BY SHERI TRUSTY
Autumn doesn’t fully arrive in Northwest Ohio until the air turns a little crisper, withering cornfields start to fall under the blade of a combine, and the smell of apples fills the streets of the village during the Oak Harbor Apple Festival. The festival, which is organized and operated by the Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce, is in its 44th year.
The Oak Harbor Apple Festival will be held on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 14 – 15. Opening ceremonies will kick off the event on Oct. 14 at 9:30 a.m. Many popular traditions will return once again, including the Apple Festival Royalty Contest, the Apple Run 5K and Walk, the Apple Festival Car Show, amusement rides and games. Boy Scouts will stir homemade apple butter over open fires, and the event will feature over 120 food, craft and retail vendors.
A full schedule of events can be found at www.oakharborapplefestival.com.
“Our parade is always popular,” said Valerie Winterfield, the executive director of the Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce.
The chamber expects about 100 entries in the fair, including EMS vehicles, royalty floats, bands, and twirlers. Parade entries are accepted until the time the parade starts. Early registration can be made online on the Apple Festival website. Print registrations can also be downloaded on the site. Day-of registrations can be made at the entry table on the corner of Church and Railroad streets.
Political parade entries cost $25. All other entries are free. Thousands of people are expected to attend the parade.
“Our parade is a tradition for many people,” Winterfield said. “We’re known for having a good parade, so people come for that reason.”