Annual festival expected to attract 30,000 visitors
By Lynn R. Parks
For the 12th year in a row, Bridgeville will host a celebration of two local commodities whose names just happen to rhyme. The Apple-Scrapple Festival is slated for this weekend, Friday and Saturday, with events — including scrapple chunking and carving and an apple pie eating contest — at several locations throughout town.
According to Rita Hovermale, a volunteer with the festival, organizers are expecting 30,000 people to descend on the small town, population 1,436. If that many visitors show up, it will be the largest attendance in the history of the festival, she said.
“We have a home football game Friday night too,” added Hovermale, a teacher at Woodbridge High School. “That always adds to the confusion.”
The festival will get under way Friday evening, with the opening of the carnival on Railroad Avenue and the food booths along Delaware Avenue and Cannon Street. “Encore” featuring native son David Speicher will perform for the Friday-night street dance.
The bulk of the activities will take place on Saturday, beginning with a 5-kilometer run through the orchards of T.S. Smith and Sons. Registration for the run will open at 7:30 a.m. at the farm on Redden Road east of town.
The festival’s craft show will open at 9 a.m. at Woodbridge High School. Also at 9 a.m., the petting zoo in the park next to the Bridgeville Police Department, Market Street, will open,
as will the trade show, on Laws Street, and the farmer’s market, on Delaware and Railroad avenues and Walnut Street.
The pie eating contest will start at 10 a.m. in front of the bandstand behind the fire hall. Each contestant will be given an 8-inch pie and the person who finishes it first claims first place. (Participants in the children’s division will eat 3-inch pies.) Cash prizes will be given.
The Bridgeville Volunteer Fire Department will host a health and safety fair from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The fire company will also have open house all day and will offer fingerprinting of children.
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Safe Kids Coalition, sponsored by the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension, will hold a bike rodeo behind the high school. Bikes will be provided and prizes will be handed out to winners of various contests.
The annual tractor pull will start at 11 a.m., on the field on US 404, just west of the railroad tracks. Also at 11 a.m., the scrapple-carving contest will get under way in front of the bandstand. Participants will be given blocks of scrapple with which to work magic. Cash prizes will be awarded.
The scrapple chunking contest, in which men and women of daring and strength try to throw a block of scrapple the farthest, will start at 1 p.m. behind the high school. Participation is free.
Also at 1 p.m., representatives of the Nanticoke tribe will perform a native dance in the town park next to the Bridgeville Museum.
Children are invited to participate in a Lego-building contest at 3 p.m. on the second floor of the fire hall. Participants have to bring their own Lego blocks, standard size, and will be judged on creativity and best portrayal of the apple-scrapple theme. Cash prizes will be awarded. Pre-registration is required. For details, call Hovermale, 337-8318.
Throughout the day, classic and souped-up cars will be on display along Delaware Avenue. The carnival rides will be going and the Bridgeville Museum will be open.
“And there will be food, food, food and more food,” said Hovermale. In addition to classic scrapple sandwiches and apple dumplings, vendors will sell crab cakes, oyster sandwiches and a variety of other foods, desserts and drinks.
The festival will close Saturday evening with a street dance featuring country and rock band Tiderunner. At 10 a.m., the winning ticket will be drawn in the raffle of a harvest quilt made by Hovermale. Tickets are $1 and will be on sale throughout the festival at the information booth at the corner of Walnut and Cannon streets. Proceeds will benefit a new Apple-Scrapple scholarship fund.
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