Canal-Apple Days a Hancock tradition

September 10, 2009|By MARLO BARNHART

HANCOCK -- For more than 20 years, Larry Gerber has been chairing the annual Hancock Lions Club Canal-Apple Days.

He says it is something special that his beloved service club has sponsored for the past 33 years. This year, the event will be Sept. 19 and 20 in Widmeyer Park.

Admission and parking are free. Those who attend may purchase food, arts and crafts from the many vendors who will be scattered around the park both days.

It's all about tradition and good times, not money, Gerber said. There will be two inflatable bounces this year, as well as the popular old-time cider press in action.


The Hancock Lions have a barbecued chicken concession stand at the event, as well as several other times a year.

A Hancock Lion since 1965, Gerber said the money raised through the barbecues can be used to defray the cost of the festival if necessary. More than $2,000 in prizes will be awarded.

The festivities kick off with an 11 a.m. parade Saturday, Sept. 19. From 1 to 4:30 p.m., The Square Deal Band will provide music. As many as 30 antique tractors are expected to be on display from 1 to 5 p.m.

On Sunday, things get going at noon, Gerber said.

The antique tractors will be on display again from 1 to 5 p.m. A baby contest begins at 1:30 p.m.

The Russ and Donna Miller Band will perform in the bandstand at 2:30 p.m., where dancing will be encouraged. Food, arts and crafts vendors will be available all afternoon.

Both days, a children's train made of plastic barrels and pulled by a tractor will carry children around the park for free.

"The man who made that train comes each year and won't take any money," Gerber said.

Gerber said the Lions do provide him with a dinner.

"We tried to buy his gas and he won't take that, either," Gerber said.

Last year, Canal-Apple Days was a big success.

"We did pretty well, even though the weather was a little shaky on Saturday morning," Gerber said.

Canal-Apple Days celebrates the heritage of Hancock, which was home to several major apple growers for decades.

If you go:

What: Hancock Canal-Apple Days

When: Sept. 19, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sept. 20, noon to 5 p.m.

Where:Widmeyer Park, Hancock

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