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Community Roots: Selections from the Local Legacies Project
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Apple Festival attendees, October 1999
North Main Avenue during the October 1999 Apple Festival Photo: Anjanette Harris

Unicoi County Apple Festival

This two-day event, held on the first Friday and Saturday of October in Erwin, Tennessee, is a celebration of the heritage and culture of the southern Appalachian region. Foods for all tastes, musical entertainment, and arts and crafts displays are among the attractions that draw over 80,000 people each year. The festival began in 1978 as a promotion by the Retail Merchants Division of the Unicoi Chamber of Commerce, but has evolved to be one of the main components of the Chamber's Tourism Program. At the first festival, local apple growers were invited to sell their crops, while live entertainment was provided by Old Joe Clark, a Unicoi County native and performer on the Renfro Valley Barn Dance. In 1979, an Apple Cooking Contest and Apple Country Tours were added to the festivities, followed in subsequent years by the Blue Ridge Pottery Show, apple butter and cider making, and gospel concert. The Festival has been named one of the Top 20 fall events in the Blue Ridge Region. It has become a preferred setting for area family and high-school reunions and church homecomings.

The project is documented with a six-page written report, copies of a leaflet from the 1999 event, and five photographs.

Originally submitted by: William L. Jenkins, Representative, (1st 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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