Downtown Tecumseh to host Appleumpkin October 12-13

By: 
JACKIE KOCH

A 26-year tradition will bring throngs of people to Tecumseh this weekend when the annual Appleumpkin Festival takes place in the downtown area, continuing the community showcase started by four local women long ago. The festival will run Saturday, Oct. 12 from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 13 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., in conjunction with the Kapnick Apple Festival at Kapnick Orchards on Rogers Highway.

One of the founding organizers Jan Fox, is still making sure the festival runs smoothly after all these years. After an arson fire in April that destroyed the building that housed her Grey Fox Floral business as well as husband Gary’s Tecumseh Coins, she realized all of her records for the Appleumpkin Festival were lost in the blaze. She reached out to the vendors and others involved in prior festivals, and many assisted her in gathering lost information.

“I had a lot of help,” Fox said. Linda Hewlett, the City of Tecumseh’s marketing coordinator, made her a notebook with information she had from the previous year. “That was huge,” she said.

Fox’s husband, Gary, is extremely supportive. “On Saturday morning he’ll be out helping with some of the setup before he has to be in the store,” she said. “He helps a lot on Sunday night with the cleanup and making sure all the barricades are pulled in out of the way.”

Community members who help put on this monumental event are the Appleumpkin Committee; Tecumseh resident Michael Snyder-Barker, who arranges all the acoustic music acts and stages; Mark Curtis of Mac’s Traxx who is in charge of the Appleumpkin Stage; and Hewlett, who takes care of all the promotions and advertising for the festival. “She’s invaluable,” Fox said. Another key person is Rhonda Nowak of Great Ideas. “She’s a great sounding board and she takes over with stuff that I have a hard time handling, or she’ll be out with the setup on Friday with getting all the vendors where they need to go,” said Fox.

This year’s Appleumpkin will be even bigger and better. “We are definitely going to have a sell-out of vendor spaces and a pretty big increase particularly in the arts and crafts venue,” Fox said. New this year is a stage organized by the Tecumseh Center for the Arts, which will have performers on South Ottawa Street on Saturday.

Another new feature for this year’s festival is a performance by a big-name bluegrass act, the Dave Adkins Band, Saturday at 3 p.m. at the Appleumpkin Stage on South Evans Street. “That’s kind of neat because they just released a new album,” said Fox. “It’s the first time we’ve really gone to the level of hiring specifically a main band.”

The band, based in Kentucky, will perform Adkins’ award-winning originals along with country and rock classics. Besides Adkins, the band includes David Freeman on mandolin, Joey Shann on banjo and reso-guitar, Daniel Collier on fiddle, and Mitchell Brown on bass, all with many years of professional bluegrass experience.

The festival will include an antique tractor show Saturday on South Evans Street and the Irish Hills Corvette Club car show with additional clubs in the same location on Sunday.
Family fun will include midway rides, carnival games, inflatables, a bungee jump, make-it-take-it crafts, a corn box for kids to play in, putt putt golf, a petting zoo, helicopter rides and monster truck rides. A make-it-take-it scarecrow tent will allow participants to create their own scarecrow, and the antique street fair, flea market and arts and crafts vendors will provide shopping options, while food vendors will offer a variety of sustenance. 

The “Haunted Cabin in the Woods” will be open Saturday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and Sunday from 1-3 p.m. at the Boy Scout Cabin at 112 Kilbuck St. Proceeds from the $3 entry fee will benefit the Tecumseh South Early Learning Center PTO. The Tecumseh District Library will have a used book sale Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., and Tecumseh American Legion at the corner of Pottawatamie and South Evans streets will hold a Chicken Broil Saturday from noon-4 p.m., which will provide half a chicken with the fixings for $9.

Southern Michigan Railroad will provide train rides Saturday and Sunday leaving at 10:30 a.m., noon, and 2, 3:30, and 5 p.m. from downtown Tecumseh at North Evans Street and Chicago Boulevard. Visit public.whistletix.com for ticket information or to book online, or call 517.403.5563.

Parking is available on side streets and at Tecumseh High School on the west end of town, where there is a free shuttle. The shuttle will operate Saturday from 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and will transport festival attendees to the Pearl Street shuttle stop downtown. There will also be a shuttle that leaves the Pearl Street location to take folks to the Apple Festival at Kapnick Orchards.

“The City of Tecumseh has been just awesome,” Fox said. “We could not do it without the support of the city. They have all the departments helping.” She said that Jessica Stretch and Vicki Riddle of the Tecumseh Area Chamber of Commerce have also been instrumental in handling the details regarding arts and craft vendors.
With most of the preparations complete and the festival imminent, Fox is on the home stretch toward another fantastic community weekend. “Now we just hope for the good weather,” she said.

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Tecumseh Herald

 

110 E. Logan St.
P.O. Box 218
Tecumseh, MI 49286
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800-832-6443

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