53rd AppleJack extends across autumn weekends

Julie Davis
Nebraska City News-Press

This year’s AppleJack Harvest Festival, “AppleJack in the Home of Arbor Day,” will be celebrated over three consecutive weekends in September and October.

“We are looking forward to good crowds during all three weekends,” said Tammy Partsch, NCTC tourism and promotions coordinator.

Partsch noted that the community involvement is key to a successful festival. 

“It’s not just our office that does the work,” she said, adding that participation by the schools, civic organizations, museums, and other community volunteers all bring positive energy to the experience for visitors and residents.

Festival activities are set to begin Friday, Sept. 17, with special artist demonstrations and make-n-take projects at Self Expressions Gallery, 713 Central Ave., and the downtown AppleJack Flea Market on Central Avenue between 3rd and 5th streets.

Craft and vendor shows will highlight the first (and second) weekend of AppleJack, with the following shows having been announced as this issue of the paper went to the printer:

A Few of Our Favorite Things Craft Show - 816 Central Ave.

Friday and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Kimmel Orchard Vendor Fair

Saturday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

AppleJack at Arbor Day Farm - Love, the Locals Makers Market - Historic Barns

Saturday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Bake Sale & Bazaar - First Christian Church, 114 N. 8th St.

Saturday, 9 a.m. to Noon

AppleJack Festival at the Farm - Steamwagon Enterprises, 5585 H Rd.

Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Sweet Pickins at Lourdes! Craft, Vendor, and Makers Market - 412 2nd Ave.

Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Makin' Memories at Pumpkin Ridge - 815 N. 60th Rd.

Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Craft Show at the Eagles Club - 600 1st Corso

Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

(This show will extend to Saturday, Sept. 25, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

The Morton-James Public Library will host a used book sale on Friday, Sept. 17, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 923 1st Corso. Used books, CDs and DVDs will be available for a freewill donation, and proceeds benefit library activities.

The Heritage Needlework Guild Quilt Show will be open Friday, Sept. 17, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Bethel Church, 2400 Central Ave. Freewill donations will be accepted for admission, and the show will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

The River City Carnival is set to open at 5 p.m. Friday evening on 7th Street between Central and 1st avenues. Wristbands will be available for purchase by participants. 

The Nebraska City Extreme Bull Riding Tour Finals will take place at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 17, and Saturday, Sept. 18, at Hidden Falls, 6124 Steinhart Park Rd. 

Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the gate. Gates will open at 5 p.m., and bull riding will begin at 7 p.m. The event will also feature mutton-bustin’ for children.

Live music will be provided Friday night by Luke Mills and on Saturday night by Charly Reynolds.

The festival will kick into high gear Saturday, Sept. 18, with traditional AppleJack weekend activities, including the AppleJack Fun Run, the AppleJack parade with grand marshal and Paralympic medalist Cheri Becerra Madsen, and water barrel fights. 

Saturday will start with the AppleJack Fun Run at 7:30 a.m. in Steinhart Park, and the AppleJack Pancake Feed from 7:30 to 10 a.m. at the Nebraska City Fire Station, 1409 Central Ave. 

Race-day entry fee for the Fun Run will be $45, and proceeds from the Pancake Feed will benefit community events and projects. 

The parade is set to start at 1 p.m. down Central Avenue from 16th to 6th streets. The water barrel fights are scheduled to begin at approximately 3 p.m. in front of the Nebraska City Fire Station, 1409 Central Ave.

Sunday, Sept. 19, will see the return of the River City Classic Car Club Car Show to Central Avenue. Registration begins at 8 a.m., judging starts at noon, and awards will be presented at 3 p.m.

The second festival weekend, Sept. 25 and 26, will be all about food, with a Food Truck Street Fair (and mini carnival) planned downtown on Saturday, Sept. 25, the annual Ulbrick Dinner at St. Benedict’s Church (from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 25) and the Taste of AppleJack All Things Apple Contest from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 26, at the historic barns of Arbor Day Farm.

Contestants considering entering the contest can visit https://nebraskacity.com/calendar/taste-of-applejack-all-things-apple-recipe-contest/ for entry details.

The final festival weekend, Oct. 2 and 3, will celebrate the Nebraska State Parks system centennial. Arbor Lodge State Historical Park, one of the state’s first acquisitions as a state park, will be the centerpiece of the celebration that weekend, along with a fishing expo at Steinhart Pond from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 2.

Friday’s events at Arbor Lodge will include dinner, movie, and live music from 6 to 10 p.m., and a laser light show to conclude the evening that is free and open to the public.

Visit nebraskacity.com/festival/apple-jack-festival for additional information on festival events.