Main Street’s the Main Thing: Apple Festival 2016, Hendersonville, North Carolina

Wanna try one?

Wanna try one?

If you’re a Jerry Lee Lewis fan, you’ve probably quoted this line before:  “There’s a whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on!”  And that would be true of the 70th Annual North Carolina Apple Festival in Hendersonville on Labor Day weekend.  What’s shakin’? Why apple trees, of course.  And you could get those red or green or yellow juicy delights at any of the 25 fantastic farm markets open during the festival.  You could also see a play at Flat Rock Playhouse, dine on pancakes at the Kiwanis or Lions Club or Elks Breakfast, or wave at the bands in the King Apple Parade.  But for us, Main Street was the Main Thing.

selling apples and apple products at the Hendersonville NC Apple Festival.

One of many booths selling apples and apple products at the Hendersonville NC Apple Festival.

It’s here that we found tent after tent with vendors selling everything from gutter guards to handmade soaps.

Booth filled with great looking hats invited folks in to "try one on"!

Booth filled with great looking hats invited folks in to “try one on”!

But they also sold what we came for:  apples.  Didn’t matter if you like Honeycrisp, Gala, Fuji, Rome, Golden Delicious, or Pink Lady.  They had ’em all.  So juicy and already lined up in bags or baskets to take to your car.

Baskets of apples ready for purchase at the Hendersonville Apple Festival.

Baskets of apples ready for purchase at the Hendersonville Apple Festival.

Plus, there was more to see and do than just crunch into apples.  The 35th Annual Henderson County Gem & Mineral Spectacular was going on, and the Mineral & Lapidary Museum trotted out their best geodes for all to see (and buy).

Geodes for sale!

Geodes for sale!

Or you could listen to music by the headline players every day of this four-day event on the big stage in the middle of Main.

Where the players play and the audience loves it!

Where the players play and the audience loves it!

Whole families gathered round the painted bears on Main Street — taking souvenir pictures of their trip to the Apple Festival.

Taking pictures with the bears on Main Street, Hendersonville, NC

Taking pictures with the bears on Main Street, Hendersonville, NC

And young and old tried their hand at winning a yellow rubber ducky by pounding the scale at the Hendersonville Police Department tent.

Sometimes it takes two to win a rubber ducky at the Hendersonville Police Dept. booth.

Sometimes it takes two to win a rubber ducky at the Hendersonville Police Dept. booth.

Two guys (well, they could have been girls) in blow-up costumes wobbled around, posed for pictures, and drew crowds at the Hendersonville Fire Department booth.

Firefighters in costume at Apple Festival 2016

Posing with the firefighters in costume at the Apple Festival.

We, of course, love food as well as the people serving it or eating it. So we became people watchers.  Now here’s a guy loving the festival and this roasted turkey leg.  (When asked how many years he had attended the festival, he answered, “This is my first time.” And when asked where he lived, he said, “Right here in Hendersonville.”) There’s a first time for everything.

Yum!  A big ol' turkey leg just off the roaster!

Yum! A big ol’ turkey leg just off the roaster!

And this lady was enjoying walking down Main Street eating a whole ear o’ corn with the husks wrapped up in a napkin.

Corn on the cob is pretty tasty!

Corn on the cob is pretty tasty!

But we couldn’t just stand around and watch people eat, now could we?  So we started with a baked apple turnover.  (Saving those calories by not eating fried! Right?)

Serving baked apple turnovers just as fast as he could scrape 'em off the baking sheet!

Serving baked apple turnovers just as fast as he could scrape ’em off the baking sheet!

Our favorite booth touted its origins in Paris, France, of all places.  It was mainly the draw of this French Apple Tarte that got my attention. (And money.)

Bert, on the other hand, gravitated toward this yummy, filling Apple Bread Pudding and washed it down with a Spicy Apple Slushy.

So enticing:  Apple Bread Pudding from the Paris Festival tent.

So enticing: Apple Bread Pudding from the Paris Festival tent.

There was no room for cider doughnuts after all that, no matter how nice this young lady was to us while filling an order for someone a little less full.

Smiling while serving -- this young lady worked fast to get hot doughnuts to hungry fairgoers.

Smiling while serving — this young lady worked fast to get hot doughnuts to hungry fairgoers.

Not all people on Main Street stayed alert and enthralled with the apple action, though. Perhaps even princesses need a nap every now and then.

Sometimes even Main Street can't keep you awake!

Sometimes even Main Street can’t keep you awake!

So put Labor Day on your calendar for next year.  The 71st Annual North Carolina Apple Festival will be in Hendersonville, North Carolina, in 2017, giving you enough time to lose a little before you visit the food booths on Main Street!

Kids loved these apple sippers at the Hendersonville Apple Festival 2016.

Kids loved these apple sippers at the Hendersonville Apple Festival 2016.

For more information:

North Carolina Apple Festival, Hendersonville, NC:  Labor Day weekend.  http://www.ncapplefestival.org/

Note to visitors:  Main Street not only has vendors set up in tents for the Apple Festival.  Retail stores along the street are also open, some with festival specials.  Numerous benches provide rest stops. Parking is available on side streets near Main Street manned by volunteers in vacant lots.  (Approximately $5.00 per day.)

Other events:  (Open orchards, pancake breakfasts, parade, exhibits, etc.) See listing on NC Apple Festival website.

About Oh, the Places We See

Met at University of Tennessee, been married for 47 years, and still passionate about travel whether we're volunteering with Habitat Global Village, combining work at Discovery with pleasure, or just seeing the world. Hope you'll join us as we try to see it all while we can!
This entry was posted in Festivals, North Carolina, Travel and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Main Street’s the Main Thing: Apple Festival 2016, Hendersonville, North Carolina

  1. The apple bread pudding looks delicious!!

  2. cwaugh212 says:

    Great post. We will have to try this next year.

  3. Reminded me of Apple Hill festivities outside of Placerville, Ca. that go on during September of every year. Hot apple pie and ice cream, mmm, mmm, good! And all of those other apple goodies. Couldn’t have resisted those donuts tho, Rusha, no matter how full I was. 🙂 –Curt

  4. Elizabeth Whire says:

    This is a remarkable site. So glad you have been fortunate to travel and see some awesome places. What a treasure this s for your children and grandchildren.

    Elizabeth White

  5. Martha Gill says:

    Your blog makes me want to go to Hendersonville this afternoon! I hope the local Chamber of Commerce sees your terrific photos and comments.

  6. Oh, I love a great festival…apples so yummy!

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