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Antique and Apple Festival in September

By Nancy Glasscock 340-2443

MOULTON — Once a small-scale event, the annual Antique and Apple Festival has grown into one of the largest arts and craft festivals in the Southeast, according to Vicki Morese.

Morese, Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce executive director, said the 10th annual event is Sept. 21-23 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. under the pine trees beside Classical Fruits.

The location is at 8831 Alabama 157, about 31/2 miles south of Moulton.

The event offers antiques, crafts, collectibles and a variety of apples and apple products, including fried apple pies, apple fudge and apple cider.

Scheduling the festival for later in September usually allows for cooler temperatures, Morese said.

"I think what makes this festival unique is the setting underneath the pine trees," she said. "It's just a nice strolling atmosphere."

The festival is organized by Franny Adair and her family, and began with only 15 vendors, Morese said.

The event now draws thousands during the three-day period, organizers said.

"It's a very unique festival in that a lot of folks get involved on a lot of different levels," Morese said.

Adair's daughter, Natalie Ann Dutton, said the idea for the festival came from an after-hours apple tasting at Classical Fruits restaurant. Before the business closed two years ago, the family sold antiques and fresh fruit from their orchard near the restaurant.

Dutton's father, the late Hoyt Adair, wanted to host the tasting to educate the public about different varieties of apples, she said.

The tasting, held in the restaurant's private dining area, featured about 500 different varieties of apples. Guests could eat slices from different kinds of apples and read a description of each variety, including when and where it originated.

"We did that a couple of years," Dutton said. "Then, since we also sold antiques there, it just kind of evolved into having a festival all weekend long."

Dutton said about 20,000 people attend the festival.

The event is held rain or shine. Parking and admission are free, Dutton said.

Deadline for vendor registration is Monday.

For more information, call 974-5067.

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