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Trimble County Apple Festival

Quilters provide unique aspect
to annual Bedford event

Ben Fronczek
Staff Writer


(September 2001) Bedford, Ky – Despite the fact Trimble County’s Apple Festival occurs the second weekend in September, the Trimble Thimbles begin preparations weeks ahead of time. The 10-year-old local quilting group is known annually for putting together a massive quilt that is raffled off to raise funds to help offset the festival’s operating costs. Massive means somewhere around 100x90 inches, according to Trimble Thimbles vice president Byrl Moore.

Marry Crafton

“It depends on the pattern you are using,” she said. “Not all patterns are the same. We lay the quilts on the floor and put them together like a sandwich.”
The quilters will show off their work during the festival, set for Sept. 8-9, around the courthouse square in Bedford, Ky. The two-day event includes arts and crafts, food court, children’s activities, contests, a classic car show and nonstop entertainment.
Every Tuesday night, Moore and about 15 other women in the Trimble County area meet at the county’s Agricultural Extension Office and work on the mammoth quilt that over the past decade has become a traditional part of the festival.
It started in 1990 during Kentucky’s Bicentennial celebration when various counties were asked to compose quilts representing their own. The quilt composed for Trimble County now hangs in the Extension Office. It has survived in addition to the close-knit group that every year puts out a new quilt. The term “close-knit” is used literally since the group started out as a knitting club.
“We have since learned to make our own individual quilts and how to frame a pattern,” said Moore.
In addition to the annual Apple Festival quilt, Moore said the group makes one other major quilt each year. The rest of those involved also make smaller individual quilts. Moore cited 15 quilts to her credit. Many, she said, hang on walls in her home or are used as bedspreads.
“It’s something pleasing for me to see whether anyone else likes it or not,” she said.
Marianne Knapp, an eight-year member of the Trimble Thimbles, said she enjoys the feeling of gratification that comes with completing a quilt.
“It takes a lot of patience because it takes a very long time to make a quilt,” said Knapp. “But I enjoy it. When we get through, we have a quilt we can show or give away.”
In addition to quilters, the festival, now in its 12th year, provides a wide variety of artisans and craftsmen. Last year the event drew nearly 18,000 people, according to festival president, founder and Trimble County Judge-Executive Ray Clem.
“Last year’s festival went very well,” said Clem. “We had excellent crowds and the weather was terrific. This year we are anticipating a number of new vendors and a good variety of arts and crafts as well as good food and entertainment. It will be a nice event for the entire family.”
Clem likened the event to “an annual homecoming for a lot of folks because they get to see old friends and enjoy a day together.”
Over the years, the festival has developed many other regular fixtures beyond quilting. The Madison-based Doctors Band and the Louisville Dulcimer Society have been regular fixtures. This year, the Juggernaut Jug Band makes its second trip to the area after appearing in Madison in June at the city’s Main Street Program’s Music in the Park Series.
Another annual attraction is the Apple Pie Contest, won last year by Ashley Hawkins of Bedford, Ky. Hawkins was only 14 and had never baked a pie before the contest. The winner of the contest receives a cash prize of $100.
Other festival events include a band performance and car show sponsored by Trimble County High School and apple-related relay races for both children and adults.

• Sat.-Sun., Sept. 8-9
• 9 a.m.–6 p.m. Sat.; Noon–5 p.m. Sun.
• Courthouse Square, Bedford, KY
• Arts & crafts, flea market, food, live music, contests, car show, children’s games, pie baking contest.
• (502) 255-7196
www.trimblecounty.com/applefest.htm

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