Food and entertainment will be the draws at Batesville’s 23rd Applefest. The autumn celebration presented by the city’s Kiwanis Club is slated for this Saturday from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at Liberty Park.
Kiwanians will serve a nonstop German menu that includes brats, apple sausage, baked apples and potato salad, while St. Mark’s Lutheran Church members offer up hog roasts with apple dumplings both days, reports Chairman Jay Reichmuth.
Even though apples are scarce this year, Boy Scouts will make their traditional cobbler and two vendors will sell gourmet caramel apples. More treats to eat on the spot include burgers, cheese coneys, metts, popcorn and Hawaiian shaved ice.
The entertainment headliner is Highland Reign, a rowdy Indianapolis band brought to the fest by the Batesville Memorial Public Library.“They were here a few years ago and were a lot of fun,” Reichmuth recalls.
Other music will be created by the Rev. Larry Dimick of Batesville United Methodist Church, who will play several of his 15 instruments during a BMPL-sponsored session; and Batesville’s Eureka Band, perhaps America’s oldest continuous community group.
Dancers are also on the schedule. Hoosier Hoedowners highlight country tunes while Dance Studio hip hop dancers will move to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” to promote the Fear Factory.
Children in kindergarten and second grade and an adult king and queen admired by fourth-graders, who wrote essays, will be crowned during a pageant.
Students Luke Meer and Jace Schutte will operate six puppets to tell three Aesop’s fables during a BMPL activity, reports Sandra Dickey, head of youth services.
Chalk on the Walk, sponsored by the Rural Alliance for the Arts, will let folks be creative if it’s not raining.
Before the fest even begins, athletes will converge there. At 9 a.m. Saturday on Pohlman Street on Liberty Park’s south side, a ribbon will be cut at the new city trail and its name will be announced after a contest was held. Then the Trail Trek, sponsored by the Mayor’s Youth Council, begins. The walk/run offers two distances – 1.75 miles or 5 kilometers.
Registration begins at 8 a.m. Cost is $20 per person and $50 for a family of three or more. Forms can be downloaded at the city’s Web site (www.batesvilleindiana.us/) or picked up at the Memorial Building.
About 40 crafts booths will offer everything from handmade jewelry and original paintings to fudge, preserves and holiday decorations. Other booths will tout area businesses and organizations.
Festival-goers also can cart home pumpkins, chrysanthemums and more fall decorations.
Two types of train rides will amuse attendees. A Cincinnati Railway Co. one-hour-and-40-minute journey goes from the park to Greensburg and back. Tickets cost $18 for adults and $15 for seniors and children. Toddlers 2 and under on laps are free. Tickets must be paid for in advance at the Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce office, 16 E. George St.; or by credit card at 934-3101. Trackless train rides for youngsters also will be offered.
The popular bungie trampoline, geared for kids and adults up to 180 pounds, is back. Tykes also will enjoy games and inflatable bouncies organized by Denean Williams.
History buffs can visit BMPL’s Pioneer Living Tent. Panning for gold, grinding wheat to make flour and rolling dough with a pin are some of the activities, Dickey says.
It’s the eighth year for a raffle with three cash prizes ($500, $250 and $100) that will benefit Kiwanis scholarships and youth programs and Batesville Soccer Club field improvements and equipment. Tickets at $1 each or six for $5 may be purchased from members beforehand or at the Kiwanis cashier’s table in the pavilion.
The chairman is hopeful locals will continue to support the fest. “It’s a fun and inexpensive weekend of entertainment for families to come out and enjoy.”
Applefest -- Liberty Park, Batesville
Saturday, Sept. 22
9 a.m. Trail Trek
11 a.m. Fest and food booths open
11 a.m.-1 p.m. Chalk on the Walk near pavilion
1 p.m. Royalty pageant, pavilion stage
2:30 p.m. Puppet show near pioneer tent; Hoosier Hoedowners Dance Troop, outside food court
3 p.m. Highland Reign, outside food court
Sunday, Sept. 23
11 a.m. Booths open
12:15 p.m. Train ride to Greensburg and back
1 p.m. Folk musician Larry Dimick, pioneer tent; “Thriller” performed by Dance Studio students, pavilion stage
2-3 p.m. Eureka Band, outside food court
3:30 p.m. Raffle drawing
Plus: interactive Pioneer Living Tent, crafts and business booths, harvest produce, food