Grand Rapids all astir for annual Applebutter Fest

GRAND RAPIDS – The festival celebrating one of the favorite tastes of fall is returning to the village
Oct. 12.
The Applebutter Fest will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., featuring historical re-enactments, pioneer
demonstrations, crafts, music, food and, of course, apple butter.
Approximately 2,500 pints of the sweet, gooey concoction are prepared for sale on the day of the event –
with enthusiasts often lining up well in advance of sale times to make sure they get theirs.
Volunteers at the event can be seen near the village hall stirring large 50-gallon kettles of apple
butter – comprised of cider, apples and sugar simmered together for hours – over open fires on-site; to
do so, they utilize long, specially-made wooden paddles. Other batches of apple butter are prepared
before the Fest, during the "Big Stir" event held at the farm of Steve and Pat Kryder, near
McClure. The Kryder family recipe is used.
About 125 bushels of apples are used in cooking the apple butter sold at the Fest.
Sales of the pints of apple butter usually approach $14,000 each year; those funds benefit churches,
scouting organizations, and other community groups.
The Fest also features a juried crafts area in a number of categories, including home and Christmas
decor; glass, jewelry and floral; folk art, handmade soap and candles; handcrafted clothing and
accessories; quilted crafts and rugs; and woodcrafts, furniture and yard decor.
Living history demonstrations and encampments can be sighted along the canal towpath, including military
groups representing soldiers from a variety of eras. Cannon demonstrations take place throughout the day
over the Maumee River.
Musical acts, performing in three different areas, will play for audiences beginning at 9 a.m. Musical
styles will include Dixieland, bluegrass, and others.
Children’s entertainment will begin at 10 a.m. on the Lincoln Street Stage. Acts performing there will
include jugglers, comedians, clowns, musicians and storytellers.
Food vendors will be on hand, and downtown restaurants will also be open to patrons.