Applefest Organizers Declare A Success in 2017

| October 11, 2017

FRANKLIN, Pa. (EYT) – With great weather and large crowds for the three-day Applefest event, the organizers declared the annual occasion a success.

(Photos by Greg Knox of Bright Ideas Learning Center & Photography.)

The 35th Annual Applefest kicked off on Friday, October 6, in downtown Franklin.

“We had great weather for all three days, the vendors and businesses were happy and we had great crowds, so it was definitely a success,” said Jodi Lewis, Franklin Chamber of Commerce Executive Director.

Lewis said the apple pancake breakfast was a big hit and the car cruise was a popular attraction.

“We also have a lot to be happy about with the city police and fire police who work on traffic control and all the volunteers who make it happen,” Lewis said.

“Most people come out to eat, but we’ve always tried to make sure there is something for everyone and that an entire family can enjoy themselves,” Lewis said.

In fact, approximately 100,000 people attended the three-day celebration.

More than 300 craft and food vendors, as well as live entertainment, highlighted the weekend.

The weekend event began as a pie-eating contest in 1982 and has grown to one of rural Pennsylvania’s biggest events. However, its true roots were found in the fabled folk hero John “Johnny Appleseed” Chapman, who lived in the Franklin area from 1797 to 1804. Chapman planted apple trees throughout the area and across the Midwest.

According to its website,, more than 30 years ago, a newcomer to the Franklin area, Mrs. Lee Chapman, no relation to John Chapman, was impressed with the abundance of red apples that grew in the Franklin area and visited the Franklin Area Chamber of Commerce office expressing “enchantment” with the area.

Coming from an arid region of South Africa, Chapman was especially impressed and thought the apples should be celebrated and would make a fabulous basis for an event that could help improve the spirits and instill some old-fashioned community pride in the residents who had been hard hit by an economic downturn.

Combining Mrs. Chapman’s suggestion with the area’s historical link to the fabled folk hero Johnny Appleseed, the idea for Applefest was born.

According to Lewis, the Applefest Core Committee works for nearly a year planning the event, and she is proud to call it a “well-oiled machine.”

This year Applefest achieved the recognition of by being added to the “Fall Festivals in PA You Don’t Want to Miss” List.

Lewis said next year’s Applefest is scheduled for October 5-7.

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