This bustling community kicked off Thursday evening’s Apple Festival showcase with craft, commercial and food booths, two stages of entertainment, the Miss Apple Blossom Pageant, plus the ever-popular kid’s puppet show with Grandpa Cratchet and carnival rides. The festival officially opened at 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18, and will end at 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 21.
The 11 a.m. opening of the “Napple store” Friday offers visitors an ample amount of information, shopping options, a festival feast, and great souvenirs until closing Sunday evening.
Headlining this year’s entertainment is the Chicago Boyz Acrobatic Team, a season eight finalist on “America’s Got Talent.” The first of 10 shows will open at 6 p.m. Friday, in the library parking lot.
Friday also debuts Indiana’s largest 7-foot baked apple pie, a traditional 600 pound apple pastry that tempts even the most discriminating palate. Additionally, a quilt exhibit, senior bingo, Silly Safaris animal show and Mike Hemmelgarn, ventriloquist and juggler, who entertains young and old with his comedy, are part of the day’s entertainment scene. Two stages of music will offer visitors a mixed genre of song from noon to 10 p.m.
An antique tractor and engine show with sawmill demonstrations, wheat threshing, hand baling, steam engines, apple press, farm equipment parade and Lily Pearl’s Square Dancing Tractors is an all-day event both Friday and Saturday at the Nappanee Power from the Past Showgrounds. Also featured at this show will be International Harvester and the McCormick Mogul 30-60.
Saturday events warm up with a pancake and sausage breakfast, road runs, garden tractor pull, kid’s and adult pedal pull, child ID, three-on-three basketball tournament, vintage baseball game, and helicopter rides.
There will apple baking, apple peeling, pie eating, gold fish races, adult and kids pedal pull, plus apple butter demonstration, cross cut saw contest, and a corn hole tournament.
An airplane fly-over with the Flying Hooligans will precede the parade Saturday morning. These planes can then be viewed at the afternoon’s Wings and Wheels event at the Nappanee Municipal Airport, along with a car, truck and motorcycle show. Youth ages 8-18 can earn a Young Eagle certificate in a free, first time small airplane ride. More activities include a skydiving demonstration and display of various aircraft.
Sunday events begin with a community church service at the Depot Plaza activity tent, followed by music and entertainment throughout the afternoon at two main stages. An antique tractor pull takes place at the Callander Sportsplex. The popular talent contest, raffle drawing and awards, plus announcement of Apple Dumpling winners, winds down the last day of the festival, which concludes at the Depot Plaza.
The festival is made possible through the financial support of local retail patrons, city of Nappanee employees, Nappanee Area Chamber of Commerce, and a dedicated group of volunteers. Elkhart County Convention and Visitors Bureau and Mediacom are principal sponsors.
A complete list of events can be obtained from the 2014 Apple Festival Events brochure in PDF format on the website or visit the Facebook site. For more information, visit www.nappaneeapplefestival.org.