It’s a big celebration and historic Nappanee continues its tradition of being one of Indiana’s top fall festivals when its annual Apple Festival opens September 13th -16th. Beginning in 1975 as a one-block festival, this community of 7000 offers up great Hoosier Hospitality as it welcomes over 80,000 people to the three and a half day event.

Kicking off on September 8 is the tractor and truck pull, drawing in competition from the Midwest area. The popularity and participation of the event has grown annually with nine classes of pulls including modified tractors. Gates open at 12 noon; the pull gets underway at 2 pm. Admission is $5.00. Children 10 and under are admitted free and food concessions are available.

In 2016 and 2013 the Nappanee Apple Festival was chosen as #1 in the State of Indiana in the Top Ten Fall Festival Signature Food Items for its 7 foot apple pie! Over 800 slices of pie is served to visitors from around the United States who travel to Nappanee to savor their annual piece of pie.

The festival showcases two stages of entertainment, over 150 exhibitors, carnival rides, a parade with signature military aircraft fly-over, the Miss Apple Blossom scholarship pageant, Power From the Past Antique Tractor & Engine Show (Thurs – Sat. all day), cornhole tournament, 5K road run, apple baking contest, garden tractor pull, kids and adult pedal pull contests, wings and wheels show at the airport, apple peeling and pie-eating contests, and many more activities throughout the event.

Headlining the entertainment will be Extreme XPOGO, an exhibition of hard-to-fathom tricks, jumps, leaps and flips, several as much as 9 to 10 feet off the ground. The athletes will demonstrate the bounds to which pogoers have just begun to go in the 15 years since the modern, compressed air pogo stick went into production.

Two free entertainment stages offer music genres ranging from rock & roll to classic rock, folk, bluegrass, country, gospel and variety. Kid’s favorites include Mike Hemmelgarn, a comedy juggler & ventriloquist, Silly Safaris and the Granpa Crachet Kids Show and Puppets.

There’s plenty of apple favorites: pie, fritters, dumplings, turnovers, fry pies, bread, applesauce, cider and butter to devour during the festival or take home to enjoy later.

Experience a truly unique hometown festival that leaves you marking your calendar for a return trip the following year. A complete list of entertainment, events and a map can be downloaded from the 2018 Apple Festival Events brochure. Go to: Visit us on Facebook.

The festival is made possible through the financial support of local and area retail and corporate businesses, City of Nappanee employees, Nappanee Area Chamber of Commerce and a dedicated group of volunteers. Principal sponsors are Community Foundation of Elkhart County, Elkhart County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Kountry Cabinets and Home Furnishings, CommunityFiber, Martin’s Supermarket, and WSBT.

The Waynedale News Staff
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