A Slice Of Ap­ple Pie


Washington County Enterprise-Leader - - FRONT PAGE - By Denise Ne­mec

LIN­COLN — Floats in cheer­ful autumn col­ors in­cluded lots of hay bales for young­sters and adults to sit on…cheer teams ral­lied atop fire trucks…an­tique cars tooled slowly along… veter­ans smiled and waved from their wagon… high school and rodeo roy­alty were car­ried on wheels or hooves… politi­cians run­ning for elec­tion or re-elec­tion adorned con­vert­ibles… the Lin­coln High School march­ing band strut­ted its stuff… and a bri­gade of trac­tors and horse riders rum­bled and clat­tered along.

All of­fer­ing a slice of home­town pie, ap­ple pie, of course.

It was Satur­day morn­ing at the 43rd an­nual Arkansas Ap­ple Fes­ti­val.

Mar­garet Chof­fel of Fayet­teville, Ark., said the last time she saw the Ap­ple Fes­ti­val pa­rade was about 30 years ago with her boys. She said she has at­tended the fes­ti­val other times since then, but she never made it in time for the pa­rade. She said the pa­rade’s va­ri­ety, charm and au­then­tic­ity made her “smile the whole time.”

The 30-minute pa­rade aside, Lin­coln Square was alive with ac­tiv­ity.

Along­side booths of­fer­ing cider sam­ples, fresh ap­ple slices, bags of ap­ples sold by Lin­coln Ma­sonic Lodge #615, and fried ap­ple pies and dumplings were booths sell­ing a wide va­ri­ety of items.

Fes­ti­val vis­i­tors could browse through around 100 ven­dor tents with can­dles, soaps, home­made leather belts and brooms, home

decor, cloth­ing, es­sen­tial oils, knives, leather goods, scarves, tex­tiles, hand­i­work, art, jew­elry, artists cre­at­ing car­i­ca­tures or more flat­ter­ing sketches, walk­ing sticks and canes, bird­houses, wreaths, toys, sea­sonal items and much more.

Rhonda Hulse, who vol­un­teers as one of the co-chair­women for the Ap­ple Fes­ti­val, said she was pleased with the va­ri­ety of ven­dor of­fer­ings and with how many of the ven­dors were true crafters and ar­ti­sans who make their own wares.

Kim Huch­ing­son with South­ern Fried Pies of Hot Springs was one of the ven­dors mak­ing her own wares.

She said she can hon­estly say her pies are “Grandma made” be­cause her 95-yearold grand­mother still helps make the fried pies.

“Peo­ple some­times cry when they eat our pies. They say, ‘I never thought I’d ever taste a fried pie like my mama or grandma used to make.’”

She and her helpers use dried fruit in their fruit pies. The dough is made from scratch and rolled out, not stamped.

With the craft and other ven­dors tak­ing up the square, food trucks, bouncy houses and shaded seat­ing were sit­u­ated along the perime­ter of the square, and the an­nual break­fast in the Lin­coln Se­nior Cen­ter looked like it was do­ing brisk busi­ness just be­fore the pa­rade.

Dark clouds moved in from time to time but of­fered only scat­tered, light sprin­kles, just enough to keep the dust down and tem­per the air.

The rea­sons peo­ple said they came to the Ap­ple Fes­ti­val largely fell into two cat­e­gories: ei­ther they like ap­ples or they like the so­cial­iza­tion and the event’s friendly, com­mu­nity feel.

By noon, the pa­rade crowd was mostly gone, but more peo­ple were stream­ing in, with a rough es­ti­mate of close to a thou­sand peo­ple at­tend­ing, just Satur­day morn­ing. The fes­ti­val, al­ways held on the first week­end in Oc­to­ber, be­gan Fri­day and con­tin­ued Sun­day.

Chof­fel left just be­fore the noon ap­ple core throw­ing con­test. She said she was dis­ap­pointed she didn’t get fresh pork rinds, one of the rea­sons she said she has come in the past, but she was loaded down with a gal­lon of fresh-pressed, un­fil­tered ap­ple cider, a bag of ket­tle corn, a bag of Arkansas Black ap­ples and three or four Christ­mas gift pur­chases.

And she was still smil­ing.


Lin­coln Fire Chief Wil­lie Lem­ing was one of many vol­un­teers at the Ap­ple Fes­ti­val over the three­day week­end. Lem­ing vol­un­teered to slice fresh ap­ples to hand out to vis­i­tors. See more pho­tos from this week­end’s Ap­ple Fes­ti­val on page 6A.

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