10-11-13 Apple Butter Festival adds block party

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BERKELEY SPRINGS – Ghost stories, local music and a firehouse filled with food and games mark a first-time ever block party on Apple Butter Festival eve in Berkeley Springs. The event is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 11 from 6:30-11 p.m. on 3 blocks of Mercer Street, just a stone’s throw from the park and main streets where vendors and festival activities traditionally take place on Saturday and Sunday.

“When the Berkeley Springs Volunteer Fire Department (BSVFD) sought out festival planners for a way to celebrate both the 40th anniversary of the Apple Butter Festival and their own 120th anniversary, we were thrilled,” said Jeanne Mozier. “A Friday night block party one street from the festival seemed perfect.”

The most singular event of the block party takes place at the Ice House at 7:30 p.m. when master storyteller John Douglas hosts an evening of ghost stories with fellow author Tim Rowland as special guest. Douglas tells eerie and captivating stories of the area from his latest book, “A Fog of Ghosts,” released in early October. Audience members are encouraged to tell their own tales as if they were sitting around the campfire.

Across Mercer St., Black Cat Music stages an impressive line-up of 6 local music groups and performers that range from the El Charro style of Oscar Robles to the rock and country sound of Attic 63. The infamous Black Cat School of Rock is also performing on the outdoor stage. New Granary and Mi Ranchito collaborate on the evening of music.

The fire hall is center for food, games and fire trucks during the block party. Firefighters are there to explain vehicles, gear and more than a century of dedication in safeguarding the area. BSVFD was established in early 1894, propelled by the establishment of a public water system. They grew and developed over the years as repeated major fires swept away 4 major hotel and 2 key blocks of businesses between 1898 and 1974.

The south end of the block party is anchored by several vendors in the festival’s food lot.

“We’re looking forward to lots of folks coming downtown and joining us in this launching of both the 40th festival and the next 40 years of it,” said Mozier.

For more information on the Apple Butter Festival, check online at www.berkeleysprings.com/apple-butter-festival or call 304-258-3738.

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