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Berkeley Springs, W.Va. Apple Butter Festival a family tradition for many

October 06, 2012|By TRISH RUDDER | trishr@herald-mail.com
  • From left, Margie Starliper, Gretchen Munson and Tim Fox, members of the Pleasant View Community Center Association, handle apple butter sales Saturday at the 39th annual Apple Butter Festival in Berkeley Springs, W.Va.
Photo by Trish Rudder

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. — Celebrating together is a tradition for many families that attended Saturday’s 39th annual Apple Butter Festival.

Kathryn Eppinger, who has lived in Berkeley Springs for 81 years, said she attends the festival every year with her family.

Eppinger was at the festival with her daughter, Carol Suker, a Berkeley Springs High School graduate who lives in Maryland

“We always watch the parade, listen to the music, look at the crafts, visit with friends and eat festival food,” Suker said.

“It’s a tradition,” Eppinger said.

Making apple butter is a family tradition for Tim Fox, president of the Pleasant View Community Center Association, which was organized in the mid-1980s.

His father, Mike Fox, said he’s been an association member for more than 25 years, and his role now is to watch the apple butter-making process.

Two large kettles of apple butter were cooking and being constantly stirred by about 20 association members in 20-minute shifts.

Stirrer Max Mellott said the cooking process began at 5:30 a.m.

About 50 bushels of apples were peeled Friday by mostly older community members, Tim Fox said, and 218 gallons of apple butter were ready for Saturday’s sales. About another 110 gallons were to be made at the festival Saturday and today.

“We sell out every year,” he said. 

The money raised at the festival will help maintain the Pleasant View Community Center building, he said.

“We hope to make a good sum for the center,” said treasurer Margie Starliper, who was selling and bagging jars of apple butter with secretary Gretchen Munson.

“This is our biggest fundraising event,” Tim Fox said.

Berkeley Springs resident Terri Freels has been attending the festival with her family for the past 30 years.

“We’ve never missed one,” she said. “It’s a tradition to come to Apple Butter.”

Freels was enjoying a barbecue sandwich, which is her favorite festival food.

“We’ll get apple butter before we leave,” she said.

More than 27,000 people are expected to attend the festival, said Laura Smith, who was selling official Apple Butter Festival souvenirs for the Berkeley Springs-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce, the festival’s sponsor.

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If you go ...

What: 39th annual Apple Butter Festival

When: Today, noon to 5 p.m.

Where: Berkeley Springs, W.Va.

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