Merriam-Webster says apple butter is “a thick brown spread made by cooking apples with sugar and spices, usually in cider.”
That’s a pretty good start, but if you want to truly experience the autumn-kissed wonder known as apple butter, there are several events in the Buckeye State you need to add to your fall bucket list (a few in the same weekend, if you’re feeling ambitious).
Whether you’re an apple butter connoisseur or newbie, check out these festivals that celebrate the delectable treat — and oh-so-much more.
1. Apple Butter Stirrin’ Festival, Roscoe Village
This annual event draws crowds each year to breathe in the scent of fresh apple butter simmering over an open fire while browsing the wares of a variety of artisans and crafters. In addition to live music, entertainment includes Canal Town Journey tours, candlelit “Spirit of Roscoe” tours, canal boat rides and activities for children.
Video credit: Historic Roscoe Village
Community volunteers work well ahead of this annual festival to prepare nearly 2500 pints of apple butter to be sold during the event. Attendees are invited not just to watch the apple butter being made, but take a turn at stirring the large wooden paddle. The event also features living history and pioneer demonstrations, an antique car show and a full lineup of live entertainment.
Photo credit: Grand Rapids Applebutter Fest
Entering its 37th year, this Springfield-area town celebration features an abundance of apple butter — stirred up in six 50-gallon copper kettles, to be precise and is canned and sold on site. In addition to apple butter, you can count on a vast selection of food, apple butter-making demonstrations by Enon Community Historical Society volunteers, homemade crafts and gifts and, of course, live entertainment.
Photo credit: Enon Community Historical Society
4. Century Village Apple Butter Festival, Burton
Take a step into history to watch demonstrations in apple butter making as well as time-honored traditions like pottery making, broom-making, blacksmithing, weaving and more. Kids will get a kick out of the children’s train and pony rides; Mom and Dad can pick up a few cans of apple butter to spread on fresh Amish-baked delectables. Located in Geauga County, Century Village Museum is an authentic representation of a Western Reserve Village from 1798 to the end of the 19th century.
Photo credit: Geauga County Historical Society
Experience a slice of farm life in the 1800s as you witness apple butter being made and canned the old-fashioned way. Purchase some to take home — and don’t forget to grab a few extra local apples, cider and maybe a pumpkin or two. Take in some live music as you tour the Doty homestead and barn — a turn-of-the century farmhouse and barn that offer a glimpse into bygone days. Proceeds from the festival go toward the historic preservation goals of the Oxford Museum Association.
Photo credit: Hueston Woods State Park
To find more festivals in Ohio, click here!