FIRST FES­TI­VAL TOOK PLACE IN 1976

Washington County Enterprise-Leader - - APPLE FESTIVAL -

Edi­tor’s note: This brief history of the first fes­ti­val was printed in a 1976 Arkansas Ap­ple Fes­ti­val brochure. Af­ter more than a year of plan­ning, the first an­nual Arkansas Ap­ple Fes­ti­val will be the ful­fill­ment of a dream long-held by many Lin­coln res­i­dents.

The dream be­gan in­de­pen­dently in the minds of those who wanted to see Lin­coln rec­og­nized as a friendly com­mu­nity in beau­ti­ful North­west Arkansas that res­i­dents of the area know it to be. An an­nual cel­e­bra­tion invit­ing vis­i­tors from all over seemed to be the key.

A de­ci­sion on the fo­cal point of such a cel­e­bra­tion was easy to make. As the ap­ple cap­i­tal of Arkansas, Lin­coln al­ready at­tracted thou­sands of vis­i­tors an­nu­ally to par­take of the lo­cal va­ri­ety of ap­ples, sweet cider and de­li­cious ap­ple dumplings. The ap­ple in­dus­try in Lin­coln of­fered the per­fect rea­son for a fes­ti­val.

But these thoughts re­mained only a dream un­til mid-1975, when ac­tion be­gan trans­form­ing the idea into re­al­ity. Talk turned to ef­fort, and nine Lin­coln res­i­dents formed the Arkansas Ap­ple Fes­ti­val Com­mit­tee to co­or­di­nate the plans. With a de­sire to make the first fes­ti­val a rous­ing suc­cess, the com­mit­tee de­cided to sched­ule the first a full year ahead in 1976, giv­ing am­ple time for prepa­ra­tion.

That 1976 just hap­pens to be the nation’s Bi­cen­ten­nial was an added bonus for the first an­nual Arkansas Ap­ple Fes­ti­val. While the coun­try as a whole was cel­e­brat­ing its rich her­itage, Lin­coln would be­gin a last­ing trib­ute to a vi­tal part of the lo­cal history, the ap­ple in­dus­try.

Through the ded­i­ca­tion of the many men and women who worked to­ward this big event, the dream will be re­al­ized Oct. 7-10. This, the first an­nual Arkansas Ap­ple Fes­ti­val, prom­ises to be worth the wait.

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