LISBON –You would never know it by the weather, but the Johnny Appleseed Festival is about to get underway.
The 52nd version of the fall festival will be held this weekend, with unseasonably warm and dry temperatures on tap for Saturday and a chance of rain on Sunday.
Temperatures are expected to be in low to mid 80s both days, and that will be a good thing because two of the newest events — inflatable bull-riding and paddle boat rides — will depend on nice weather.
“We’re always trying to add something new and we think this might be fun,” said Marilyn McCullough, director of the Lisbon Area Chamber of Commerce, which puts on the JAF.
Also new this year is a petting zoo and child train rides that weave its way through the JAF.
The first JAF was held in 1967 by local volunteers and continued that way until the chamber took over in 2007. The two-day event generally draws up to 15,000 people, depending on the weather.
The JAF capitalizes on Lisbon’s connection with Johnny Appleseed, whose real name is Johnny Chapman. After serving an apprenticeship with a neighbor farmer who grew apples, Chapman left his family home in Massachusetts in 1792. He roamed as far west as Indiana starting apple orchards in communities along the way, including Lisbon.
For many, it is all about the food, and there will be 35 food vendors on site offering a little something for every taste. This includes apple food products such as apple fritters, apple dumpings, apple pies, apple ice cream, apple butter, apple cider and, of course, apples. Most of these products are sold by community organizations, such as the Lisbon Lions Club and Lisbon Grange, or school groups.
For those young and old looking for other things to do there is live bands both days, a car show, spinning demonstration, quilt show, pet parade, pedal tractor competition, ice cream eating contest, high school art show, bingo, amusement rides, 65 crafters, martial arts demonstration, dance studio performances, rock hunt, a demonstration by ATG, and a photography show.
The grand marshal for this year’s parade is the family of the late Dennis “Doc” Roberts, who ran the photography contest for years.
A full list of of the the time and location of all events look for the advertisement in the Morning Journal or go to the JAF’s Facebook page.
Sponsors include Estherlee Fencing, Concerned Citizens for Children, Numbers Brewing, Lisbon Lions Club, Day Lily Squad, Serenity’s Way, Citizens Supporting Our Seniors, Home Savings Bank, West Point Lady Lions, Utica Midstream, Lisbon Ruritans, Sandy Beaver Insurance, Jerry Tyson, Lisbon Eagles, Scullion Vision, Farmers National Bank, Keep You in Stitches group, R.L Craig, S.D. Nold, Lisbon Veterinary Clinic, Eells, Leggett, Stauffer Funeral Home, Subway, Joe Csonka, Minor Insurance, Lisbon Grange, Consumers National Bank and Holloway Insurance.