The rapid change in weather, colored leaves, and fragrances are not the only signs that autumn is on the horizon. Time-honored festivals are another sign that fall is just days away. The weekend of September 15, 16, 17, and 18 is La Crescent’s Applefest.
Applefest is 74 years old. The festival started in 1949 to promote the town’s apple industry and to put La Crescent on the map. La Crescent is the apple capital of Minnesota. The first apple festival attracted over 20,000 people and has grown over the years.
The celebration starts with the traditional “Tapping of the Red Apple Keg” on Friday evening at the King Apple Tent. The Pearl Street Brewery sponsors the event.
Applefest President Mandi Lenser shared that her favorite event is the King Apple Parade on Sunday, “I run into people I have not seen in a while.” The parade lasts a couple of hours, drawing over 125 entries.
This year’s parade marshal Angie Rudert serves as the royalty coordinator on the Applefest committee.
The 2022 Queen Candidates are Katie Bakalars, Kaitlyn Miller, Kiersten Bakalars, Kelsey Kiesau, Nicole Rudert, and Emma Seberg. Crowning will take place at the La Crescent High School Fine Arts Center on Saturday evening.
Applefest also recognizes a man and woman of the year, a Little King and a Little Miss. Springbrook Village crowns the Golden Apple Royalty. Watch for all the Royals in the parade.
The parade features royalty from area communities. The top three community floats are recognized with the royalty award. In 2021, the top three floats were the South Dakota Snow Queen Festival, Oktoberfest, and the Cranberry Fest.
Learn more about Applefest and La Crescent at the Sports Hub at Apple History Trivia Night on September 13.
Include a visit to the La Crescent Area Historical Society History Center and Apple Museum for a slice of history. The museum is open Saturday during Applefest from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pick up a map for a self-guided tour of the area’s orchards and apple stands. Don’t forget to buy some crunchy delicious-tasting local apples.
Upcoming Bluff County events
•September 17, Taste of the Trail: Fountain, Harmony, Preston, Chatfield
•September 23-25, Fall Festival, Wykoff
•September 24, Taste of the Trail: Houston, Rushford, Rushford Village
•October 1, Fall into Lanesboro, Lanesboro
•October 7-8, Uffda Fest, Spring Grove
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For information on upcoming town festivals and events in Historic Bluff Country, vacation ideas for lodging, recreation, dining, and shopping, check out the magazine in print or online at www.visitbluffcountry.com.