MONMOUTH — Monmouth’s town center on Saturday will be given over to a celebration of old-time living, the coming of fall and the apple harvest.

Main Street from Pleasant Street to Maple Street will be closed to vehicular traffic so that pedestrians can enjoy the 27th annual Monmouth Museum AppleFest from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Monmouth was once known as one of Maine’s premier apple-producing communities with large orchards dotting its rolling hills. Now the apple-growing acreage has shrunk, but the tradition and the memories linger on.

Organizers of the all-day event expect from 2,500 to 3,000 visitors to attend with a multitude of activities to attract people of all ages, from an apple pie eating contest to a barrel train for children pulled by a tractor driven by Paul Fox.

The site of the festival is the Monmouth Museum property on Main Street which has nine historic buildings packed with exhibits showing what life was like in Monmouth 100 or more years ago.

“It’s once again falling into place,” said veteran AppleFest Chairwoman Audrey Walker. “We have a core group of seven or eight people working on the festival with about 20 additional volunteers. On AppleFest day, I’m running around. It’s a busy, crazy day for me.”

Apples are the core of the event, and visitors may purchase homemade apple pies for $12 each at the Apple Pie Café, which this year will be in a tent near the Carriage House. Walker said home bakers will produce between 60 and 80 apple pies for sale. Also for sale will be slices of apple pie topped with ice cream, whipped cream or cheese for $4.

Cider pressing will be demonstrated, and local apples may be purchased at an apple wagon.

AppleFest is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Monmouth Museum. Although admission is free, food is for sale and there are also raffle tickets and a quilt for sale.

Money raised at the festival is used to pay the museum’s insurance, which is its biggest bill every year.

Shelia Sanford, president of the Monmouth Museum, said the museum has made several investments and improvements to its collections during the past year.

“We’ve done all kinds of stuff,” Sanford said. “The loft in the carriage house now has 13 new exhibits, including one on American Indians, canoes and an ice yacht called the Meteor. A new rear exit has been constructed at the large Carriage House.”

Among exhibits downstairs are the old horse-drawn hearse for the town of Monmouth from 1911 and the Mount Vernon hearse from 1840.

The late funeral director, Earle Flanders, was the founder of the museum.

“He began collecting for it right after he got back from World War II,” said Sanford. “In 1970, he bought some property and moved a couple of small buildings there.”

Besides the Carriage House, the museum features a stencil shop, a blacksmith shop, a residence house, a country store that served as Monmouth’s town hall until 1900 and a freight shed. Last year, the museum acquired the North Monmouth Public Library and refurbished it with new yellow and green paint. All of the library’s books have been sold or given to other libraries and now the little library will be selling publications about local history put out by the Monmouth Museum.

The museum mails out 300 newsletters featuring articles about local people and industries four times a year.

Other activities at AppleFest include a 5K road race starting at 8 a.m. at Cumston Hall to benefit the Friends of Cumston Hall.

There will be a pancake breakfast at United Church at 8 a.m. Horse-drawn wagon rides through the village will be available. There will be music and children’s activities.

Boy Scouts will operate a lunch counter, and a craft fair will be set up along Main Street. All of the museum buildings will be open to the public. The museum gift shop will be open and its publications will be for sale.

Besides the museum, sponsoring partners of AppleFest include the town of Monmouth, Bangor Savings Bank, Tex Tech Industries, Monmouth Federal Credit Union and the Monmouth Lions Club.

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