Fall 2011 –
When most people think of Oxford’s annual Apple Butter Festival, they think of, well apple butter and apple products.
Instead, students and faculty alike should think of it as a community-gathering filled with great food, live animals, educational booths and, a chance to get to know the people who make Oxford their home for more than four years.
This year’s festival was last weekend, October 1 and 2. The festival ran from 10 am to 5 pm each day, and offered a wonderful historical and community experience for only $2 (children under 12 are free).
The festival is located at the Pioneer Farm, next to the Hueston Woods golf course. Basically, you just follow Brown Road for five miles coming out of Oxford and the farm is on your left.
All the attractions of the Pioneer farm are also available, and there is a two story, historic barn that is open to the public.
The barn features farm tools and equipment from almost any time period in Ohio history. A scenic view of the festival and the surrounding area is also available from the balcony of the barn.
Right outside the barn was a wonderful little paddock filled with two mother alpacas and their babies. This was the place to be for toddlers, who could not feed the alpacas enough hay.
With any alpaca farmer, comes a booth filled with lovely fuzzy items made with alpaca fleece. Even stuffed animals.
This was the start of many booths ran by local artists and residents allowing insight into their amazing talents. One exhibit in particular showcased animal pelts and almost anything made out of leather.
At the end of the row of booths was a Civil War reenactment camp filled with actors. Earlier they had been using an old cannon, which “shook your bones,” according to one woman.
They also had scheduled reenactments throughout the weekend, which was evident by the guns, bullets, and other Civil War gear strewn throughout the area. Along with the soldiers, there were women cooking on Civil War era pots and pans dressed in period costume.
Also being cooked in a large iron pot was the apple butter. Visitors were allowed to witness the entire process of its creation.
The apple butter was made in a large pot, and then poured into jars. The jars were then handed down a long line of people where they were sealed and put into boxes.
Someone would carry the boxes 10 feet to the booth where the apple butter was sold. Jugs of apple cider were also available, but the apple butter was the true show stealer. Everyone who went just had to have a jar.
If someone wanted to eat their apple butter right away, they could order some on a funnel cake. Hot apple cider was available at the food stand, along with baked potatoes, pulled pork sandwiches, hot dogs, popcorn, and other items that made the wind chill a little more tolerable.
So next October, brave the cold temperatures and go to a local event that offers delicious, fresh, and local apple products that also offers students a new appreciation for their community.
By: Ariana Williams