The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

September 9, 2013

Apple Festival turning 50

HARTFORD — Chances are, everyone’s got a favorite memory of the Hartford Apple Festival and Mary D’Urso would bet it has something to do with the smells of baking ham, mashed potatoes and freshly baked apple pies.

Or, it could have been the young contestants, all vying for the coveted title of festival queen, said D’Urso, one of the frestival organizers, who likened the autumn fair to a “homecoming of sorts.”

This year marks the 50th anniversary of a festival that got started back in 1964 because a township trustee, Ralph Stewart, thought the township “ought to do something to draw attention to the apple capital,” said Helen Burns, vice president of the Hartford Apple Festival committee.

Hartford Orchards wasn’t originally connected to the fair, Burns said, but later got involved. Most people, she said, are familiar with Hartford because of the Hartford Apple Orchards.

Set for the weekend of Sept. 21, organizers have tried to bring back some of the flair that made the gathering fun, including craft shows, homemade apple dumplings, rides, parades and a cruise-in.

Sadly, for some, the frog-jumping contest won’t likely make a comeback, nor will the greased pig contest, though both brought tons of laughs for those who participated in the early games.

“I can remember one little boy who rented this monster bullfrog for 50 cents, and he kept it in the glass gallon jar and it jumped all morning. And when he put it out for the race, it wouldn’t move. He was so disappointed,” Burns said.

“And another little girl was holding a frog and she decided she wanted an apple dumpling. So she put the frog in her mother’s purse. Well, when her mom reached in her purse, the whole thing went flying,” she said.

“And well, you can imagine trying to catch a pig that was greased with Crisco,” Burns said.

While some of the nostalgia that attendees may remember is gone, including the old school building, Burns is still convinced the festival is going strong after 50 years.

“Well, we used to do a lot more when we were younger, she said, but we’ve still got plenty to keep things going,” she said.

“It’s a little bit of Mayberry here. The people are friendly and it’s a bit like being down on the farm,” D’urso said.

“We’re just so pleased we’ve reached the 50 milestone. We get such a huge turnout for the parade. It’s literally three and four people deep. A lot of people love this festival,” she said.

Admission to the three-day festival is free and organizers hope the food and the parade will continue to draw visitors from Erie, Pittsburgh and Cleveland as it has in years past.

Located at state routes 7 and 305, the festival kicks off Friday night, Sept. 20.

Anyone who wants to participate in the parade can contact Susan Burns at 330-240-2724 to register.

Text Only
Local News
  • oakwood graves 1 Resting together

    Visitors to Oakwood Cemetery would see many  familiar local names if they looked down the hillside to the left just inside the gate on Sharon’s North Oakland Avenue.

    July 30, 2014 3 Photos

  • Police: Kids in car were OK

    The mother of two young children was drunk and passed out when police found them all in a car parked along a city street, Sharon police said.

    July 29, 2014

  • To talk – or not – about police

    The mysterious agenda item, “No. 10,” at Farrell’s council meeting Monday became the center of a heated workshop and business session.

    July 29, 2014

  • Community thanks its first-responders

    Sharpsville honored its emergency responders Sunday at an event that included Mertz Towers residents as special guests.

    July 28, 2014

  • Drilling boom challenges state inspectors

    The state’s 83 well inspectors face a daunting enough challenge keeping tabs on 120,000 active oil and gas wells that have been drilled over the last century.

    July 28, 2014

  • Kidds Mill Covered Bridge A span of time

    Four generations of the Cadman family have enjoyed the Kidds Mill Covered Bridge, which is in Pymatuning Township near where the family’s ancestral farm is located.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • Intruder hurts woman, takes $5

    A home invasion in Hermitage Friday night sent an elderly woman to the hospital and netted the robber $5.

    July 27, 2014

  • national night out March against crime set for Aug. 5

    At the last Southwest Mercer County Regional Police Commission meeting, Chief Riley Smoot Jr. presented the number of incidents for each of the four communities in May.

    Farrell topped out at 819.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • high street trail Peaceful pathways

    History buffs and picnickers in the Shenango Valley won’t have to drive to Sharpsville to hang out at the old Erie Canal extension lock. They’ll soon have the option to walk or roll in on bicycles and even powered chairs to visit Canal Park near the outflow of Shenango Dam.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • balloonquest1 Balloon Quest celebrates 25 years

    Today is the final day of the 25th annual Western Pennsylvania Balloon Quest at Scotland Meadows Park.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • News briefs from July 26, 2014

    Man faces bomb threat charges

    June building tops $4 million in Hermitage

    July 26, 2014

  • Elderly man survives plane crash

    An elderly man survived wrecking his plane into a bank, then landing into a wetland, about 200 feet south of Runway 28 at Grove City Regional Airport in Springfield Township on Friday.

    July 26, 2014

  • Dontae Rashad Pinkins Man arrested for April gunfight

    Federal marshals and local police arrested Dontae Rashad Pinkins Thursday on a warrant accusing him of involvement in an April gunfight with another man in a Sharon alley.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hearing changed in starving case

    The time and place for the preliminary hearing of a Greenville mom accused of starving and beating her 7-year-old young son has been changed.

    July 26, 2014

  • Schell working on mural Drawn to Mexico

    Jason Schell probably is not exaggerating when he says that millions of people have seen his art.

    July 26, 2014 4 Photos