Looking for an amazing fest to attend and buzz up your night?
Johnny Appleseed Festival is a festival held during September where there are different food stalls and other stalls present. This festival is held to remember John Chapman, a nurseryman during the 19th century.
The festival is enjoyed by thousands of people every year, and the old-fashioned festival is the perfect thing after the Covid pandemic. But before talking about the festival activities and attractions, knowing the history behind this is equally fun and exciting.
1. Who Was Johnny Appleseed?
Born in Massachusetts, John Chapman is famously known as Johnny Appleseed because of his establishment of orchids.
John Chapman is mainly known as a folk hero, and many stories surround him. Although, there is a vast difference between truth and myth from children’s books to reality.
He was seen planting apple seeds in books so that no one was ever hungry. In reality, he was a businessman who used to buy and sell land by creating many apple trees.
He started traveling during John’s early twenties, first to Pennsylvania and then to Ohio Valley. At last, he arrived in Indiana.
He used to sow Apple seeds during his travels after finding suitable soil where the apples could grow.
He created numerous beautiful orchids by fencing them properly with fences of fallen trees and wigs and would often return to the places he sowed to see if they were subtle and sell them accordingly.
Johnny Appleseed made his last trip to Ohio after all the places, but unfortunately, he died in 1845. The reason for death was pneumonia in Indiana.
His memorial stone is in Fort Wayne, Indiana, but his grave site’s place is unconfirmed.
2. Things to Do in the Johnny Appleseed Festival
The Johnny Appleseed Festival is celebrated in memory and recognition of the life of John Chapman. Besides the wholesome festival, another motive is a community outreach program. More than 40 charities, churches, and organizations benefitted from this festival.
The funds collected by the festival board of directors are given to non-profit organizations; the festival is purely family-oriented and has something interesting for any age group.
Different activities to do here are-
2.1 Food booths
The Johnny Appleseed Festival is a foodie’s paradise, providing numerous delicious foods. The food booths vary from German roasted nuts to different apple-crafted items.
The food items are usually made old-style, like in the mid-1800s. Electricity is prohibited for making foods; using coal fires or wood is preferred to make authentic foods.
The festival has foods like in the good old days, and caramel popcorn is also made in front of the public. The popcorns are made in giant iron kettles, and not to miss out on the most favorite and essential fruit, the apples.
There are different apple recipes and food crafts like caramelized apples, apple dumplings, fried apples, apple pie, etc.
So don’t miss the opportunity to eat and enjoy foods created for the life and times of Johnny Appleseed. Also, never forget that whatever food you eat, the income goes to non-profit organizations and churches.
2.2 Farmer’s Market
This is where farmers get to install booths for the things they produce; these stalls have fresh fruits that vary from apples to other exotic fruits. These stalls have many things to choose from and buy accordingly.
Fresh vegetables and flowers are also great things to buy from the market. Handmade muffins, bread, sauces, and dips are equally tasty and authentic for you to take home and enjoy.
And don’t ever miss out on the fresh apple cider that the farmers produce; they also have assortments of quaint dried plants and flowers.
Another thing famous at the Johnny Appleseed Festival is honey, made by the farmers for the tourists to enjoy.
2.3 Antiques and Primitives
Going to the Johnny Appleseed Festival and missing out on the antique stalls is a big mistake; the festival has stalls that contain rustic contents and antiques.
More than 25 vendors sell unique primitives like glassware, vintage clothing, outdoor decorations, kitchen items, etc. Anyone visiting the festival, don’t forget to bring home a variety of beautiful antiques and primitives.
The decorated old-styled stalls with zero plastic contents and authentic items are too good to be true, and the stone jars, jewelry, and framed artworks are just too perfect.
2.4 Craft Stalls
The art and craft stalls contain more exciting things than you can expect; you can have anything you like, from handmade old aesthetic crafts inspired by John Chapman’s times to handmade goods.
There are over 100 booths of handmade crafts to choose from, and the crafts are uniquely handcrafted by Fort Wayne’s people to give the tourists pleasant gifts.
The crafts include soaps, clothes, candles, and many more artistic things. The craft stalls do not have stock market-like products, and they are unique in their way; people wanting to collect handmade goods can always stop by the festival.
2.5 Children’s Area
The children’s area is a prevalent cause of the recreated games like the old days. The children going to the festival love the whole ambiance, and the old games are still played during the Johnny Appleseed Festival.
The children’s different games and activities are face painting, straw maze, apple-bobbing games, and civil war encampment.
Usually, kids tend to have a sweet tooth, and this is the ultimate place for your kids cause the desserts and foods are to die for. The delightful area is a great way to let your kids know what it was like during the old times.
Plenty of people even set up demonstration areas to tell the tourists how they make goods and crafts; the demonstrations are equally enjoyable for any age group.
The unique and fun demonstrations of different old-day crafts and activities are often demonstrated, and the audience is told to try them out.
The different demonstrations include pottery, hand-made florals, and how apple seeds are grown in trees. Different food recipes and food crafts are also demonstrated by demonstrators. So, this is another perk of attending the Johnny Appleseed Festival.
The entertainment area at this festival is immense and full of knowledge-giving plays and dramas.
Music from Johnny Appleseed Times is always being played in the background throughout the festival. Listen to stories or attend plays about Johnny Appleseed to know more about the old days and traditions.
They also have a comedy show named The Old Time Medicine Show, where the audience is also engaged to make the show even better and more fun.
An interactive show is made by a reenactment, including medical demonstrations, old period toys, and an explanation of the Johnny Appleseed period’s early history.
2.8 Trappers and Traders
This is a unique concept by the members of the Johnny Appleseed Festival, where they recreate the ambiance and surroundings of the mid-1800s.
They create the surroundings by not including any modern equipment or gadgets to make their regular work easy. Even at night, they don’t have electricity, and they use fire as a source of light and warmth.
They also create handmade goods, and the children also take part and play old-day games, creating a more positive aura.
They build tents to live in and not cottages or brick houses to give the tourists a more authentic feeling of enjoying the old period.
2.9 Military Encampment
Hardly anyone gets to experience what it was like during the Civil War; this festival section allows tourists to feel and learn about the old military camps. The demonstrations of old military uniforms, the navy, and medical care.
They have special demonstrations about the 44th Indiana infantry to let the people know what the early military people went through once.
People and children even got to participate in the demonstrations and re-enactments of the Civil War. The main goal of this encampment is to REMEMBER, HONOR, and TEACH.
This was the list of things that the festival presents to the tourists for the 2 days: the more you explore the festival, the more you see hidden gems. But there is just one drawback of this festival: you can’t bring your pets.
3. End Note
Because of the huge number of people attending the festival, dogs and other pets can create chaos or even worsen by getting lost. So, bring your entire family, but please avoid your furry friends from attending the festival.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the Johnny Appleseed festival was canceled, so this year, it’s gonna be more amazing.
Some people may get confused about the venue and timing of the 46th Annual Johnny Appleseed Festival, so make sure to confirm the date/s before you plan to visit.
This was everything for the tourists looking to enjoy the most important fundraiser of the year conducted by the government and church authorities celebrating the great folk hero. Have Fun!