Groveport’s Apple Butter Day an autumn tradition


By Rick Palsgrove
Southeast Editor

The changing of the seasons means it’s time for Groveport’s 42nd annual Apple Butter Day.
Apple Butter Day will be held in Groveport’s Heritage Park near the historic log house on Wirt Road on Oct. 10 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Apple Butter Day is an event rich in tradition featuring historical demonstrations, crafters, and great food – especially the piping hot, freshly stirred apple butter slathered on homemade bread.

Apples played a vital role in 19th century Ohio’s and Groveport’s pioneer agricultural economy and daily life. Apples could be stored year round and travelled well when shipped over the rough roads or the slow moving freight boats on the Ohio and Erie Canal.

Apples, in addition to being  a refreshing treat picked right off the tree, could be used in many products used by the pioneers like dried apples, apple butter, cider, apple brandy, apple chips, and vinegar. They could even be fed to hogs, which were important livestock to the Ohio pioneer.

The Groveport Heritage Society 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 nearby farms in the 19th and 20th centuries. The festival strives to remain true to the area’s historic roots.

Apple Butter Day is a familiar old friend on the calendar. The day has a relaxed atmosphere and every year one can get a hearty bowl of bean soup and warm cornbread and then follow that up with an ample slice of homemade bread topped with warm, sweet apple butter. It’s a day to be spent outdoors reveling in what fall has to offer before gray, cold November drives everyone indoors.

Apple Butter Day 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 and leave our buzzing technology behind us for a while. It is a day to 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.

Try your hand at stirring apple butter

Volunteers are needed to stir apple butter, work in the sales booth and/or to serve apple butter on bread slices.  The shifts are 10 a.m. to noon, noon to 2 p.m., 2-4 p.m. and 4-6 p.m.
“This is a community effort,” said Carla Cramer, president of the Groveport Heritage Society. “Also, we welcome any organizations that would like to spend an hour or two helping.”
To volunteer, contact Carla Cramer at 836-9113, or email

Log house’s 200th birthday

To celebrate the 200th birthday of the 1815 era Groveport Log House in Heritage Park, the Groveport Heritage and Preservation Society is highlighting the house at this year’s Apple Butter Day and staging it as it would have looked in the 1800s.

“We will have a spinner, a weaver, and a butter maker inside along with other household tools that people can experience hands-on,” said Cramer.

The log house will be open throughout Apple Butter Day.

Spelling bee

The Groveport Heritage Society will hold a spelling bee for students in fourth and fifth grades at Apple Butter Day at 1 p.m. Entrants must meet at the stage by the log house in Heritage Park by 12:45 p.m. The winner will receive a $50 cash award. Limited to 20 entries. Call (614) 580-9099 to pre-register.

Music and entertainment

Music is a big part of Apple Butter Day and this year’s performers include: Paul Brown, Sawmill Ridge, the Madison Christian Band, Delightful Sounds, The Hart Brothers, Mark Springer and Sharon Tedrow, and Open Highway.

In addition, storyteller Ellen Ford will tell her tales at Palm Pond and a Johnny Appleseed portrayer will roam the festival grounds.

Apple Butter Day activities

As of late September, according to city of Groveport’s community affairs department, 67 crafters and 17 food vendors have applied for space at Apple Butter Day.

Because Apple Butter Day grows more each year, the city’s community affairs department reported a few changes were made to the event this year, including moving all of the children’s activities such as the pony rides, hayrides, petting zoo to the Palm Pond area. Also, the antique tractors will be placed in the Palm Pond area.

There will be cornbread and beans at KidSpace, 630 Wirt Road, and historical demonstrators in Heritage Park.

The cane fishing derby for kids age 15 and under will be held at Palm Pond from 11 a.m. to noon. The first 50 kids get to fish with a cane pole. Bait is provided.

Apple Butter Day 5K run/1 mile walk

The third annual Apple Butter Day 5K and 1 mile fun run/walk will be held Oct. 10 at Groveport Park, 7370 Groveport Road. The 5K starts at 9:30 a.m. and the 1 mile fun run/walk starts at 9 a.m. Cost for the 5K is $20 and $10 for the 1 mile run/walk. Register by Oct. 10. For information call Stephania Bernard at (614) 836-1000, ext. 1513 or email

Apple Butter Day quilts on display

Quilts from past Apple Butter Days are on display in Groveport Town Hall, 648 Main St., through October.

“All previous raffle winners were contacted and we have 14 quilts on display,” said Cramer. “The quilt that will be raffled at this year’s Apple Butter Day is also on display.”

The winner of the annual quilt raffle will be announced at 5:30 p.m. on Apple Butter Day.

Apple trees to be planted

The Groveport Parks Department has purchased about two dozen apple trees to be planted in the Palm Pond area of Heritage Park. The hope is to use future apples from the trees at Apple Butter Day.

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