washington Street.

COST: Free. Free parking and trolley service between festival grounds. Parking is at U.S. Silica Co., off U.S. 522.

MORE: Call the Berkeley Springs-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce at 304-258-3738 or go to www.berkeleysprings.com/apple for more information.

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