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Apple Fest activities abound
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What to do? Where to go?

That’s easy. It’s the Gays Mills Apple Festival this weekend and there’s something to entertain practically everyone.

What’s new?

 There will be a few new faces along Main Street this year, offering unique products to the public.

John Gibbs, who has written on more than one occasion in the Independent-Scout about his charcoal-making experiences, will have bags of his locally produced charcoal for sale. This is not your average commercial briquette charcoal. It’s good old-fashioned, hardwood lump charcoal, which usually produces less ash than the standard store-bought briquettes.

Retired elementary art teacher Jacky Graves will have her Twinkle Little Star Glass booth on hand. Graves produces usable art and ornaments from fused glass.

 Kate and Greg Vereshagin, and Greg’s sister Mia Anderson, will share a booth, featuring their collective works. Greg is a woodworker, making furniture, puppets, and more. Mia paints and will bring an assortment of her painted gourds, hats and other objects for sale. Kate works with fiber and sewing and will have a selection of her handiwork on hand.

CASA, the Crawford Area Shelter for Animals, will be offering homemade dog biscuits (free-will donation) and information about pet adoption. A raffle to help the no-kill, all volunteer rescue project, will offer an opportunity to win a hand-made carving of a pet, or pet and owner, as well as baskets, paintings, and discounts on spay/neuter services.

Other booths to look for along Main Street are Courtney Yonker with her furniture made from recycled barn boards and Flory Swiggum with her paintings.

Run and Walk

Your choice of exercise events - walking two miles, running two miles or five, or the quarter mile Kids Fun Run - starts at 9 a.m. on Saturday, next to the bridge. Registration begins at 8 a.m.

Flea Market

Antiques, collectibles, and just about everything else can be found at the Crawford County Fairgrounds. The flea market runs Friday through Sunday from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m.

PACE Club Arts and Crafts

Held in two locations, you can find anything from birdhouses to Guatemalan sweaters to jewelry and more indoors at the Crawford County Highway Department’s shop building at the intersection of Railroad and Grove Streets or outdoors at the Lions Riverside Park on West Orin Street. 

Library Book Sale

Held in the old Gays Mills Community Building on Main Street, the Gays Mills Public Library annual fundraising book sale runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. You can find fiction and non-fiction for young and old alike.

Sawdust Hunt

The annual money hunt in the sawdust has been sponsored by Royal Bank for well over 20 years. Kids of all ages hunt for dollar coins, quarters, dimes and nickels at 2 p.m. at Riverside Park on Saturday.

Horseshoe Contest

Get a little sandbox play in and show off your pitch at the Log Cabin Village. Partners are drawn on Saturday. On Sunday, you bring your own (partner)! Registration is at 10 a.m. and the contest begins at 11 a.m. both days.


It opens Friday afternoon at the Lions Park, with wristbands available on Friday evening for unlimited rides from 5 to 9 p.m. The carnival is open Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Kickapoo River Museum and Dam

The Museum of the Kickapoo, open Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., makes use of the historic hydroelectric building on the Kickapoo River. Exhibits include simple displays on area natural resources including geology, water quality, prairies, oak savannas, forests, wetlands, Native American heritage and area conservation.

Preservation Society Exhibit & Fundraiser

A caramel apple “sundae” fundraiser and historical display will be held on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the old Gays Mills Community Building at 212 Main Street. The fundraiser is part of an ongoing effort to fund the maintenance of the building, keeping it open and available to the community. Hillcrest, Fleming, Kickapoo, Sunrise, Starry Ridge, West Ridge, and Turkey Ridge Orchards all donated apples to the effort!

Church Services

St. Mary’s Catholic Church will hold an evening service Saturday at 5 p.m. Sunday service will be held at Luther Memorial Church at 9 a.m. and at the United Methodist Church at 9:30 a.m.


Friday: Dr. Rumley Snuff Band at Halvers Town Tap, 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.; DJ at Last Call Bar & Grill, 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Saturday: Gary’s Ridgeland Dutchmen (polka) at Halver’s Town Tap, 1 to 5 p.m.; The Wundos at Last Call Bar & Grill, 8 p.m. to midnight; The Freaks of Nature at Halver’s Town Tap at 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.; and Blackwater Gin at Societies Sons Motorcycle Club on Main Street.

Sunday: The Back Home Boys at Last Call Bar & Grill, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and for two hours after the parade.


Congregational Church: an all-you-can-eat pancake and sausage breakfast on Saturday and Sunday from 7 to 11 a.m. at 520 Orin St.

American Legion: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday thru Sunday at the Fairgrounds

St. Mary’s Tent: walking tacos, baked goods, and raffle on Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Main Street

Kickapoo Exchange Food Co-op: a burrito bar with salsa buffet on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 209 Main Street

Lions Club: barbeque chicken dinners on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Lions Park between Main and Orin Streets

Luther Memorial: Saturday and Sunday at the Fairgrounds

Ocooch Mountain Rescue Squad: Saturday and Sunday on Main Street

Gays Mills Sportsman’s Club: Saturday and Sunday on Main Street

Several food carts will be located along Main Street. They include Luigi Rocco’s Pizza, Yum Yum homemade ice cream, and the Dog House’s corndogs and cheese curds.


Over 50 entries, including several marching bands, will head down Main Street at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, beginning at Rebecca Street and ending at the Lions Riverside Park. The Parade Marshalls will be announced on Friday.