Crossroads Church of God Holds Seventh Annual Festival on Church Grounds
This Saturday, huge batches of one of the South’s sweetest treats will be brewed at the Seventh Annual Apple Butter Festival at Crossroads Church of God in White Bluff, Tenn. The public is invited to get a taste of how the members create the 40-gallon vats of apple butter, and to participate in other outdoor activities on the church grounds from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the intersection of 1002 U.S. Highway 250.
In addition to cooking up the homemade spicy-sweet concoction in large, wooden kettles, the free event will feature other "old-timey" attractions such as blacksmith and woodworking demonstrations, vintage cars and more. Family friendly activities such as arts and crafts and hayrides will also be included.
Event organizer Basil Westcott says that the festival places a special emphasis on old-fashioned “pioneer” practices to carry on a legacy to the next generation.
“So many people come by and say, ‘what’s this? I’ve never seen this,’” Westcott told Nashville Public Television’s Tennessee Crossroads. “Our pioneers had to make everything. Over the years, people have forgotten. If we don’t keep this alive in some way, our young people will never know anything about it.”
Though Crossroads Church members have been creating apple butter for fundraising efforts since the early ‘90s, a full-scale festival wasn’t launched until 2006.
The process to make apple butter begins weeks in advance for the organization. The first step is finding dozens of bushels of apples for the event—the church hopes to produce at least 240 gallons during Saturday’s event. Volunteers have already begun to peel, cut and grind the fruit in preparation.
During the festival, participants may watch the slow-simmering apple butter and the special method it takes to produce it: members are trained on the proper stirring techinique and take 15 minute shifts to monitor the pot.
For more information, call Crossroads Church at 615-788-0138.