Apple Butter Day rich in history and warmth

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 The 2007 Apple Butter Day Quilt is shown here with quilters Emma Thornton, Nancy Stoltz and Ella Gall.  Quilters not pictured are Janice Compton, Marilyn O’Linn and Wanda Wagner. The quilt is the Ohio star pattern and is hand quilted. It will be on display at the Groveport Municipal Building until Oct. 3. The quilt will be raffled off on Apple Butter Day on Oct. 13.

Groveport’s Apple Butter Day was born 34 years ago in Shoemaker Alley near the Presbyterian Church on a frosty October Saturday morning.

Ever since then, folks have flocked to Groveport on the second Saturday of October every year to see historical demonstrations, visit crafters, and eat great food – especially the piping hot, freshly stirred apple butter slathered on homemade bread.

Apple Butter Day, co-sponsored by the Groveport Heritage and Preservation Society (GHPS) and the village of Groveport, will be held in Heritage Park by the log house on Wirt Road on Oct. 13 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The GHPS created Apple Butter Day as a way to pay tribute to the town’s pioneer past and to educate people about what life was once like in Groveport and on the farms surrounding the village in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

The one day historical festival is notable in that it has not succumbed to the modern lure of corporate festival sponsorship and gaudy carnival style activities. The organizers from the GHPS and the village of Groveport strive to remain true to the town’s historic roots.

Because of its popularity, Apple Butter Day swiftly outgrew its original 1974 festival site in Shoemaker Alley and soon moved to Heritage Park on Wirt Road with the 1815 era log house as its focal point.

There’s something reassuring about Apple Butter Day’s familiarity and relaxed atmosphere, and in knowing that each year I can get an ample slice of homemade bread topped with warm, thick, brown, sweet apple butter.

Over the years there have been rainy, mud caked Apple Butter Days, but more often than not there have been warm days of high blue skies with the rays of the bright autumnal sun splashing the festival grounds.

Above all, the best aspect of Apple Butter Day is that it is a homecoming. It is a day when people who have long moved away stop by the old town again to see family and friends. It is a day for those who have remained in town to reacquaint themselves with their neighbors. It is a day that encourages us to slow down a bit and leave our buzzing, beeping, bossy technology behind us for a while. It is a day when we can all enjoy the pleasures of simple foods. It is a day that reinforces our link to those who have gone before us and to those who will follow us.

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