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The 47th annual Applefest will run Thursday, Sept. 12 at 3 p.m. to Sunday, Sept. 15 on the grounds of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Fenton. 

There’s crispness in the air and in every bite of a fresh autumn apple. Yes, this season of the year means it is Applefest time again in Fenton. 

This week, the school and parish grounds of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church are being transformed into the 47th annual Applefest, which runs Thursday through Sunday, Sept. 12 to 15.

When does Applefest fun begin?

The event begins Thursday, Sept. 12 with an opening prayer at 3 p.m., signaling the start of midway activities, which will continue through the weekend.

What about parking?

Parking is plentiful and free, said Miriam Sage, Applefest co-chairperson. It’s first come-first served at Bush Park behind the parish. “There’s also a designated area for handicapped parking,” Sage added.

Can I use my credit card at Applefest?

For the first time ever, Applefest will accept credit cards, providing visitors with vouchers to use at Applefest events, including rides, the midway, food, Attic Treasures, Entertainment Tent and more.

Each voucher is worth $5. If a purchase is $4, you’ll get one dollar back in cash. There will also continue to be an ATM on site.

What are the hours for the carnival rides?

The midway, provided by Skerbeck Entertainment Group from Escanaba, is the focal point of fun for kids and teens, operating Thursday, from 3 to 10 p.m., Friday, from 3 to 11 p.m., Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday, from 12 to 6 p.m.

What else is on the midway besides carnival rides?

The midway also includes traditional festival activities like the Cake Walk, Attic Treasures and more, plus carnival food favorites from Elephant Ears to the Happy Apple Tent, where about 1,700 handmade apple pies will be sold. You’ll find other food items from Tommy’s Tacos to Padre’s Chili, pizza, French fries, chicken wings and more.

Watch for an Ice Cream Booth, and make-your-own-sundaes by Uncle Ray’s Dairyland.

Don’t forget Attic Treasures, one of the biggest Applefest events, offering everything from trinkets to treasures.

Where can I buy an apple pie, apple crisp or other apple products?

The Happy Apple Tent is the place to buy “everything apple.” Make sure to buy your apple pies early because they often sell out. Apple pies are priced at $10 for a whole pie, $3 per slice.

What about the Applefest Road Race?

To burn off all those apple pie calories, put your best foot forward at Saturday’s Applefest Road Race. New chairpersons are Kasi Gebrael and Jami Hogeboom.

The 10K Road Race will begin at 8 a.m. this year, one hour earlier than in past years, to alleviate some of the traffic issues in downtown Fenton, followed by the 5K Run/Walk, the Apple Core One Mile and the Apple Core-ter (1/4 Mile).

When does the Apple Pie Contest and Auction take place?

Watch for winning apple pies and high auction bids on Sunday, Sept. 15 at 2 p.m.

What special meals/dinners are offered at Applefest?

There’s more to Applefest dining than carnival food. Enjoy a pancake breakfast Saturday and Sunday, serving from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. The popular Friday Night Fish Dinner is served from 4 to 7 p.m. The Saturday Night Chicken Dinner will be served from 3 to 7 p.m. and the Sunday Spaghetti Dinner will be served from 1 to 5 p.m.

How do I enter the Applefest raffles and drawings?

The Raffle Tent will have tickets for sale for every Applefest Raffle — from the Grand Prize Raffles featuring a three-year car lease with your choice of six vehicles, or a pontoon boat or $12,000 in cash (pre-tax), plus first, second and third place prizes of furniture, electronics and a large screen smart TV, respectively. Win your choice of two vacation cruises, too — all for just buying a ticket.

All raffle tickets are priced at 1 for $5, 5 for $20 or a book of tickets for $80, according to Raffle Chairman Kevin Messing.

What about other games of chance?

Bingo is also offered Friday from 6:30 to 10 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall. Nite-N-Reno will take place Friday and Saturday in the Grand Hall, from 7:30 p.m. to 12 a.m.

What’s happening in the Entertainment Tent?

Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening entertainment is for adults only with a cover charge after 7 p.m. Thursday music will be Bon Dion, from 8 to 11 p.m., Friday will be Westfall, from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. and on Saturday, music will be by Rook, from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. Saturday and Sunday afternoon will feature big screen football and NASCAR.

Where do all the Applefest proceeds go?

All the profits will go back into parish programs, including St. John Catholic School.

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