Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Fall Fun: Clinton Apple & Pork Festival

It began as a small fundraiser in 1968 sponsored by the Dewitt County Museum Associate to raise money for the C. H. Moore Homestead. Now, the Apple and Pork Festival in Clinton has turned into a huge Fall Festival featuring 300 flea market dealers, a huge variety of food and thousands of people.

C. H. Moore Homestead
Before deciding to venture to the festival I hadn’t heard much about the Apple and Pork Festival, but I must have been the only one not aware of the great draw the event has for Central Illinois. In my mind I was picturing a small-town fall festival with a few carnival rides, some flea market vendors and a few food trucks. Once again, Central Illinois proves me wrong.

Driving toward the festival we were greeted with cars lined along streets for miles surrounding the Apple and Pork Festival area. Our parking spot put us fairly close to the downtown portion of the festival. Walking around the sidewalks, and into the closed off streets, I became a little overwhelmed trying to decide where to go first.

We started our trek through flea market stands. Wandering through aisles of primitive decorations, homemade hand towels and candles, we wove through a good portion of the downtown market area. Then it was off to the C. H. Moore Homestead area. 

The small covered bridge.
Our path put us at the top of a hill overlooking the acres of grassy land in front of the Homestead. We could see masses of people standing in line for kettle corn, wandering through more craft booths, and just enjoying the festival. We made our way through the tight squeeze, and slow-moving line, of people walking through the small, red, covered bridge, then snaked our way through more craft and food vendors. In the spirit of Apple and Pork, we were looking for pork chop sandwiches. The Clinton FFA Alumni group had a huge stand featuring this item, so we joined the long line to grab a pork sandwich. After devouring our delicious sandwiches, I found a cute, and fairly cheap, fall pumpkin decoration. Since my belly was full, and my retail therapy had been taken care of, I was ready to call it a day, but there was one final food item JC had to get before we left: apple fritters. We found our apple fritter stand, benefitting the Cub Scouts, right in front of the Homestead. It was a pretty popular item, so we stood in another long line – but the wait was worth it. The small, donut-like fried treats were very tasty, making for a great end to a fun day.

JC's favorite treat: apple fritters.

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