LISBON 35th Johnny Appleseed Festival to start at fairgrounds Friday

An apple foods cooking contest is a new event this year.
LISBON -- Apple pie, apple butter, apple fritters, apple dumplings and apple ice cream are just a few of the delights to be found here at the Johnny Appleseed Festival.
The 35th annual festival celebrating the apple and the life of John "Johnny Appleseed" Chapman will be Friday through Sunday at the Columbiana County Fairgrounds.
Vi Palmer, festival director, said to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the festival, former festival queens and Mr. Apple Bud and Miss Apple Blossom winners will be featured during Saturday's grand parade.
Queens are 15 to 17 and Mr. Apple Bud and Miss Apple Blossom winners are boys and girls 5 to 8.
Palmer said a new event for the festival this year is the apple foods cooking contest Saturday.
Contestants will prepare in advance various dishes that have apples as the main ingredient, which will then be judged for prizes.
Previously, the food contests were limited to apple pies, she said.
The annual quilt auction Sunday will also include sale of antiques. Both quilts and antiques must be registered in advance of the sale, and there will be no reserve bids taken for any item, Palmer said.
Dedicated to couple
The festival is dedicated to Fred and Mary Lutz of Lisbon who for 16 years have portrayed Johnny Appleseed and his sister, Mary. They will not participate this year due to ill health, Palmer said.
In years past, Fred walked through the crowds during the festival dressed in cutoff blue jeans, a burlap sack for a shirt, moccasins with no socks, and a metal pot on his head. He carried a walking stick in one hand and a Bible in the other, offering apples to visitors.
Dressed in similar fashion, he would visit area schools in the weeks before the festival, giving children Johnny Appleseed bookmarks.
Palmer said there is no way to thank Fred and Mary enough for their contributions. A small token of thanks will be a book in the hospitality tent visitors can sign to send will wishes to the Lutzes, she said.

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