EDITOR’S NOTE: The Brushy Mountain Apple Festival program includes full details on the event and is included with the print edition of the newspaper. The program is produced through a joint effort of the Brushy Mountain Ruritan Club and the Wilkes Journal-Patriot.
After weeks of unseasonably warm weather accentuated by a few days of record heat, considerably cooler temperatures are expected Saturday when the 42nd annual Brushy Mountain Apple Festival fills downtown North Wilkesboro.
The forecast is for highs in the low 70s and clear skies.
Meanwhile, the 35-member Brushy Mountain Ruritan Club is busy this week making final preparations for the festival and the tens of thousands of attendees. Town employees are putting finishing touches on efforts to spruce up the town.
The Apple Jam, a festival before the festival, is from 6-9 p.m. Friday in the Apple Festival Park at the intersection of 10th and Ninth streets in downtown North Wilkesboro. Sassafras will perform bluegrass, old-time, country, western swing and originals. Food and drink concessions will be sold at the park.
Admission to Apple Jam and the festival is free.
Official festival hours Saturday are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., but shoppers are there looking over the booths of 400-plus arts and craft vendors even earlier. Opening ceremonies are at 9 a.m. at the Apple Festival Park.
The festival also features about 100 food vendors, four music stages with bluegrass, gospel, Americana and other types of music, plus various dance styles. The festival is the largest or one of the largest fundraisers of the year for over 100 nonprofits.
Heritage demonstrations and exhibits this year feature a moonshine still, classic cars from the Wilkes County Cruisers, pottery-making, soap and lye-making, apple butter-making, cider-making, hit and miss engines, heritage apple display, honeybees, blacksmithing, woodworking and more. Activities include knife-making, a petting zoo, carriage rides and toy train rides.
Orchardists will be on about every street corner and elsewhere selling multiple varieties fresh from the trees, as well as dried apples and cider. Many food vendors will be selling apple products, including fried pies, candied apples, caramel apples, apple butter and more.
Howard and Shirley Tevepaugh, this year’s festival marshals, will be in the Wilkes Towers lobby greeting visitors. Organizers said festival-goers are invited to sign the “friendship quilt” in the lobby.
Boy Scout and Cub Scout units and other nonprofit groups sell parking spaces on the edges of downtown. A continuous shuttle service to and from the festival is provided from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. by Wilkes County Boy Scouts. Parking for the shuttle is at West Park on D Street, North Wilkesboro, and at the Wilkes County Courthouse in Wilkesboro. At the festival, the drop-off and pickup site is at the intersection of C Street and Forester Avenue.
Brushy Mountain Ruritan Club members include Wes Tuttle, Ann Tuttle, Lee Tedder, Gary Hayes, Ray Stone, Tom Stratton and Wade McInnis, Gillian Tuttle, Ann Garwood, Terry Garwood, Cindy Upright, Jonathan Upright, Debi Davis, Jamie Christy, Elrea Hendren, Jennifer Jones, Kathy Snider, Jon Snider, Bob Laney, Diane Yale Peabody, Gretchen Barelski, Gerry Peabody, Paul Barelski, Aaron Upright, Levi Upright, Bob Beeson, Diane Eller, Craig Freas, Kimberly Johnson, Larry Johnson, Chris Joines, Debbie Joines, Carroll Lowe, Sandra Lowe, Mike Jones, Marianna Tamayo and Mara Lynn Tugman.
Bob Laney is this year’s club president.