Ahhh…the smell of freshly made apple butter is tantalizing at the Apple Butter Stirrin’
by Jennifer Kneuss
The air is crisp, the colorful leaves have faded to shades of brown and tan and crunch beneath your feet, and the tantalizing scent of freshly made apple butter is wafting through the air. You must be at the 43rd annual Apple Butter Stirrin’ in Historic Roscoe Village.
“The Apple Butter Stirrin’ festival in Historic Roscoe Village has truly become a statewide favorite over the decades,” said Jan Myers, Coshocton County Tourism Bureau director.
For many, the festival heralds the closing of one season and the beginning of another.
“I know of generations of families who started attending the festival from Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and other large cities within a 200 mile or so radius when they were young and now bring their children and grandchildren,” noted Myers. “This festival is all about celebrating the fall season with all your senses – visually the fall leaves and decorations are striking this time of year in Coshocton and Roscoe Village; the sounds of traditional music and the crackle of the fire under the apple butter kettles; the delightful aroma of the spicy apple butter simmering all day long; and the fun of shopping at all the unique arts and crafts booths set up along the street.”
Roscoe Village is charming to all any time of the year, regardless of the age of its visitors. There are one-of-a-kind items to be discovered in the village’s many different shops, and plenty of good food abounds in its eateries. Children, in particular, can’t help but be drawn into the wonderful hands-on activities at the welcome center, including candle dipping and dress-up play in costumes of long ago, or trying their hand at quilt making techniques. Costumed volunteers patiently explain how life may have been for the youngsters who lived and played in the historic village a century or more ago.
“New this year will be photo opportunities for the children in our kids’ section with its craft activities and games from the 1800s,” explained Debbie McDonald, who oversees village events and everyday activities. “The young people always enjoy helping to actually stir the apple butter, too.”
Of course, tasting the apple butter is also a favorite. Guests can purchase a few jars to take home to tide them over the cold winter months. Somehow, a few spoonfuls of homemade apple butter on fresh, hot bread does wonders for one’s spirit.
Down the street, an old canal boat entices guests to explore; many a child (or grown-up) has been seen standing at its bow, gazing out as if they are captain of the vessel as they lose themselves in imagining all the places the boat has been and the adventures it has seen. A blacksmith’s smithy door stands open, the heat from the fire visibly rising, and the clang of metal on metal singing its own welcoming song. The craftsman beckons to his visitors to enter, and they do, entranced by his tales of life in the village during its heyday canal days. The museum’s rotating exhibits are also a draw, and are of a quality often only found in large urban museums. There, too, volunteers will explain the displays to visitors.
“The aroma of warm apple butter simmering over an open fire while over 100 craft and food vendors line the street of this quaint 1800s restored canal town makes us unique,” said McDonald “Evening brings the Spirit of Roscoe’ tour where you will learn about our spirited canal town through stories of long ago personalities, significant events and curiosities.”
No one stays a stranger long when visiting the storytellers of Historic Roscoe Village, and during Apple Butter Stirrin’, the stories are everywhere. Come to the village Oct. 19, 20, and 21 for a family fun festival that warms the heart and feeds mind, body, and soul.