Apples taking center stage

Tis the season of shorter days, cooler nights and all things fall, including a sign of the season – apples.

Those with a hankering for apple fare should plan to attend this weekend’s Wellsburg Applefest, beginning Friday at the town square and Charles Street. The 35th festival will continue through Sunday. The festival annually celebrates the area’s connections to both the Grimes Golden apple and the legend of Johnny Appleseed, and there’s always plenty of apple goodies available, including pies, fritters, apple butter and cider.

We can’t forget the baking competitions either. There’s the Anything Apple baking contest set for 1 p.m. Sunday, and it will include a variety of apple dishes, with everything from cakes to pies to cookies to applesauce vying for a prize.

There’s much more though, with lots of entertainment. There’s the Applefest Queen contest on Saturday and a variety of fall-themed activities like a pumpkin carving contest. There will be amusement rides for children as well.

A highlight of this year’s festival is the appearance of Anna Egan Smucker, a Weirton native and author of “Golden Delicious: A Cinderella Story,” who will speak at 1 p.m. on Saturday at the Brooke County Museum and Cultural Center on Charles Street.

The Wellsburg Applefest is a true Ohio Valley tradition, and we are sure it will, once again, be a true success.

Apple lovers also may want to take in another area festival this weekend, as the Hickory Apple Festival gets under way.

Events Saturday and Sunday at the Mount Pleasant Volunteer Fire Department grounds on state Route 50 in Hickory Pa., will include entertainment, crafters, bobbing for apples and even more homemade apple dishes.