GRAFTON - The sights and sounds of autumn are in full force during Apple Festival at the Pere Marquette Lodge & Conference Center between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. this Sunday.

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“It’s going to be a fun day, and we have a really good turnout,” Director of Marketing and Events at the Pere Marquette Lodge Leslie Franklin said when the event started.

Children and kids at heart were welcomed to decorate pumpkins for the Pumpkin Roll competition. The participants could win a free night’s stay at the resort if their decorated pumpkin rolled the farthest down the hill at the front of the lodge.

People in attendance were also welcomed to participate in the Apple Pie Walk. Like a cake walk, participants walked on numbered apples while music was played. When the music stopped, a number was drawn and the chosen number won a free pie.

The fruit of the day, apples, were showcased in its many forms, including ciders and butter. A large variety of the fruit were also available for purchase, such as gala, red delicious, granny smiths, and honey crisps. Candy apples were also available for those who had a bit of a sweet tooth. 

Local vendors from around the region set up shop inside and outside the lodge to sell their artisan goods.

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Produce growers from Calhoun and Jersey counties displayed their fresh fruit and vegetables, such as pumpkins, green beans, squash, corn and much more. 

Outlaw Opry, a local act from Jerseyville, performed live country for visitors on the Mary Michelle Winery Patio.

Franklin is extremely optimistic about the fall tourism season at the lodge.

“The fall colors always bring out the ‘leaf peepers’ as we like to call them,” she said, “It’s just gorgeous and everyone loves to come out in the fall.”

Franklin and everyone at Pere Marquette Lodge are gracious for the turn out at the festival and are looking forward to seeing more visitors as the season continues.

“Come out and grab a bite to eat at the restaurant, go hiking and check out the views of the beautiful oranges and reds,” she said.


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