The festival will donate a portion of the proceeds to disaster relief efforts.
By NANCY TULLIS
VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU
LISBON -- Patriotism and remembrance will be the theme of the 34th annual Johnny Appleseed Festival, which opens tonight.
A candlelight service for victims of last week's terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C., will be at 8 p.m. Friday.
Also on Friday, area police, fire and emergency medical services will display equipment, and EMS personnel will offer free blood pressure checks.
The festival committee will donate a portion of the proceeds to disaster relief efforts, as will festival vendors, said event coordinator Vi Palmer.
If any area firefighters or EMS personnel are chosen to assist in New York City or Washington, D.C., money donated at the festival could be used to help pay their expenses, she said.
There will also be a collection jug at the Lisbon Police Department's dunk tank for cash donations, and festival visitors may also donate items such as paper cups, paper towels, etc. No food or clothing will be accepted, Palmer said.
Events: New events at the festival include a penny auction Saturday and antiques appraisals Sunday.
The penny auction will be in the floral hall at 7 p.m. Saturday, and visitors who want to be seated must bring their own lawn chair, Palmer said. Among the items visitors may bid on are new bicycles and a barbecue grill, she said.
Visitors may bring up to three antiques to be appraised by Bassinger Auction Service at $5 per item. Palmer noted the auctioneers are donating their services, so the fee will benefit the festival and disaster relief funds.
Also new to the festival is the Little Tikes contest, which replaces the Little Miss Apple Blossom and Little Mr. Apple Bud contests.
Instead of children of all ages competing for the titles by collecting money -- each penny counted as one vote -- participants pay a $5 entrance fee and two boys and two girls will be chosen from various age categories, Palmer said.
As they have for many years, Lisbon residents Fred and Mary Lutz will once again portray Johnny Appleseed and his sister, Elizabeth. They will greet festival visitors and distribute free apples.