2017-10-04 / Opinions

Welcome back, friends

We welcome old and new friends back to Berkeley Springs for this weekend’s Apple Butter Festival. Some 44 years ago, a group of young folks had the great idea to revive a downtown harvest festival and show off local arts and crafts. Their idea has grown into the signature public event for Morgan County and draws many thousands of visitors and locals to downtown shops and vendors.

Friends, relatives and locals come to the festival for food, music, games, crafts, the parade, a chance for impromptu reunions on the courthouse square and – last but not least – for the apple butter.

Morgan County has a long history of apple-growing, in just about every corner of the county. Paw Paw had a booming fruit industry that started in the 1890s and employed thousands of people through the years. Towns like Cherry Run, Duckwall and Unger boasted apple orchards well into the 20th century. Orchards meant packing houses, barrel-making factories and railroad shipments. Luckily, a few local orchards still do the hard work of planting, pruning and picking. Enjoy the fruits of their labor. We hope festival visitors take home plenty of sweet memories, and as many jars of spicy apple butter as they can get their hands on.

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