Take away the reason for sneezing and many of us welcome the fall season. There’s beauty in autumn that cannot be found any other time of the year.
Autumn also means it’s time for the Lincoln County Apple Festival when we celebrate the apple harvest with food, music, crafts and crowds all over town.
It was 40 years ago when the first festival was held at Boger City United Methodist Church. It then moved to the Armory building and on to West Lincoln High School before moving to town after a couple of years.
County extension agent Melinda Houser says it was her idea that hatched this annual event. She credits others with more ideas and lots of work to keep it moving along.
I remember one of the earlier festivals at the school when the late county agent Howard Waynick recognized the three Lincoln County farmers who planted the first apple orchards. They were Bert Yarbro, Julius Saine and Belton Leatherman. Waynick presented each one with a small apple tie pin.
It’s a day to enjoy seeing old friends and making some new ones while wandering around trying not to miss anything or anyone.
There’s something for everyone going on during the day. Children will be dancing in the Citizens Center and lining up outdoors for pony rides, face painting and may be some magic shows.
Senior citizens got an early start this week. They are baking pies and cooking apple butter. The proceeds will help fund their year-round projects.
Artistic talents will be on exhibit in booths around the courtsquare.
There’re also many civic groups; some will offer information hoping to gain members, and others will sell food hoping to raise funds for their projects.
Food offerings begin at breakfast with a church group selling homemade biscuits and other food booths going all afternoon.
Lincoln County is the place to find good cooks and many will be showing off their kitchen skills with new and mouth-watering prepared dishes, all with apples, to be judged in the cooking contest.
Happiness is a blue ribbon for many good cooks.
There’s plenty of food while browsing around and as long as they last there will be apple pies and bags of apples and jugs of apple cider to carry home.
It takes lots of long-range planning and many people who work from one festival to the next to make this an enjoyable day for the thousands who attend the event.
But there’s no magic to all the work the town’s cleanup crew will have to perform that night and the next day to remove all the trash left behind.
A good hint for all folks enjoying the festivities Saturday is to put your trash in bins along the way.
That will be a big help and will add to everyone’s pleasure as they welcome the fall season with much fun and baskets of Lincoln County apples.
Kathryn Yarbro is former Managing Editor of the Lincoln Times-News.