Crowds estimated at more than 30,000 are expected to descend upon the Seymour square this Thursday, Friday and Saturday for the 47th annual Seymour Apple Festival.
They will come for the arts and crafts; more than 160 booths will be set up around the square, including 42 in three huge craft tents inside the square.
They will come for the food, including the ever-popular corndogs, barbecued chicken, smoked pork, caramel apples and the refreshing “apple slush,” all served by the Seymour Merchants’ Association, sponsor of the festival since its inception in 1973.
And many will come for the hours of free, something-foreveryone entertainment over a three-day period.
The festival offi cially opens for business at 9 a.m. Thursday morning when Beverly Barlow’s corndog booth begins serving its magical treats on stick with the festival’s secret batter.
Music starts at 4:30 p.m. that day when “Bert Smith & The Walk” takes the stage in the gazebo for a performance to last 1-1/2 hours, followed by the “Abundance Quartet” gospel group at 7:30 p.m. on the main stage.
On Friday, the group “Old-Time Grass” plays in the gazebo from 4 to 7 p.m., with “Makenna & Brock” on the main stage at 7:30 p.m. that evening.
“The Isaac Kenneth Band” is the first musical performer on Saturday.
The group plays from 4 to 7 p.m. in the gazebo.
Then at 7:30 p.m., “The Mark Chapman Band,” a previous festival performer, takes the main stage and will play until the three-day celebration ends around 11 p.m.
The festival, one of the Ozarks’ largest, celebrates the annual apple harvest of the Seymour area, known as “The Land Of The Big Red Apple” since the first orchards were set out in the 1840s.
Although the orchards no longer exist here, the festival itself has grown over the past five decades, with the largest crowds present on Saturday.
Highlights for the festival include the crowning of the Seymour Apple Princess at 9 p.m. Friday, the annual parade at 10 a.m. Saturday, the apple-peeling contest at 1 p.m. that afternoon, followed by the contest awards and benefit auction for the apple-baking contest at 3 p.m.
On Thursday, the annual pet show is set for 6 p.m. in the park’s gazebo, with the winners selected by members of the Seymour FFA chapter.
The annual Johnny Appleseed and bicycle-decorating contests arrive Saturday morning. Turtle races on the west side of the square start at 11 a.m. Saturday.
Best of all is the festival’s food, sought by visitors from many states for its once-a-year fare.
Barlow’s special corndogs are served from the festival’s start to finish.
On Friday, smoked-pork sandwiches will be served at the “chicken shack,” with the pork and barbecued chicken served all day on Saturday, beginning at 11 a.m.
The full schedule of events can be found on an advertisement in this week’s newspaper. The schedule also is located inside the 12-page special section inside this edition. This can be found on our website at www.webstercountycitizen.com at http://digital.webstercountycitizen.com/AppleFestival
Additional information can be found at the festival’s website at www.seymourapplefestival.com. The festival also has a Facebook page that is frequently updated during the event’s three days.
In case of inclement weather, the festival will be held.
The entire festival is held on the Seymour square with no exceptions.
A special treat for this year’s festival visitors will be an appearance late Saturday afternoon by Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, who will stay for about an hour. He will speak to attendees around 5:30 p.m. in the gazebo.