The Wellesley Apple Butter and Cheese Festival was first held in 1975. It has become an annual event with a wide variety of attractions, all taking place over the course of one day. Visitors can enjoy the street market venues, guided farm tours, live music and the Classic Car Show in addition to the traditional country-style food and exciting activities.
History of the Wellesley Apple Butter and Cheese Festival
The Wellesley Apple Butter and Cheese Festival was developed by the Wellesley Board of Trade utilizing the best ideas from both the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival and the New Hamburg Quilt Auction. Otherwise known as the Wellesley ABC Festival, it was introduced to promote Wellesley and its major businesses.
As an annual event, the Wellesley Apple Butter and Cheese Festival relies entirely on volunteer workers and has become one of Waterloo County’s most popular events. Proceeds from the festival are used to fund major projects in Wellesley. In the past, these projects have included such things as building the arena, buying parkland as well as building a baseball diamond and soccer field.
Food and Music at the Wellesley ABC Festival
Food is the highlight of the Wellesley Apple Butter and Cheese Festival. The day begins with a pancake breakfast at the break of dawn and includes pancakes with applesauce, locally made sausage and coffee, juice or milk. There is also a smorgasbord lunch in the Community Centre offering roast beef and pork, pigtails, salads and homemade desserts.
At the market, in and around Wellesley Arena, visitors can enjoy baked goods, country-style meat, cheese, apple butter and cider. The Queen Street Food Mall features such traditional items as apple dumplings, apple pie, fritters, apple cider, sausage on a bun with french fries and schnitzel on a bun.
Music is also another appealing feature of the Wellesley Apple Butter and Cheese Festival. Not only is there a feature band for the kids, such as Erick Traplin, but there is also a band for adults. The Wellesley Idol Competition sees three finalists competing for the title of Wellesley Idol and is approximately one hour in duration.
Attractions at the Wellesley Apple Butter and Cheese Festival
There are many activities for the entire family at the Wellesley Apple Butter and Cheese Festival. The opening parade and antique car and tractor display at the Wellesley Public Library grounds draws over 100 vehicles for visitors. Craft demonstrations include soap making, bonsai tree making, apple crafts and quilting. Pony rides take place throughout the entire day at Wellesley Arena for kids and adults.
Visitors can also enjoy a number of tours. Cider Mill Tours are provided most of the day from approximately 9:00 am to 3:00 pm and entail demonstrations of apples being pressed into cider and enjoying apple cider samples. There are also guided farm tours whereby guests can have a chance to visit local farms and see horses and dairy cattle. These run from approximately 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.
For visitors’ enjoyment, there is also a Quilt Auction. Quilts are made especially for the auction by church groups, clubs and individuals. The sale is held at the Entertainment Area or indoors at the Community Centre if it is raining. Additionally, there is also a 1923 Sawyer Massey Steam Engine on display operating a sawmill and local wood carvers showcasing their skills and carved works.
Family Fun at the Wellesley ABC Festival
The Wellesley Apple Butter and Cheese Festival is an annual event that has become very popular. Not only does the festival offer visitors a wide variety of tradtiional, country-style food, but there are many fun attractions and entertainment options for the entire family.