Apples, kids take centerstage at Butler festival

By Louise Swartzwalder - Galion Inquirer

BUTLER – Smiling youngsters enjoying the fall air, filled Butler’s downtown over the weekend for the annual Apple Fest.

The two-day event drew hundreds, including elementary school youngsters, who performedat the stage on Main Street.

Anyone who wanted to know more about Johnny Appleseed could get his or her wish filled.

Kids in the first- through fifth-grades recited poems, sang, and did square dancing.

Apples were searched for, and Apple Barn Farm, near Jeromesville, provided Jonagold fruits.

Young Carter Bailey, 2½, said he’d happily munch an apple. His older sister Lilly, a first-grader at Butler Elementary School, joined her brother with this endeavor.

One expected attraction at the fest, apple dumplings, were absent. Mark Dubler, at the information booth, said the usual provider, Dairy Belle, had a problem with its condenser unit.

The Apple Fest crowned a queen. The honor was given to Meghan Arnold, 17. Three contestants participated. Kylee Colegrove, 18, and Audrey Butterbaugh, 16, answered questions before the crowd, as did Arnold.

Lauren Mellott said the contestants would be judged on scholarship, their poise, displays of independence and communication skills.

Arnold, asked who she would trade places with for one day, said it would be James Till. He is a researcher in stem cells and biomedical engineering. She also said she believes the biggest problem for people of her generation is vaping and the lure of smoking.

There is a lot of “peer pressure” kids get from their friends, she said. Vaping and other forms of smoking can lead to “deadly sickness,” she said.

Colegrove said her most important lesson so far has been to “always be courteous.”

She said she thinks Butler is good because people from the village are a “tight knit” group.

Butterbaugh said she think it is important for kids her age to “be yourself” and to not “let things get you down.”

The Apple Fest had a scavenger hunt, plus visits from a juggler. A person impersonating Johnny Appleseed appeared.

A parade was held Saturday.

By Louise Swartzwalder

Galion Inquirer