It’s time for Apple Butter Day in Groveport!

By Rick Palsgrove
Southeast Editor

The leaves are turning, the air is cooler, and fall’s harvest beckons. That means it’s time for Groveport’s Apple Butter Day, which celebrates its 41st anniversary this year.

Apple Butter Day will be held in Groveport’s Heritage Park near the historic log house on Wirt Road on Oct. 11 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 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 early 20th centuries. The organizers strive 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 knows 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, beeping, bossy 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

The Groveport Heritage Society welcomes volunteers to help stir and can fresh apple butter on Apple Butter Day, Oct. 11.  Hot apple butter on homemade bread slices will be for sale all day in the log house. Canned apple butter will be available for purchase.

Spelling bee

The Apple Butter Day spelling bee will be held at 1 p.m. on Oct. 11, immediately following the octogenarian recognition.  Participants will need to be at the Heritage Park stage by 12:30 p.m.  Cash prizes are  $50 and $25 for first and second place.  Contestants must be in either fourth or fifth grade and can be from any school. Register at (614) 580-9099.  Registration is limited to the first 20 entrants.

Music and entertainment

Several musical performers will be on hand as well as story teller Ellen Ford and  a Johnny Appleseed portrayer.

Apple Butter Day activities

Throughout the day there will be cornbread and beans at KidSpace, 630 Wirt Road; a petting zoo; hayrides around Palm Pond; homemade crafts; antique tractor show; historical demonstrators; food vendors; old fashioned games from Slate Run Metro Park; and free pony rides.

The cane fishing derby for kids age 15 and under will be held at Palm Pond from 10-11 a.m. The first 50 kids get to fish with a cane pole. Bait is provided.

New this year is a flag retirement ceremony conducted by Boy Scout Troop 71 from noon to 1:30 p.m. at Palm Pond.

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

Groveport Heritage Museum open

The Groveport Heritage Museum, located in Groveport Town Hall, 648 Main St., will be open throughout Apple Butter Day. The museum features photographs, newspapers, maps and historical artifacts of Groveport’s history.

Apple Butter Day 5K run/1 mile walk and 1 mile Dog-n-Jog

The Apple Butter Day 5K run will be held Oct. 11 with check-in from 8:30-9:15 a.m. and the race at 9:30 a.m. starting and ending at the Groveport Recreation Center, 7370 Groveport Road. The run will be held on sidewalks, nature trails and the paved leisure path in Groveport Park. Cost is $20.

The Apple Butter Day 1 mile fun run/walk will be held Oct. 11 with check-in at 8:30-8:50 a.m. and the run/walk at 9 a.m. Cost is $15. The 1 mile course will be in Groveport Park.

The 1 mile Dog-n-Jog will be held Oct. 11 with check-in from 8:30-8:50 a.m. with a 9 a.m. start. The 1 mile course will be in Groveport Park.

For information call Stephania Bernard at (614) 836-1000, ext. 1513 or email sbernard@groveport.org.

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