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Chris Brady of Lincolnton, who won the 2019 Apple Festival T-shirt design contest, with apples grown by Davis Orchards.

Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer and the harbinger of fall and, here in Lincoln County, that means the Lincoln County Apple Festival is coming.The Apple Festival will be held on Oct. 19. 

“People are especially excited about the new October date,” Carole Howell, the festival coordinator, said. “Should be cooler and, according to my growers, the variety of apples offered will be greater.”

The winner of the T-shirt design was chosen from 18 designs submitted by local artists. It goes to Chris Brady of Lincolnton, the same designer who won in 2017 with the very popular truck logo.

“This year, I wanted to do something that tied in the farm aspect of the apples and create a nice looking shirt that would represent the festival,” he said. “We’re always tasked to make it to where the audience from kids up to adults will like it.”

At the top of the logo, under the words “Lincoln County,” a barn is nestled in rolling hills and apple trees on a yellow background. “Apple Festival” is in the center in red and underneath, a basket of apples and the years the apple festival has been running, 1972-2019, also on a yellow background. The T-shirts are dark grey in color.

Brady is a graphic designer by trade. He’s lived in the area since 2000. 

“I enjoy the creativity of doing T-shirts,” he said. “That’s not my primary business. I worked for the marketing department of Atrium Health for eight years and most recently worked for an advertising agency focusing on senior living.”

Unfortunately that advertising agency was bought out by a company based out of Kansas City and Brady is actively searching for another position.

The T-shirts are available now at the Chamber of Commerce and at Carolina Trust Bank on East Main. Long sleeve t-shirts in the same color and design will be for sale at the festival only. It’s expected that they’ll sell out early.

“Every year I say this is the biggest one ever but considering that we've filled every inch of vendor space this year, I'm pretty sure there will be something for everyone,” Howell said. “Most of our downtown merchants are participating with sales on the sidewalk. We hope that more and more people will take advantage of the shuttle this year. It's the best way to relieve the downtown parking jams of the past. It's not a day to break in a new pair of walking shoes. Bring a wagon and wear your sunscreen.”

There are 156 vendors, with approximately two dozen of them being new to the Apple Festival as well as crafts, non-profits, businesses, downtown merchants, 46 food vendors, 10 vendors in the Farmer's Market, 15 performers on two stages and Ag City will be expanded.

There will be three special guests, Jon Sundell, a storyteller, a stilt walker and Sir Purr. Of course, the year’s Apple Queen, Kayla Marie Jackson, will be there. 

The Kid's Orchard has been moved to the Citizen's Center lot and the main stage to the south facing courthouse steps. The entire block from Cedar to Laurel has been filled with booths. 

There will be shuttle services is available at Lincolnton High School and Lincoln Plaza (Habitat), will run all day. No pets are allowed at the festival per the city ordinance.

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