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Community Roots: Selections from the Local Legacies Project
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"Smilin Joe" rides in the parade on a mechanical horse
"Smilin Joe" rides in parade on a mechanical horse. Photo: Joe Williams

Versailles Old Tyme Apple Festival

Originated by the Versailles Kiwanis Club and the Chamber of Commerce to promote business and tourism, the first Versailles Old Tyme Apple Festival was held September 27, 1980. That first event offered a parade with bands and a kids' section featuring Mickie and Minnie Mouse, an antiques auction, puppet shows, pony rides, a drama presentation on the courthouse steps, a bareback riding marathon, craft and food vendors, and contests, including apple-peeling, nail-driving, log-sawing, face-painting, bubble-gum blowing, and a cake walk. There were craft demonstrations of making apple butter, beeswax candles, apple-drying and barnwood painting. Businesses vied for the title "Best Antique Window Display."

Today's festival is held the first Saturday in October, and, along with the traditional parade, includes such events as an apple-pie contest, fiddlers' contest, gospel singing, tractor show, marathon runs, car cruise, demolition derby, and decorating contest. A live play production is presented in the Royal Theatre, an old movie theater in Versailles.

Project is documented with an eight page narrative on the history of the event and 25 large color photographs.

Originally submitted by: Ike Skelton, Representative (4th District).

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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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