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Autumn feel means it's time for Apple FestivalPosted Monday, October 1, 2012, at 1:23 PM
There a definite "autumn" feel in the air here in southwestern Indiana.
It's the time of the year for beautiful mums, pumpkins, colorful gourds of many sizes and shapes, and harvested fields.
It's the time of the season when the once green leaves on the trees are beginning change, dazzle and paint our beautiful woodlands in an artistic pallet of majestic colors.
I love the way the colors of these trees are reflected on the many lakes we feature in here Greene County. It is such a beautiful and serene scene.
How can it be that all this beauty is a sign of death and decay?
The natural progression of the leaves from vibrant life to a cycle of decay is part of nature's process.
With all this beauty there is a certain sadness in knowing that the changing colors are a prelude to the arrival of the cold winter that sometimes grips our area.
The gush of fall's wind blows our hair, straight up to the unforgiving air.
I remember the fall season as a youngster growing up and raking up the leaves into large piles then playing with my neighbor buddies by jumping for hours into the leaf heap in our own make-shift landing pad.
I have to smile about the memories of lying in that pile of maple and oak leaves in my backyard as a kid.
In this area, the autumn season in my mind is highlighted every year by the Bloomfield Apple Festival, which is always hosted the first full weekend in October.
I'll admit I'm a transplant because I didn't grow up in Greene County, but the Apple Festival has always been something special since we've moved to this area more than two decades ago.
When our girls were growing up I remember in our household it was frequently a time for putting together a huge pot of chili, mixing up some hot apple cider, and eating apple wedges dipped into caramel.
Looking back, I remember weaving through a mass of people that always gathered when the festival was conducted on the courthouse square. I understand the reasoning for why it was moved to the town park. I also realize that the festival will probably never return to the courthouse square like yesteryear, but there were surely plenty of advantages for keeping it downtown.
I remember seeing the late Willard Tilford running his old apple press on the courthouse square squeezing out fresh apple cider for the festival patrons.
Somehow, this fall concoction always tasted better than the jugged-up version you could buy at the grocery store.
I wonder why someone else hasn't picked up that special part of the Apple Festival heritage.
Or why isn't there an apple-bobbing or apple pie eating contest?
Around our house, which was situated in those days on East Spring St. about a block from the festival hub, the Apple Festival was frequently a Friday slumber party destination for friends of our two daughters when they were growing up.
I took much delight in getting up early on Saturday morning and preparing homemade powdered-sugar-covered biscuit donuts for the kids before they made their way back down for day two of the festival.
I remember one year, we even conducted our very own Apple Festival queen contest and the girls picked me as the judge.
Now, I tell you that was hardly the most envious job in Bloomfield that night because both of my girls were entered in the mock competition. Dear old Dad surely took some ribbing from his two daughters because I selected one of their friends as the queen and not them.
I can laugh about it now, but I know two girls who were disappointed then.
This coming weekend again promises to be a fun time for festival patrons of all ages. Don't forget to look over a special edition the Greene County Daily World will publish on Thursday for a schedule of events for this year's Apple Festival.
Nichole (Niki) Holmes, a 17-year-old senior at Bloomfield High School, will reign over the festival after being selected as the 2012 Apple Festival Queen on Saturday night.
There will be plenty of food, fun and fellowship this weekend in the Bloomfield Park.
It will all be culminated by the 2 p.m. Big Apple Parade on Sunday.
The Apple Festival Committee has worked hard to carry on this community tradition. Please support their efforts by attending.
Oh, the memories of Apple Festival will always live on for me, no matter where the festival is set up.
Nick is assistant editor for the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at 847-4487 or 1-800-947-4487 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Nick on Twitter @GCDWSchneider
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