Apple Festival Dream Becomes Reality In 1976
Editor’s note: The following is the article on the front page of the Lincoln Leader printed in 1976, declaring that the “First Apple Festival (is) Ready.”
LINCOLN — What began as a dream in mid-1975 will become a reality tonight when the four-day festivities of the first annual Arkansas Apple Festival begins.
After more than a year of planning, this celebration will be the result of countless hours of work by many men and women who wanted to see Lincoln recognized as the Apple Capital of Arkansas.
Tonight, at 7:30, 19 girls between the ages of 15 and 19 will gather at the Lincoln School Cafetorium to compete for the title of Miss Apple Harvest. This beauty pageant, sponsored by the Mrs. Jaycees of Lincoln will kickoff the Apple Festival celebration.
Contestants will be judged on the basis of beauty, poise, personality and talent. Out-of-town judges assigned the task of choosing the first Apple Harvest Queen are Marilyn Edwards, Pat Lewis, Ken Coon, George and Evelyn Jones and Lynn Parks.
The belle selected as Miss Apple Harvest Queen will receive a trophy and a $100 savings bond. She will be the grand marshal at the festival parade. Second and third place runners-up will receive trophies and a $25 savings bond.
The west side of the town square will be roped off tonight at 9 p.m. for a street square dance. Adult square dance groups from all over northwest Arkansas will be on hand to demonstrate the traditional square dance which has been an important part of American life since the early pioneer days.
Mrs. Eddie Morris, director of the street dance, announced this week music for the event will be provided by the Ozark Country Playboys. She invites everyone to bring their chairs and blankets and watch the many groups who will be performing. Admission to the street dance is free.
Thursday evening also marks the opening of the Jaycee-sponsored carnival booths. All proceeds from the booths will be used to complete the Lincoln City Park.
Friday morning at 10 a.m., approximately 68 booths will open for the arts and crafts fair segment of the festival. The booths will be located in the park on the town square and will feature all types of art forms such as leather craft, hand-thrown pottery, wood carving, sand painting, china painting, tole painting, basket weaving and quilts. Other items which may be purchased during the arts and crafts fair are purses, homemade dolls, dried apple dolls, plaster and ceramic items, apple jelly, apple butter, apple pies and apple omelets.
“The response to the arts and crafts fair is far more than I ever anticipated,” said the fair chairman, Sharon Swain.
The arts and crafts booths will be open October 8 and 9 from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.
The Lincoln American Legion Beaty Bibb Post 171 will host the first annual Apple Harvest Ball at the Legion Hut on Friday night starting at 9 p.m. Post Commander Bill Rodgers announced music for the ball will be provided by the New Muskrat Ramblers. Admission to the dance is $2 per person.
Saturday, October 9 is slated to be the biggest day of events during the festival. Attractions include youth square dance exhibitions from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on the west side of the square.
Mary Francis Daugherty, coordinator of this event, said approximately 35 dance groups will be performing.
The Arkansas Artmobile, an exhibition gallery in miniature, featuring American folk art from 1790 to 1970, will be open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The display includes works from the National Gallery’s Edgar William and Bernice Chrysler Garbisch collection. The 40-foot mobile unit, which houses the display, contains museum-type walls and specially designed lighting.
Mr. and Mrs. Will Huenefeld are in charge of the artmobile while it is in Lincoln. Admission to the miniature art gallery is free.
At high noon on Saturday, visitors at the Apple Festival will be able to watch, or participate in, the first Apple Core Throwing contest. Frank Holt, prominent apple grower, has volunteered his services and those of his antique apple coring machine for this event. With the aid of this unique machine, Holt will be able to uniformly core apples which participants in the contest will use to try and obtain a world record for tossing. This test of strength, accuracy, aerodynamics and luck will take place on the north side of the square in front of the Summers Butane office.
Trophies, which have been provided by Holt, will be given to winners in four categories: Males under 12 and males over 12; females under 12 and females over 12. Entry fee for this big sporting event is 25 cents a core.
The Arkansas Apple Festival parade will begin at 3 p.m. Saturday. Parade entrants in nine categories will be vying for the 18 trophies which have been donated by the Lincoln office of American Savings and Loan Association. This year’s parade theme is “Apples on Parade.” Marching bands, floats, clowns, van clubs, antique cars and a miniature muledrawn buckboard are just a few of the parade features.
All groups and organizations wishing to participate in the parade must have their entry forms in to Mrs. Ina Faye Hudgens at the Bank of Lincoln by 3 p.m. on Friday.
Highlight of Saturday’s Apple Festival activities will be the concert performance of country-western superstar David Allan Coe. Coe will appear at the Lincoln “Wolves Den” gymnasium at 8 p.m.
Advance tickets for the one-performance concert are on sale at many Lincoln businesses. Tickets will be on sale at a special booth Friday and Saturday of the festival.
Advance tickets are $4 for adults and $2 for children under 12. Tickets purchased at the door on Saturday night will cost $5 for adults and $3 for children under 12.
Sunday’s festival activities include the day-long arts and crafts fair and an afternoon hootenanny to be held at the gazebo on the square. The musical event is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. Artists who have already volunteered to perform at the hootenanny are The Fairfield Travelers, the Golden Harvest Quartet, the Calvary Echoes, Buster Johnson and the American Patriots.
The planning is over. The first annual Arkansas Apple Festival is just a few hours away.
The Apple Festival committee, which is headed by Ronnie Allen, invites everyone to attend this long awaited event which marks the end of the Bicentennial activities for the city of Lincoln.
“The planning is over. The first annual Arkansas Apple Festival is just a few hours away.”