BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. – It’s been named one of the seven best Fall Festivals in the U.S., and it’s happening this weekend.
“This is our 46th year doing the Apple Butter Festival, and it’s just such a great time,” Organizer Jenna Hansroth said on Panhandle Live. “The weather is sounding like it’s going to be perfect Fall festival weather, and a great time to get out and have some fun.”
Hansroth said the town is getting spiffed up and ready to welcome in thousands of guests.
“Business owners are getting their stores ready, their restaurants ready, Everybody’s trying to get all rested up. The tone’s already changed in town. You know the leaves are changing, but everybody’s already excited. It’s a little bit of magic, and that’s our theme this year. It’s ‘The Magic of Morgan County.'”
The two-day festival features live music, crafters, food and drink, plus a parade Saturday morning. There’s also apple butter to stir, a beard contest, hog calling contest and a quilt raffle.
Hansroth says it’s the biggest fundraiser of the year for many of the county’s civic and church organizations.
In a recent article, National Geographic recognized the Apple Butter Festival as one of the “7 best fall festivals in the United States”.
Morgan County Sheriff K.C. Bohrer said Friday on Panhandle Live, heard on MetroNews affiliates WEPM and WCST, his department is prepared for the thousands of people who will take part in the festivities.
“It’s just a lot of preparation. There’s so many people who have done this for years so some of it is routine. You have so many contingencies in the world today that you have to put together. I hate to say it, but this year we had to put together a contingency together for an active shooter incident in case something that horrific would happen.”
Bohrer assures the public that the event will be as safe as possible thanks to the help of his department, local fire and EMS, volunteers and other organizations that help.
“The deputy and the volunteers that come out work this whole weekend. You’ve got two roads that come through Berkeley Springs primarily, Route 9 and Route 522, and no bypass. All of that traffic has to be diverted and it takes people to do that.”
The Festival kicks off with a parade Saturday morning and has a noon start time for Sunday. It runs until 5 each day.
Mike McCullough contributed to this report.