Can you imagine a celebration revolving around one specific food spread? Well, Enon Apple Butter Festival majorly revolves around the canning and selling of apple butter. Enon is a small village that is a part of Springfield, Ohio, with just 2415 people. The Enon Historical Society preserves the history and heritage of Enon village along with serving Mad River Township.
The Enon Apple Butter Festival is all about canning and selling Apple Butter in an old fashioned way in six 50-gallon copper kettles cooked over open wood-burning fires. The Enon community’s historical society sponsors to host the annual Enon Apple Butter Festival. Read further to know what more happens at the Enon Apple Butter Festival.
History of the Festival
Apples have been a part of Enon, long before the tradition of Enon Apple Butter Festival started. How the festival comes into existence is an interesting story. Yet, there are certain unanswered questions over the years.
There is a travel journal left behind by Joseph Smith about the time in 1834 when he led Zion’s Camp to a dusty road between Springfield and Dayton. The Journal states that on May 16th, they were walking across the woods and stopped by a large farm.
Just near the road on the left side of the farm was a mound. It was sixty-feet in height containing human bones. Strangely, the mound was covered with apple trees and surrounded by beautiful oat fields.
Now, nobody knows who planted those apple trees. There can only be a few assumptions regarding it. Maybe the settlers who had come 35 years back then would have planted it, or Johnny Appleseed planted them during his trek.
The trees might have grown due to the discarded apple cores left behind by passersby. Whoever the reason for their existence, the apple trees nourished the settlers of the region.
In the year 1978, there still remained one original apple tree. The tree was on the public land, and so the Enon Community Historical Society started making apple butter from the bushels of apple.
Why Is the Festival Celebrated?
Enon Apple Butter Festival has lasted since the community decided to make the apple butter. 2020 marks the Enon Apple Butter Festivals 41st year. Now, the question remains as to why the making of apple butter was converted to the community?
The community works on funds, and the process of apple butter making in a huge copper kettle, just like traditional ways, became a fundraiser for the organization. They would choose a day wherein people will enjoy the entire afternoon as a community service project. Now, who would not like to witness a leisurely afternoon by taking in the freshness of butter the old-fashioned style.
Know about one of the festivals of Ohio, Just Here.
The Days and Time of the Festival
The Enon Apple Butter Festival is usually set-up for two days in the first half of the October month. It is usually organized during the second weekend of October. The opening ceremony begins at 10’O’O clock on a fresh Saturday morning.
The festival in the afternoon picks up the aroma of spices spread over the entire region. The people of the nearby village come together and enjoy the festival as a community.
Location of the Enon Apple Butter Festival
Earlier, the Apple Butter Festival was celebrated on the Village Green ground, which is just adjacent to a Government Center of Enon Village Hall. When the Enon Village Hall got renovated, utilizing most of the fest community, the community had to find some other place. A place that will keep up the spirit of history. The community people were lucky enough and found an excellent spot.
The Enon Apple Butter Festival is now hosted in South Xenia St. and on the grounds of Enon Elementary School, which is a part of the festival each year.
How Is Apple Butter Cooked and What Happens Then?
The society sponsors the annual Enon Apple Butter Festival, wherein they put up six huge copper kettles over the wood fires. The apple butter cooks in these copper pots for the entire 2-day festival. The community members start the first kettle while it is still dark.
The entire festival, the members rotate in turn to stir the apple butter with large wooden paddles. The visitors can stir the apple butter as per their wish with one of the members looking after them.
All the apple butter is brought to a very consistent and desired thickness. There are lots of tents at the festival wherein people of the local delicacy would be present. The apple butter is canned in glass mason jars with the community tag on it. After that, the selling of apple butter begins.
The tradition of canning the apple butter at Enon Apple Butter Festival is given in the hands of local delicacies so that they get a chance at being known to the residents as well as the tourists.
Check out the traditional recipe for cooking apple butter at home, just here.
What More for the Visitors?
The sponsors of the annual Enon Apple Butter Festival witnesses’ visitors in numbers of 8000 to 10,000 for the two days. Each year the annual attendance is estimated at 8-10,000, and the community sees a rise in the statistics.
The Enon Apple Butter Festival is a host to 100s of craftsmen and artists of the local region. These craft tents sell a priceless collection of handmade and handcrafted items. As the Enon Apple Butter Festival is hosted in the month of October, these craft tents become the first shopping option for Christmas gifts. The crafts are of homemade quality, as no manufactured items are allowed.
This festival has a food item in the center. So, is it possible to run a two-day festival without other delicacies? Absolutely not!
You would find lots of food booths while surfing through the craft tents. All these food booths offer a variety of old and favorite recipes for everyone.
The bean soup would tempt you, corn on the cob, grilled pork chops, cornbread, chicken and noodles, homemade fresh pies, funnel cakes, apple dumplings, walking tacos, sausages, hamburgers, peanuts, and much more. To add to the celebration mood, you can sample some freshly made apple fritters and do not forget to house a bottle of apple butter.
Check out this video of Enon Apple Butter Festival 2017 and get a little glimpse of what awaits for you.
Other Activities and Fun
The Enon Apple Butter Festival acts as a perfect opportunity to support the local Greenocommunity. The community gives them a chance to come forward and showcase the talent of students. The opening ceremony of the festival is carried on with zeal by the Greenon band and choir. Other school groups like cheerleading squad, athletic boosters, music band get a chance of fundraisers along with other food and craft booths.
There is a race sprint held on the morning of 2nd day of the festival. The race is 5 kilometers and begins around 9 PM. The route is laid in such a way that the runners pass across the mound and come around. This bears a reminder of the Enon Apple Butter Festival’s history.
The festival is adorned by the music from the past, which sets up a perfect weekend mood. With the school band and choir playing and the music community, the festival doesn’t get boring even for a single minute. If interested, you can be a vendor at the festival. But you’ll have to apply way before to get a chance.
The Barry Research Center, which is the headquarter of the Enon Historical Society, is open for the public during the festival times. The headquarters preserve many history books that reflect the old times of Enon and nearby areas. You can get a specific history book, “Our Heritage: Enon, Ohio and Mad River Township,” and drown yourself in the town’s pretty little history.
At the headquarters, you can find some holiday gifts, T-shirts, and sweatshirts that reflect the holiday spirit. The center of headquarters includes a historic log house and the large archaic Native American Adena Mound. This is the second-largest conical mound in Ohio and is Enon’s main attraction being at the center of the town.
At the time of the Enon Apple Butter Festival, you can go for viewing this historic mound. The apple butter is good, and along with it, there are tours of the pioneer house, which is just next to the mound. Isn’t it very convenient?
The enjoyment of the festival, seeing the mound and touring the pioneer house all at once. This fact decides the time to tour through these villages of Ohio. So, plan your tour during the holiday spirits of the region and stay for more festivals in the region related to Halloween around the same time of the year.
Note that the parking and entry at the Enon Apple Butter Festival are completely free of charge. No pets are allowed on the Festival Grounds.