The fall beauty of the Mount Gilead State Park will provide the background for the annual Apple Butter Festival which will run October 2, 3 and 4.

Kicking off the event will be the peeling of apples at Shelter House #1 at 8 am on Friday, October 2. Visitors can join in the preparation but are advised to bring a knife and cutting board. Snacks will be provided. The Nature Center will be open from 4 to 7 pm and from 7 to 8 pm Trick or Treat will be carried out on the campground. The roads to the camp ground will be closed at that time.

Costume judging will take place at Shelter House #1 at 8 pm Categories in the competition will include cutest/funniest; most original and scariest in age groups Under 1 year; 1-2 years; 3-5; 6-8, 9-12 and 13 and older.

Pet Costume judging will take place immediately after the youngster.

Pet owners are advised to dress up their four-legged friends for the festivities and treats. Pet owners are asked to keep all pets on a leash and out of the shelter house until judging time.

Beginning at midnight Saturday morning, the making of apple butter will begin. A special thanks is extended to the Scouts and their leaders for making this possible. From 7:30 am to 10 am breakfast will be served at Shelter House #1 when the menu of pancakes, sausage, sausage gravy biscuits and eggs will be served by the Volunteers in the Park. Donations will be appreciated.

Vendors will be set up in the park from 8 am to 5 pm and from 10 am to 11:30 am.

Nature Challenges will take place at the Amphitheater. Following a lunch of hot dogs, hamburgers, chips and drinks served from 12 to 12:30 pm at Shelter House #1, entertainment can be enjoyed from noon to 1 pm when Elizabeth Corwin will entertain at the same venue.

From 1 to 5 pm Fall Fun Crafts will be offered at Shelter House #1 and from 12:30 to 1:30 pm trees and leaves can be identified at the Nature Center.

Dick Starcher will entertain from the Shelter House #1 from 2 to 2:30 pm.

At 2:30 apple pie and cake contest judging will take place. The baked goods are to be left at the camp store prior to 2 pm. To participate, please bring up to two pies and two cakes with the main ingredient being apple. The pies must be a traditional baked flour crust pie with no refrigerated pies.

Skill at archery can be demonstrated from 3:30 to 4:45 pm at the basketball court. Participants must be 10 years or older and wear closed toe shoes.

The ham and bean soup will be ready by 4:30 and served from Shelter House #1 where cornbread will be provided. Mark Rogers will entertain from 4:30 to 6:30 pm at the Shelter House when Karaoke will be the option for those wishing to reveal their talented voices.

The pumpkin decorating contest will be held at 8 pm. Pumpkins can be purchased at the camp store before this event at the camp office for $5. Markers will be provided and responsible participants can being their own knives, at the parents’ discretion but not aid. Winners will receive prizes. Age groups to compete are 0-3; 4-6; 7-10 for the drawing and 11-14, 15 and up for carving.

Campsite judging will take place from 7 to 7:30 pm Ballots can be picked up at Shelter House #1. Categories include Best Fall, Most Original, and Best Halloween. The Button Drawing will wind up this day at 7:45 pm at Shelter House #1. Souvenir buttons can be purchased for $1 each and one does not need to be present to win. Valid phone numbers should be given., Prizes need to be picked up prior to October 20.

Winding up this weekend will be a breakfast served Sunday morning from 7:30 am 10 am at Shelter House #1. Donations will be accepted for this Country breakfast.

By Evelyn Long

for the Morrow County Sentinel