This Saturday, October 5th, the streets of downtown North Wilkesboro (the home of Dreamwalls) will be jam-packed! It won’t be bumper-to-bumper cars causing all of the commotion though; it will be vendors selling everything from homemade crafts & trinkets to yummy food–including all kinds of delicious apple concoctions. It’s the day when the streets & sidewalks are transformed into trails of fall goodness…..it’s the 34th annual Brushy Mountain Apple Festival!
The Brushy Mountain Apple Festival is one of the largest arts & crafts festivals in the Southeast, and each year over 160,000 people head to small town North Wilkesboro to take part in the FREE celebration. The festivities actually start on Friday night with the Apple Jam. It’s a musical event in downtown and it’s the annual kick-start to the festival. This year, the NC based bluegrass group BACKSTREET will be performing. Then, come Saturday morning, the main event beings! There are over 425 craft vendors, 100 concession stands and 4 different music stages at the apple festival. My mom and I like to go early, do a little shopping, grab a bite to eat while tapping our feet along to some good music, and then do a little more shopping!
Of course, the festival wouldn’t be complete without the guest of honor…..apples! NC ranks 7th in apple production in the United States, and the 4 main apple varieties grown in NC are Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Rome Beauty & Galas (my personal favorite). Big apples, little apples, sweet apples, sour apples, no matter what kind of apple you prefer, you’ll find it at the festival. Along with the delicious apple treats sold at concession stands (like the homemade apple pies which ALWAYS have a long line), local apple farms have booths dispersed all throughout the streets. Purchasing bags of apples, cider or other homemade treats is a great way to support the local economy and our local farmers. Wilkes is one of 4 counties in NC where, annually, 4 million bushels are produced, so it’s no wonder the apples around here are so delicious! There’s a reason why they say “an apple a day….”. Apples have many health benefits and practical uses. I learned just this week that you can bake a cake (like this yummy caramel apple cake from The Food Network) and then keep that same cake from getting stale by using an apple slice. With all of the cakes I bake, that’s a really good tip to know and the festival is the perfect place to load up on some fresh apples to use!
No matter what you do this weekend, I hope you all have bushels of fun!