The Unicoi County Chamber of Commerce will hold its 41st annual Unicoi County Apple Festival on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 5 and 6, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day in downtown Erwin, Tenn.
The festival, drawing more than 110,000 annual attendees, has been consistently named one of the Southeast Tourism Society’s Top 20 events in the southeast and is a four-year winner of the Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association’s Pinnacle Award. The premier two-day event offers something for everyone — handmade crafts, antiques, entertainment, a large children’s area, a Blue Ridge Pottery show and sale, contests and a smorgasbord of food!
The craft festival, which features more than 350 vendors from around the country, will be lined along the downtown streets of Erwin showcasing their unique arts, crafts and foods.
Three stages consisting of entertainment will be included in this year’s festival. Both Friday and Saturday, top gospel groups will praise the Lord in song on the Love Street Stage. The Gay Street Stage will feature a variety of indie, acoustic, country, coverbands and rockers. The Gathering Place Park Stage will showcase Bluegrass artists, as well as festival announcements, contest winners, dancing, individual performers and more.
Bring your appetite and let it have a festival. You can enjoy everything from Chinese to Greek foods, traditional foods such as barbecue, homemade hamburgers and hot wings to apple pies and apple dumplings. For your convenience, three food courts, including tables and chairs, have been established.
The large children’s area is a festival within a festival, uniquely designed for the young festival-goers, complete with rides, games, concessions and much more. Located in the parking lot of Erwin Town Hall, the 2016 festival children’s area, sponsored by the Unicoi County Family YMCA, will feature exciting attractions, including The Fun Factory’s Adrenalin Rush, Bungee Run, Joust, Saber-Tooth Tiger Slide, Bungee Trampoline and the King Kong Slide. Children and adults of all ages are invited to participate. The train ride, a children’s favorite from years past, will also be part of this year’s events.
To enliven one’s competitive spirit, the Unicoi County Apple Festival includes many activities and contests. The Miss Apple Festival Pageant, where “Pageant Queens” will be crowned in nine age divisions, will take place on Saturday, Sept. 29 at the Unicoi County High School auditorium. Boys and girls under age five will have the opportunity to vie for the title of Apple Dumpling of the Year in the annual Apple Dumpling Contest fundraiser. Runners from across the country will converge on the streets of Erwin for the running of the Nuclear Fuel Services Apple Festival 4-mile footrace and 2-mile race walk. The UT Extension Apple Cooking Contest will take place on Friday, October 5.
The festival spans across a 5-block section of downtown Erwin and includes adjoining side streets. From Interstate 26, take Exit 37 into downtown Erwin. Several parking areas around Exit 37 have been secured for festival attendees.
To ensure the safety of the large number of attendees, festival organizers ask that you please do not bring pets onto the festival grounds. Bicycles and skateboards are also not permitted on festival grounds.
Don’t forget to mark your calendars for two-days of Apple Festival fun in Erwin, Tennessee! For more information, call the Unicoi County Chamber of Commerce at (423) 743-3000, visit the website at www. unicoicounty.org or stop by the Chamber office located at 100 South Main Ave.