Live apple-y ever after at the Enon Apple Butter Festival this weekend

Original cutline: Honey Greene, left, and Wendy Adams pose for a picture in a cut out at the Enon Apple Butter Festival Saturday. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
Caption
The Enon Community Historical Society will bring back the popular Enon Apple Butter Festival on Saturday, Oct. 9 and Sunday, Oct. 10.BILL LACKEY/STAFF

After canceling last year’s festivities due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Enon Community Historical Society will bring back the popular Enon Apple Butter Festival this Saturday, Oct. 9 and Sunday, Oct. 10.

The festival began 40 years ago, next to the Enon Adena mound. The Enon Community Historical Society (ECHS) needed a fundraiser and there was an apple tree full of apples on the mound in the center of town.

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No one knows how that apple tree got there. According to town records, the Native Americans used to pull any saplings that started to grow on the ancient earthen structure. When the Shawnee left this area, apple trees began to grow on the mound.

People like to imagine who planted that first apple tree. Was it Johnny Appleseed? Did a frontiersman leave an apple core on the mound during his explorations? Or were the apple trees an intentional planting by the earliest settlers?

We do know that the apple trees were already there in 1834 when Joseph Smith and his followers traveled down the Dayton Springfield Road when this area was newly settled. He recorded his observations in his diary.

“The mound was covered with apple trees, and surrounded with oat fields, the ground being level for some distance around,” wrote Smith.

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It only seemed right that those unique apple trees became the basis for a festival that would celebrate Enon.

At the first Apple Butter Festival, the apple butter was stirred in a big copper kettle near the mound. For 21 years the festival would be held there, until expansion of the village offices and library took up the space used for the booths.

Now the festival is held on South Xenia Street and the grounds of Enon Elementary School. It’s a perfect location that allowed for additional booths with many of them on paved parking lots and streets.

Tradition is important at the Apple Butter Festival. There are now six huge 50-gallon copper kettles that create the apple butter over open wood-burning fires. These are stirred by community members, volunteers and officials in the area all day long. (And if you ask nicely, you just might get a chance to stir apple butter for a bit).

Starting at midday, the kettles of apple butter are finished one at a time. The thick hot brown “butter” is scooped from the kettles and transported to the canning tent. Thousands of jars of apple butter are immediately sealed in glass jars and sold to the public.

Aside from apple butter, guests can indulge in other culinary treats like bean soup, cornbread, homemade fruit pies, apple fritters, pork chops, walking tacos and BBQ.

Apple Butter Festival is not all about eating. There are nearly 100 craft booths full of high-quality handcrafted treasures, original artwork, books and plants. Opening ceremonies will feature the Greenon band and choir.

This festival runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, rain or shine. Parking is free, nearby and plentiful.

The Apple Butter Festival is the main fundraiser for the Enon Community Historical Society and many of the food and craft booths are also fundraisers for local groups.

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Shannon Webb takes a turn at stirring one of the giant kettles of apple butter cooking over an open fire at the Enon Apple Butter Festival. People took turns stirring the apple butter as it cooked throughout the day. Once the apple butter is finished cooking, it's quickly canned and sold to the long line of people waiting. The festival also features crafts, food and a variety of other fall fun. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
Caption
Shannon Webb takes a turn at stirring one of the giant kettles of apple butter cooking over an open fire at the Enon Apple Butter Festival. People took turns stirring the apple butter as it cooked throughout the day. Once the apple butter is finished cooking, it's quickly canned and sold to the long line of people waiting. The festival also features crafts, food and a variety of other fall fun. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

HOW TO GO

What: Enon Apple Butter Festival

Where: South Xenia Street and the grounds of Enon Elementary School in Enon

When: Saturday, Oct. 9 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 10 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cost: Free

More info: enonhistoricalsociety.com/apple-butter-festival