Applefest returns to Wellsburg | News, Sports, Jobs

Warren Scott ORIGIN OF THE FESTIVAL – A few years ago, children from a local school performed a play about Johnny “Appleseed” Chapman at the Wellsburg Applefest. Chapman has reportedly provided seeds for the Grimes Golden apple first planted in Wellsburg, the inspiration for the annual festival, which returns Friday through Sunday.

WELLSBURG – For over 40 years, the Wellsburg Applefest has offered a variety of food, entertainment and activities for all ages in the downtown business district.

The annual festival will return, after a one-year hiatus imposed by the pandemic, from Friday to Sunday.

Many food and craft vendors are expected along Charles Street while a variety of artists will appear in the town square.

The square will also be the Saturday site of stalls operated by vendors ages 15 and under, who are invited to sell baked goods, Girl Scout cookies and other foods; flea market and other items.

Young people are asked to settle in between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. that day.

There is no charge for youth-run kiosks, which have been added in recent years to encourage children and teens to develop entrepreneurial skills. Those interested in participating should call (304) 737-1599.

Led by Ernie Jack and Frank Johnson, the volunteer committee behind the festival has added a scholarship program in recent years, with $ 500 awarded to each of the seven local students this year; and an Easter egg hunt in a local park.

The festival itself has been a favorite among families, with plenty for all ages.

In addition to free face painting, courtesy of Main Street Bank; there will be inflatable rides and pony rides for the kids.

Chainsaw sculptor Jeff Roscoe will create intricate depictions of wildlife creatures from wood stumps, for much of the weekend.

Area pet owners of all ages are welcome to bring their pets to the animal show which will take place on the grassy field near Sixth and Charles streets at 11 a.m. on Saturday.

The Applefest committee has once again partnered with the Brooke County Public Library to host a pumpkin decorating contest for young people. Saturday afternoon.

To arrange pickup, call (304) 737-1551 or (304) 527-0860 or visit

A pumpkin carving competition for young people, using safety knives, will also be held at this time.

On opening day, singer-keyboardist Marvin Whiteman will be in attendance at 2:00 pm; vocal duo Roz and Lynn at 4 p.m. and Reflections, a local band performing a mix of music from the 1950s to the present day, at 6 p.m.

Saturday’s program will feature energetic apostolics from the Ohio Valley Church Choir at 10:30 am; Applefest Pageant winners’ coronation at noon, which took place earlier; senior Brooke-Hancock dancers at 1 p.m. tribute to Elvis to artist Robert Dale at 2 pm; singer-guitarist Mark Henderson at 3:00 p.m.; the Studio Band B dance team at 4 p.m. singer Toni Gray at 5:00 p.m. singer Johnna Leary at 6 p.m. and the Russ Buchanan Band, with their mix of country and rock and roll, at 7 p.m.

Sunday performers include: singer-guitarist KaeLeigh Feltner at noon: Troubador RJ Gaudio at 1 pm; dancers Brenda Casey at 3 p.m. and classic and original country and spiritual music by Chelsea Matta Householder and Margi Keller at 4 p.m.

Festival goers will also find a variety of foods, including apples sold in many forms, including apple cider by the glass or by the gallon.

The festival was inspired by the Grimes Golden apple variety, a parent of Golden Delicious, which was discovered at Thomas Grimes’ farm off National Highway 27. The seeds for the fruit were reportedly provided by Johnny “Knobs” Chapman, a legendary figure who was a real person known for planting apple trees in five states and Ontario while sharing the Christian gospel.

(Scott can be contacted at [email protected])

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