10/13/2022 11:49:00 PM Celebrating Its 50th Birthday--Apple Festival 2022
Wayne Howard Reporter
Once upon a time (as many stories go) the Lincoln County Apple Festival was held the third Saturday in September. It got moved to October for the first time in 2018 because it rained on what would have been festival day. The decision was made--because October's weather is most often much cooler than September's--to move it to October permanently. It was held in October again in 2019; then because of the COVID-19 pandemic, no festival was held in 2020 or 2021. This year, it's back.
The Apple Festival this Saturday will have some competition. Shelby's liver mush festival, which in recent years has been called Mush, Music & Mutts, will also be this Saturday (8:30 - 4:30) in uptown Shelby. While a dog show is a part of the Shelby event; in Lincolnton, police ask that you leave your pets at home. Dogs & cats (other than service animals) are NOT welcome at the Apple Festival. There's a City ordinance to that effect.
Now that we've mentioned the Shelby event, we'll leave it up to readers who want to know more to visit their website; we're going to talk about the Apple Festival. While Shelby's liver mush-centered event is over 30 years old, this year is the 50th anniversary of the Apple Festival.
Almost as old as the Apple Festival is the Apple Queen Pageant. The first one was held in 1978. One of the duties of the current Apple Queen is to be on hand for the Apple Festival, and AnaiaMayner, the 2022 Apple Queen, chosen in August, will be in attendance on Saturday.
The size of the crowd that usually attends the Apple Festival has been the subject of many discussions. Some have said over 20,000. Whatever the actual number, it's no doubt the biggest event in LIncolnton every year.
All those people attending means that parking spaces are sometimes difficult to find. Main Street is closed from Grove Street on the west to Flint Street on the east. Thru traffic on NC 27 is detoured onto Pine Street as the primary east-west traffic corridor for the day.
In addition to a large portion of Main Street, the side streets will be closed to traffic in their first block. Water Street will be closed in its first block west off the Courtsquare (behind the Citizens Center) and Sycamore will be closed from Academy to the Courtsquare. Multiple charitable causes will be offering paid parking in lots near Main. Freedom Church will be offering paid parking in its lot on Sycamore, Hospice will also be offering paid parking near the festival area. You can also use the Shuttle Service which will run from the Food Lion on Riverside Drive (NC 27 west) and from the Lincolnton High School parking lot on N. Aspen St. to the corner of Sycamore and N. Poplar Street (First Federal Park). That's also where those who use the Shuttle need to go for a ride back to their cars. Different this year: you must pay $2 to park at those locations to use the shuttle. The money goes to Boy Scout Troop 75. The shuttle ride to and from the festival area is free.
The Kids Orchard with rides and activities for kids will be in a new location this year. It was previously in the Citizens Center parking lot, but this year, it's in the new parking lot just off the south side of the Courtsquare at the corner with W. Water St.
This year, there are not only Apple Festival t-shirts; there are also a limited supply of Apple Festival sweatshirts and Apple Festival hats. The t-shirts are available in sizes from 3T to 3XL; the sweats in sizes from small to 2XL. Hats are $15, t-shirts are $15 in adult sizes, $10 in kids sizes; sweat shirts are $25. On Friday, you can buy t-shirts, hats, and sweatshirts at Tableco in Boger City, Benny's Boutique and Noble Threads downtown, and at United Bank on East Main. They'll be on sale at the two information booths during the Apple Festival on Saturday.
Many will remember the problems Lincolnton had with street preachers a few years ago. Anyone who wishes is welcome to spread the gospel at the Apple Festival, but the City passed an ordinance which prohibits using loud speakers that would disrupt the festival or harassing people who are attending. It was not a problem at the 2019 festival and is not expected to be one this year.
CLICK HERE to have us email you the latest news every day-- The Lincoln Herald is Lincoln County's #1 source for local news. Since 2012, we've been providing local news, information about community events, sports scores, the obituaries, and more--all for FREE! Since the local newspaper no longer publishes on Monday and we are here every day, our coverage has become even more important.
We post links to all our articles on Facebook & Twitter, and many readers also receive a daily email with links to our latest. Sign up for it! It's also FREE--and we won't share your email address with anyone.