Local apples, as well as pies and crisps made from those apples will be on sale 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Saturday during the 19th Annual Lacey Historical Society Apple Festival at the Schoolhouse Museum on Route 9.
A group of Historical Society volunteers traveled to Strawberry Hill Fruit Farm in Chesterfield on Monday and picked more than 60 pounds of apples in several varieties that will be sold individually and as pies, made by adults and students at Lacey Township High School, and crisps made by students and adults at the Waretown Center of Ocean County Vocational Technical Schools.
Festival organizer Ellie Greco said even though they make about 85 pies and 100 crisps, it is best to get there early to purchase them.
"Very often, by 10ish they're gone," said Greco. "The pie recipe is an old-time Forked River lady's recipe -- we've been using it all 19 years."
Home bakers can test their own recipes at an apple pie contest in two categories, 18 year olds and younger and over 18. There will be cash prizes for first, second and third place winners in each category. And for those who prefer to eat pies, a pie-eating contest will take place at 1 p.m.
Locally grown pumpkins from Krowicki Farms in New Egypt and chrysanthemums will be on sale in the pumpkin patch.
New this year will be a group of Revolutionary War re-enactors from Toms River and the Lacey Branch of the Ocean County Library will have a table with games and prizes, as well as an appearance by their mascot, Sparks. There also will be a craft table having to do with Johnny Appleseed.
There will be many types of demonstrations, including fiber crafts and quilt-making. A Lenni Lenape Indian will talk about lore and do crafts. The Girl Scouts will be making butter and people will be able to take a turn at churning and tasting the butter they make.
A variety of games, both old-fashioned and new, will take place throughout the day, as well as face-painting and pumpkin painting. Costumes through the ages will be available for children to try on.
The high school marching band will perform during the opening ceremony and various local martial arts groups will perform demonstrations throughout the day. A vintage car show will take place in front of the Municipal Utilities Authority Building.
Greco said the festival is a joint event with the neighboring Forked River Fire Department.
"The fire company takes children and adults on fire truck rides starting at noon," said Greco. "They will also have their fire safety open house. We're pleased to partner with them."
To run an event of this type that attracts thousands of visitors, Greco said they depend upon about 125 volunteers.
"We have people from all over town and some from out of town," she said. "There are adults and students at every activity, so its intergenerational. The kids get a kick out of it and, certainly, the adults do."
She said they get a large number of youth volunteers from the National Honor Society, student government and the library Teen Advisory Board, all of which receive certificates for community service hours.
The Apple Festival is the Historical Society's only fundraiser for the year. The money raised during the event is used for various upkeep projects in the museum and to fund a $1,000 scholarship for a high school senior who plans to study history in college.
"The girls who won the scholarship this year will be there," said Greco. "She goes to Ocean County College right now. She and her whole family are coming to help."
While there will be handicapped parking available behind the MUA Building, all other parking is first-come, first-served on local streets in the area.
"It started small and the community looks forward to it," said Eleanor Ditton, Historical Society Treasurer. "It's a giveback to the community, makes money for the museum and its upkeep. We try to make it a fun day for the kids."