Medford’s Apple Festival spurring revitalization of Kirby’s Mill
One Saturday every October, residents from Medford and surrounding communities pack Kirby’s Mill, drawn by the sights, sounds and smells of the historic site’s annual Apple Festival.
The 2014 festival is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 11 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Kirby’s Mill.
The event is the biggest of the many events taking place at the historic site. About 100 vendors and thousands of guests annually come to the festival.
For the past few decades, the Medford Historical Society has worked on restoring Kirby’s Mill to the same condition it was in hundreds of years ago. The mill dates back to the earliest days of America, officially becoming operational during the Revolutionary War in 1778.
The Apple Festival plays an integral part in the historical society’s projects. The complex consists of multiple buildings, including a country store, milliner’s shop, print shop and a carpenter shop.
“(The funds) are for maintenance and repair to keep the mill and museums in operation,” said Bill Stauts, president of the Medford Historical Society.
Last year’s apple festival funds were used to help pay for a few projects. Repair jobs were done to the mill wheel last year to make it operational.
The historical society is also creating a farm museum across the street from the mill.
“We are creating a farm museum right across the street from the mill,” Stauts said. “It just has farm tools used during the time period.”
All of the proceeds from the Apple Festival go toward Kirby’s Mill complex and its ongoing restoration. This includes profits from the vendor and craft tables at the event.
The festival has attracted a lot of interest from vendors once again. All of the vendor space has filled up.
The event itself includes activities and fun for all ages. A variety of musical artists will be performing throughout the day. There will also be two bounce houses for children. The bounce houses premiered at the festival for the first time last year.
In addition to apples and apple cider doughnuts, there will be other food vendors on hand for those with an appetite. This year, Stauts said Stewart’s Root Beer will be among the food vendors.
There will also be two buses to help transport guests to the mill, saving people the long walk down Church Road.
“We have two buses running this year to Fellowship Alliance Chapel,” Stauts said. “People can park there and be shuttled right to the apple festival.”
The festival is free and open to the public. The event will be held rain or shine. For more information, visit www.medfordhistory.org.