With this year’s Apple Festival just over a week away, several groups are gearing up their preparations for the event.
One of these includes the Lincoln County Cooperative Extension, which is once again hosting its annual “Apple Dish Contest.” Entries are currently being accepted.
Through 5 p.m. Wednesday, those interested may submit a recipe for the contest. Contestants must then bring the prepared dish to the Citizens Center between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. on the day of the festival for judging. Prizes, to be awarded by sponsor First Federal Savings Bank, will be given to the first-place, second-place and third-place finishers at noon in the amounts of $25, $15 and $10, respectively.
A grand prize of $50 will also be awarded by the Apple Board for the best overall dish.
The contest will include the following categories: Main Dish (which must contain meat or a meat substitute); Cakes, Breads and Cookies; Pies, Pastries and Tarts; Apple Jelly, Butter and Jams; Miscellaneous (including beverages, appetizers, microwave and low calorie); and Youth (ages 8 through 19).
Extension Agent Melinda Houser said all jam entries must be processed and canned to be accepted.
The contest began in 1974, she said. Over the years, they’ve received quite a variety of recipes, many of them unusual but tasty.
“They’ve really been good,” Houser added.
Often, the winning dishes end up being used by the Extension for other programs, she said.
The contest, particularly the youth category, also allows parents and their children to have fun together in the kitchen, with Houser noting that the kids typically get quite creative.
Past years have seen as many as 90 entries, but Houser, who is trying to boost participation, said that number has dropped by almost half in recent years.
Contestants can submit their recipes by bringing them to the Extension’s first-floor office at the Citizens Center or by mailing them to: The Lincoln County Cooperative Extension, Attn: Apple Dish Contest, 115 W. Main St., Lincolnton, N.C., 28092.
For more information, including regarding contest rules, call (704) 736-8461.
ECA pie sale
The Lincoln County Extension and Community Association will begin selling whole apple pies at 1 p.m. Monday in the demonstration kitchen on the first floor of the Citizens Center. The sale will continue at 10 a.m. each day through Thursday and at the festival.
Those interested may begin placing their orders 9 a.m. Monday, and all large orders should call ahead at (704) 736-8464. Otherwise, walk-ins are welcome.
Pies made after 11 a.m. Thursday will be sold, for $8 each, during the Apple Festival.
Library book sale
Another local sale will be going on next week and concluding with the festival. The Lincoln County Public Library will hold its annual book sale, kicking off Thursday from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. and continuing 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and during Saturday’s event.
A wide variety of selections, including children’s books, best-selling adult authors, cookbooks and reference materials, will be available for purchase at the Citizens Center.
Only cash and checks will be accepted.
For more information, call (704) 735-8044.
The 2013 Apple Festival will take place in downtown Lincolnton from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21. Attendees may purchase this year’s official T-shirt, designed by Halee Good, at a booth during the event, with all proceeds going to help support Assault and Victimization Intervention and Deterrence (AVID) of Lincolnton.
For more information, visit: www.lincolncountyapplefestival.com.