The dictionary describes apple butter as “a thick brown spread made by cooking apples with sugar and spices, usually in cider.”
That’s only the technical definition.
It certainly doesn’t properly describe this autumn-kissed deliciousness that is apple butter, especially in West Virginia.
Ready to be part of this special tradition? And have some fun too?
Why not visit one of the Mountain State’s upcoming festivals that pay homage to this long- practiced Appalachian tradition.
It’s also a way to help ensure that apple butter making does not become a lost art.
Here’s a look at the upcoming festivals:
1. The Town of Chapmanville Apple Butter Festival (Sept. 28-30)
Chapmanville will open its annual celebration with a bang beginning Thursday evening when the carnival opens and the crowning of this year’s queens.
Other weekend activities include apple butter demonstrations, canned apple butter for sale, crafts, candles, fair food, vendors, antique car show and more.
This year the popular LuLaRoe has been added as an event vendor. There will be inflatable rides for the children, and live entertainment all three days.
While in Chapmanville stop by the Surrey House for a delicious meal. Their cornbread salad is unforgettable.
2. Salem Apple Butter Festival (Oct. 5-8)
This popular Harrison County event is celebrating its 33rd year, and is held at the old B&O Depot downtown.
No surprise, but apple butter is big here, including live demonstrations of old-fashioned apple butter making. Bakers aren’t forgotten because there will also be an apple pie contest.
The event also offers a 5k run, grand parade, pet show, quilt show, celebrity auction, contests, car show and more. The highlight of Saturday night will be a fireworks show.
There is no admission charge, and all entertainment is free.
The festival normally draws large crowds. The four day event draws up to 10,000 people annually.
Don’t forget to tour Fort Salem while you are in town. The 19th century log frontier settlement is the perfect way to go back in time.
3. Berkeley Springs Apple Butter Festival (Oct. 7-8)
Berkeley Springs is ready to celebrate this popular festival’s 44th anniversary, and in a big way.
It is popular each year and visitors fill the state park downtown as well as nearby streets.
The festival kicks off with a old-fashioned parade on Saturday followed by two days of fun that includes local crafts, contests, country food, live entertainment, arts and crafts.
Falling Bark Farm will be returning this year with their popular hickory syrup.
This year’s entertainment includes Mountain Stage favorite the Carpenter Ants.
The main draw is apple butter making demonstrations that feature copper kettles and hours of careful cooking over a wood fire. These demonstrations fill the air with the delicious, spicy smell of apple butter.
Competition is fierce for the winner of the best apple butter tasting contest, and the results will be announced from the bandstand early Saturday afternoon.
Getting hungry already? No problem.
Apple butter prepared prior to the festival will be available for sale.
Admission to the event is free and the event is dog friendly, but your four legged friend must be on a leash at all times.
There are so many things to see and do that some visitors spend the entire weekend soaking up the fall fun in this historic Morgan County community.