FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — After the pandemic led the board to cancel festivities in 2020, the Johnny Appleseed Festival is planning to make its return next month.
Scheduled for Sept. 18-19, many food and craft vendors are returning for the 46th annual Johnny Appleseed Festival held at Johnny Appleseed Park. Becky Butler, Director of Administration and Food Chairperson for the festival said the event typically sees around 200,000 people come out each year and they anticipate this year will match or even beat that number.
“I’m being optimistic and saying we’re going to go bigger,” Butler said. “Just the fact that everybody was closed up for 2020 and there were no festivals, and so to have the festival season starting like it is, they’re really excited about it.”
Although there are no hard restrictions, Butler said there will be hand sanitizing stations around the park and visitors are welcome to wear masks or face coverings if they choose.
Although some vendors are not returning this year, the festival has signed up more food vendors than previous years and anticipates the return of popular entertainment features like stage performances and reenactors. They also will continue their valet service for those who kayak or bike to the festival. Kayaks can enter at the boat ramp near the parks while bikes can be checked by the Coliseum Boulevard entrance.
And Butler’s biggest piece of advice for people taking a step back in time at the Johnny Appleseed Festival this year?
“Come hungry,” Butler said. “Come and take your time and enjoy it, and see everything that’s there.”
The brochure for the festival will be available on their website in the coming weeks and at the festival on the day-of.