Print | Back to e-WV The West Virginia Encyclopedia

The Apple Butter Festival


Thousands of people flock to Berkeley Springs every Columbus Day weekend for the Apple Butter Festival. Founded in 1973, the two-day homecoming celebration begins with a Saturday morning parade from the high school through the town square and on to the old train station on Williams Street. The festival ends late Sunday afternoon. A successor to the once popular Tomato Festival, the Apple Butter Festival celebrates the orchard tradition of the surrounding countryside. It offers traditional entertainment, including a turtle race; beard and moustache contest; egg toss; decorated pumpkin contest; apple butter and baking contests; cider-making; hog calling, fiddling, and liars’ competitions; quiltmaking; music contests and shows; theater; and a wide variety of foods and drinks heavy with apple flavor. Vendors selling everything from ice cream to antiques to craft beer and wine line the streets of the historic town. Begun by members of the business community, the festival is a Chamber of Commerce event that has grown to have a major economic and social impact on the area. Berkeley Springs, the county seat of Morgan County, is best known for its mineral water baths which once attracted George Washington to relax there.

Written by Peggy Ross