Apple & Pork has just completed its 49th continuous festival. Community festivals pop and die all the time across this country and state. Forty-nine years is simply a remarkable achievement. I seriously doubt that the C. H. Moore Homestead and Museum Board comprehended how good their idea for a harvest festival was at its inception.
The Homestead Association designed Apple and Pork to be a celebration of harvest and community. It is not a carnival or Broadway show. Apple & Pork celebrates local events and for a farming community apples and pork represent the fall harvest as good as you can get. The hog is butchered and then made into sandwiches or ham and beans. The apples are harvested and either made into cider or cooked. The cooking is done over an open fire. The children run around with their friends and the adults talk about the harvest and plans for next year. Apple & Pork is simplistic Americana at its finest.
Some years the festival is rained on. Some years you may need a coat. This year we had oppressive heat for the first time in my 26 years of attending Apple & Pork. So be it. A & P is the 4th full weekend in September and the Homestead is going to have a celebration. The date is fixed and the community and our neighbors know when A & P is going to be held. Weather and Mother Nature are always present in the format Mother Nature chooses. That’s life. We have had far more great weather weekends that bad weather weekends over the years.
Apple & Pork was designed to be on the Homestead grounds and with food sales to benefit the C. H. Moore Homestead and the local not for profits that prepared the food. That concept has worked wonderfully for all of its 49 years. Even with the heat, the public still came out. Yes, attendance was down this year and so were sales. I worked in the Kiwanis tent making funnel cakes. Hot funnel cakes do not sell well on 95degree days. That is simply part of life. Those selling ice cream and cold cider were doing a little better than us on the marketing end, Next year may be cool and we will sell more funnel cakes. Again, that is life. What matters is that the community comes together and put on a festival for all. That is good and needs our continued support as a community.
I do have a couple of concerns that need mentioning. A look at the community groups selling food on the Homestead grounds was somewhat disconcerting. I didn’t see a lot of young adults working the food tents. The workers that I saw appeared to be in their 50’s and 60’s, if not older. The community needs more young adults to be involved in their local churches and civic groups to maintain the festival.
Lastly, the concept of Apple & Pork was to celebrate the harvest and our history on the Homestead grounds. The “on the grounds” part is changing. Apple & Pork flowed over into Center Street and now even encompasses the area by the Antique Mall on Route 51. I fully understand that others want to dovetail on the Homestead’s concept and make some money on Apple & Pork weekend. That is their legal right. However there is an adverse effect to the Homestead when events are not on the Homestead grounds. We must also realize that it is the Homestead that markets the event. The capitalist in me detests regulation, but sometimes it is warranted. The City and County both have increased costs during Apple & Pork weekend providing security and crowd control. Perhaps over the winter would be a good time to look again at the prospect of charging fees and regulating the numerous for profit vendors that are dove-tailing on the back of the Homestead’s efforts. Food for thought.
THE CALVERTS—Two weeks ago Sue Calvert came to the Kiwanis meeting to tell us about Angel Tree, Samaritan Room and Write Stuff for Kids. I have so much respect for Sue Calvert and all of those associated with these groups. There are many many children in Clinton and DeWitt County that simply would not have school supplies, a warm coat or shoes, but for the efforts of these organizations. Please support these groups as they are truly a blessing for so many of our neediest children.
As is customary at Kiwanis, we provided our speaker, Sue Calvert, with supper as prepared by the American Legion. Sue then mentioned that this was her thirtieth wedding anniversary with her husband, Alex. Regrettably, my thought strayed from this remarkable woman’s presentation to Alex. What was so important that Alex would not be with his lovely bride on their anniversary? I immediately thought that he must have found the cure for his follicle impairment, but alas when I saw him later in the week his head glistened. I would urge any of you that know Alex to remind him that he has blown it and the least he can do is take his lovely bride out to dinner at a restaurant of her choosing and provide a minimum of 30 roses prior to the meal.
Thanks to the Homestead Association and Sue Calvert for your efforts on behalf of this community.