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, 19-22. 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 14 is the tractor and truck pull, drawing in competition from the Midwest area. The popularity and participation of this 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. This event is hosted in connection with Nappanee Power From the Past and will be held in a new location: Power From the Past Showgrounds (1600 West Market Street, Nappanee).
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 are 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, parade with signature military aircraft fly-over, Miss Apple Blossom scholarship pageant, Power From the Past Antique Tractor & Engine Show (Thurs – Sat. all day), corn hole tournament, 5K road run, “Napple” baking contest, garden tractor pull, kids and adult pedal pull contests, Wings and Wheels show at Nappanee airport, apple peeling and pie-eating contests, and many more activities throughout the event. Additionally, a baby changing, nursing mother’s station is located downtown in the heart of the activity.
Headlining the entertainment will be loop rawlins, a “One Man Wild West” show that begins Friday, 6p.m. and runs through Sunday, 4 p.m. in one of three free entertainment stages. Rawlins is one of the most versatile Western performers in the world today. His unique act of trick roping, whip cracking and fancy gun spinning has thrilled thousands of audiences.
The other two stages will offer music genres ranging from rock & roll to classic rock, folk, bluegrass, country, gospel and variety and kid’s favorites including Mike Hemmelgarn, 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 map can be downloaded from the 2019 Apple Festival Events brochure. Go to: www.nappaneeapplefestival.org. Visit the event 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, CommunityFiber, Kountry Cabinets and Home Furnishings, Martin’s Supermarket, WSBT.