BY LINDSAY MCCOY
Times Bulletin News Writer
VAN WERT - It is time for another festival and the Apple Festival is here just in time. The 26th annual Van Wert County Apple Festival will be making its way to the Van Wert County Fairgrounds this weekend, Oct. 19-20. This year's festival will be dedicated to John and Gloria Ruddock for their years of dedication to this event. Gary Adams will serve as master of ceremonies for the festival.Admission and parking for the festival will be free along with wagon rides and many other forms of entertainment for the entire family to enjoy.
The Apple Festival will begin Friday, Oct. 19, at 11 a.m. and will be open until 9 p.m. Friday night. Crafts, delicious food, and produce will be available all day in all buildings. From 4-6 p.m., flu shots will be available in the Administration Building. From 6-8 p.m. on the Junior Fair Building stage Blind Date Band will be performing. Trinity will be performing on the stage following Blind Date Band from 8-9 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 20, all buildings will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Homestead Donkeys and Petting Zoo will be available for viewing pleasure during this time. Special entertainment on the Junior Fair Building stage will include Katlyn Wendel from 9-9:30 a.m., Kim Hohman's Dance Works from 10-11 a.m., Pam's School of Dance from 12:30-1:30 p.m., and Nancy & Company from 2:30-4 p.m.
At 11:30 a.m. at the North Gate, the Mile Fun Run will begin. This will be the twenty-third year of the festival's mile run. Registration for the event will begin an hour beforehand at 10 a.m. The course will be entirely within the fair grounds starting and finishing by the gate at Park Street. There will be three separate runs for different age groups including ages eight and below at 11 a.m., ages nine and ten at 11:20 a.m., and ages 11 through sixth grade at 11:40. Parents are invited to run with their younger children and do not need to register.
All runners will receive a ribbon for participating in the run. The first boy and girl finisher in each run will receive a trophy that will be awarded at noon following the last run. Second place boy and girl will receive a medal.
Cider and fresh fruit will be available to all runners after the run. All runners will be eligible for a variety of door prizes. Drawings will be at noon following the races, and runners must be present to claim their prize. This year's fun runs are sponsored by the Van Wert Area Fruit Growers Association.
Wagon rides, apple butter cookin', fresh caramel corn makin', flint knapper Harold Elam, maple syrup cookin', and pony rides will be available all day, both days. The Agricultural Building will be hosting the Van Wert County Art Show, kids games, and a working model train display. Shutterbug Studio of Van Wert will be available to take fall portraits in the Administration Building. Packages will be available for $20-$35. It will also be a time to schedule Christmas portraits as well as check out the businesses large display of pictures.
Produce and food will be available from Adam's Apples, Lincoln Highway Country Store, Lape's Orchard, Ruddock Orchard, Native American Mobile Cafe, and Gamble's Produce.