By LEIGH C. MERRIFIELD
News & Journal Editor
Autumn is officially here … and you can count on one thing – SOMEWHERE in West Virginia, people are celebrating SOMETHING! It’s the Harvest Moon in Parkersburg … buckwheat cakes in Kingwood … the forests in Elkins … pumpkins in Milton … back walnuts in Spencer … even a roadkill cookoff in Marlinton! But in Salem, WV, this weekend will be all about apples during the city’s 32nd Annual Apple Butter Festival.
What will you find there? Lots of this nutritious and tasty fruit – in apple pies, apple salad, apple crisp, apple cider, apple fritters, candied apples, and of course, apple butter. Yes, the folks in Salem will be providing live demonstrations of how old fashioned apple butter is prepared – outdoors, using copper kettles suspended over a wood fire! It will be canned on the spot for visitors to purchase.
But, there’s more! Hopefully the weather will cooperate so that attendees can enjoy all the events that will be offered for a weekend of family fun. The ‘happenings’ began on Wednesday with quilt show entries being received and judging of apple butter and apple pies. And today, festival booths open at noon along with quilt judging, a 4-H petting zoo, the announcement of photo contest winners, bingo, and entertainment throughout the day and evening!
Festival events continue on Friday with much of the same, and a 5K run kicks off Saturday’s activities at 9 a.m. A greased pig contest will be held at 10 a.m. in the lot behind the Salem Post Office and talent show contestants register at 11 a.m. for the 2 p.m. talent show.
At noon on Saturday, visitors will gather on Main Street for the Apple Butter Festival/SIU Homecoming Parade, and both the Pavilion Stage and the Main Stage will offer entertainment all day long – including the Back Porch Pickers at 4 p.m.; country, rock & folk vocalist & guitarist Tom Roddey at 7:30 p.m.; and the main feature will be “Out of Eden”, offering a tribute to the Eagles at 9 p.m. … with fireworks to close out the evening following this performance!
There is something for everyone’s interests – even a horseshoe pitching tournament and a corn hole tournament!
Several events continue on Sunday with a car show, a bicycle poker ride and gospel music presentations throughout the afternoon.
There is no admission charge and all entertainment is FREE! Parking is on-street or lots. It is a drug-free and alcohol-free event and fun for all ages. Check out specific times for features during this event by visiting their website at salemapplebutterfestival.com.
Whether the leaves have begun to turn or not, there will be plenty of autumn to see and enjoy in downtown Salem this weekend with fall colors exhibited on sidewalks and storefronts with pumpkins, apples, gourds, and mums sitting atop bales of hay. Enjoy the season in Salem this weekend!