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North Carolina Apple Festival: The Fruits of Our Labor Day

Published by Buffy Krenz

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What says fall more than apples? The annual North Carolina Apple Festival will be an entire weekend full of apple-related fun. This Friday through Monday, Labor Day weekend, thousands will flock to the mountain town of Hendersonville to celebrate the coming of autumn and the apple season in North Carolina’s most abundant apple-producing county.


On Friday at 10 a.m. the festival’s opening ceremony takes place at the historic courthouse. There will be one apple orchard tour the same day from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Advance registration is required for the tour. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, full-course breakfasts will be available, each at a different location, for less than 10 dollars per ticket, and of course apples are featured at each breakfast.

The street fair is the main event and is open every day of the festival. Main Street will be lined with apple grower vendors, arts and crafts booths, and food. Fresh apples, caramel apples, apple butter, apple cider and fried apple pie are just a few of the treats available.

The 2nd annual organic and local farmers’ market will be open on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., featuring fruit, vegetables, meat, dairy, flowers, jams and more. On Labor Day, there will be a mini-street fair in the morning, and an Antique Aircraft Flyby will kickoff the KIng Apple Parade at 2:30, which closes the festival.

More events interspersed throughout the weekend include an apple recipe contest, kiddie carnival, 8K race, local museum tours, arts and crafts fair, and a U.S. Marine Corps Chin-Up Challenge.


On Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings, free entertainment will begin at the courthouse. Throughout the festival, show bands; country, bluegrass and gospel music; local dance groups; comedy acts and much more can be enjoyed here. Headliners include Buddy K Big Band (big band era music), The Caribbean Cowboys, The Mighty Kicks (rock and roll, top 40, motown), Still Cruzin’ (R&B, Funk, Disco, Golden Oldies, etc.) and The Legacy (greatest hits of motown). Also, the 3rd Annual Mountain Music Jamboree will take place on Saturday at Henderson High School.

Shuttles will run downtown on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but there are also multiple free and fee-based parking lots surrounding the festival. Handicapped parking is available at the Visitors’ Center. No pets are allowed at the festival.

Visit the North Carolina Apple Festival’s Web site for more information about the festival and for maps and directions.

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