Reid's Apple Festival returns Saturday

Photo by Greg Eans, Messenger-Inquirer.com/geans@messenger-inquirer.com John Parson sews a broom made from broom corn to make it flat while working in a booth that he and his wife, Claudie Parson, have set up to sell items at the Apple Festival at Reid’s Orchard on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017.

Reid's Orchard's 34th annual Apple Festival kicks off Saturday with the weatherman calling for sunny skies and highs in the mid-70s.

That's what Billy Reid calls "perfect fall weather."

And Sunday is expected to see the same.

Reid's family owns the 146-year-old orchard on Kentucky 144 near Thruston.

Festival hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and from noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Reid said this year's festival will again feature more than 100 craft booths and 20 or more food vendors along with music and carnival rides.

"There might be a few different food items this year," he said. "It's just a good old county fair, family atmosphere. Kids love the play area. Men love the food and women love the shopping."

The play area is called Reidland.

It features a variety of games and rides for children.

People come to the festival from several states.

"We get people from all over the country who have moved away but come home for the Apple Festival," Reid said.

There were an estimated 23,000 people in the orchard over the two days last year, he said.

The first festival drew from 1,000 to 1,200 back in 1986.

But the Apple Festival quickly became the county's top agritourism draw within a few years.

There is no admission charge.

But it costs $5 to park.

This year, Girls Inc., the Owensboro High School ROTC and the Apollo High School FFA will park the cars and split the parking money.

The Apple Festival -- which was supposed to have been the Pumpkin Festival until a last-minute name change in the fall of 1986 -- has been named a Top 10 event by the Kentucky Tourism Council and a Top 20 event by the Southeast Tourism Society several times through the years.

Apples are still at the heart of the festival -- apple pie, apple chips, apple preserves, apple butter, apple crisps, fried apple pies, apple cinnamon muffins, green apple hard candy, apple dumplings, cold apple cider, hot spiced apple cider, caramel apples and caramel apple sundaes.

Reid's Orchard is one of Daviess County's oldest businesses.

Billy Reid's great-grandfather, Allan Reid, planted the first trees there in 1873.

For more information visit reidorchard.com.

Keith Lawrence, 270-691-7301, klawrence@messenger-inquirer.com

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