It’s not just apples at 55th Annual Apple Festival in Gays Mills this year. There are plans for carnival rides, a parade, a flea market, crafts, food and libations, music, volleyball, horse-shoes, a run/walk and more!
The Apple Festival kicks off Friday with the flea market at the Crawford County Fairgrounds starting at 9 a.m. with the American Legion opening up their fairgrounds’ food stand by 10 a.m.
The Lions Club-sponsored carnival at Lions Park opens the gates at 5 p.m. and Friday is wristband night. For $14, you can ride as often as you like between 5 and 9 p.m.
On Main Street, Halver’s Town Tap and Last Call Bar and Grill have music planned. There’s a DJ at Last Call Bar and Grill and Dr. Rumley’s Snuff Band at Halver’s Town Tap.
The early risers and athletically inclined can start their morning on Saturday with the annual Apple Festival Walk and Run. Registration, on Main Street by the bridge, begins at 8 a.m. for a two or five-mile run, a two-mile walk, or the quarter mile Kids Fun Run, all of which begin at 9 a.m. The four-person, co-ed Apple Fest Volleyball Tournament also gets underway at 9 a.m. on Orin Street across from the Post Office.
For the shoppers, action is spread out and also gets an early start. The flea market continues at the fairgrounds. Arts and craft vendors will be set up in the County Shop (Railroad Street) and at Lions Park.
The Gays Mills Library will hold their annual book sale at the old Gays Mills Community Building at 212 Main Street.
The Apple Fest Horseshoe Tournament registration starts at 10 a.m. next to the Gays Mills Log Cabin Village. Drawing for partners and the two-day tournament getting underway at 11 a.m.
An Apple Fest Sawdust Hunt, sponsored by Royal Bank, will give the younger kids a chance to search for buried treasure at 2 p.m. at the Lions Club Park by the bridge.
The music choices expand in the evening on Saturday. Blackwater Gin will perform at Societies Sons Motorcycle Club; the Freaks of Natures will play at Halver’s Town Tap; and The Wundo Band will perform at Last Call Bar and Grill. All three bands play within a block of each other on Main Street.
Events carry on into Sunday leading up to the parade at 1:30 p.m. Approximately 50 entries will parade down Main Street, including marching bands from North Crawford Middle School and High School, Riverdale Middle School and High School, Prairie du Chien High School, Kickapoo High School, and La Farge High School.
The Back Home Boys will play at the Last Call Bar and Grill after the parade.
Saturday and Sunday offer plenty of food choices. St. Mary’s sells walking tacos and baked goods from their Main Street tent. The Kickapoo Exchange Food Co-op has a burrito and salsa bar. The American Legion will offer food all weekend at the fairgrounds. The Gays Mills Lions have a food stand at the Lions Park. The Gays Mills Sportsmens Club has a stand on Main Street, as does Luigi Rocco’s Pizza.
The traditional all-you-can-eat pancake and sausage breakfast is held at the historic Congregational Church next to the Lion Park. Breakfast will be served from 7 to 11 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.