NEWFANE – You know spring has officially arrived when the Newfane Historical Society stages its popular Apple Blossom Festival, set from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, May 18.
The festival is held on the society’s museum grounds at the corner of West Creek and Ide roads.
It boasts a flea market, tours of historic buildings, displays, music at the gazebo and line dancers. Civil War re-enactors will conduct a flag ceremony at noon with the Boy Scouts, and WLVL Radio will broadcast all day from the location.
And did we mention food?
There will be Art Gladow’s “Famous Chowder,” beef on weck and a host of other fair-type selections.
And, in honoring the theme of the festival, organizers will offer homemade apple butter and hot apple cake.
Rose Schaeffer is not only the society’s president, she is also known as “the Apple Butter Lady,” having made the sweet treat for the festival for the past 11 years.
“I do this twice a year, at the Apple Harvest Festival in the fall and at this festival in the spring,” she said. “In the spring, I go through six bushels of apples, and in the fall, I use eight. Russell Farms has always donated all of the apples for the apple butter.
“I’ll do this in the apple hut (on the museum grounds),” said Schaeffer, who also mentions with a laugh that she is, fittingly, an Appleton resident. “It’s a lot of apples and a lot of cooking. I start cooking them down beforehand because I could never do it all there that day. I start at 4 a.m. there, and it’s ready about noon. I finish the cooking there and then add the sugar and spices and everything nice. We sell it in Styrofoam cups, and it freezes well, too. It’s good on toast or ice cream or desserts.
“We also make hot apple cake there that day, which is hot apples on vanilla cake with vanilla ice cream over it,” she added. “People can eat their cake at the festival and take their apple butter home.”
Schaeffer said her group is desperately in need of volunteers for the festival “to work in the kitchen, for cleanup, to help move tables, help with the chowder, help selling things and to work with members in the Hrvol House, where we do a membership drive.”
She said the society counts around 125 to 150 members but is always looking for help at its festivals.
Anyone interested in volunteering – or wishing to set up a display or table at the flea market – can call Schaeffer at 622-6709.
Equistar Therapeutic Riding Center of Burt also will bring one of its horses to the festival for children to pet – a first for the group, Schaeffer said.
She called the festival “one of our big fundraisers, along with the Apple Harvest Festival in the fall and the Candlelight Tours of the Van Horn Mansion in October, along with some smaller ones during the year.”
“We’ll use this money for maintenance of our buildings, just the upkeep,” said Schaeffer, who has been a member for two decades and was named president Jan. 1.
The group also will give tours of the Van Horn Mansion at 2165 Lockport-Olcott Road from 1 to 4 p.m. that day.
“We’re hoping for really good weather,” she said.