FIRST FESTIVAL TOOK PLACE IN 1976
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.