Unicoi Apple Festival scheduled Oct. 6 & 7
Published 2:40 pm Thursday, September 21, 2023
As the leaves begin to turn and the crisp autumn air seeps through the mountains of East Tennessee, there is no better way to welcome the season than with the annual Unicoi County Apple Festival. The Unicoi County Chamber of Commerce will hold the 46th annual event on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 6 and 7, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day in downtown Erwin.
The festival, drawing more than 120,000 annual attendees, has been consistently named one of the Southeast Tourism Society’s Top 20 events in the southeast, is a four-year winner of the Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association’s Pinnacle Award and has been named the Johnson City Press Readers’ Choice Best Local Event from 2018-2022. This year’s event promises to be bigger and better than ever, offering two-days of family-friendly fun, delicious food, live entertainment, and, of course, an abundance of the region’s best apples.
Visitors can stroll along the downtown streets of Erwin where more than 400 talented artisans from across the country will display their creations. This is the perfect opportunity to find unique gifts, home décor items and other one-of-a-kind works. Enjoy the sounds of live music throughout the weekend as a diverse range of musical acts will take the stages. Two stages of headlining entertainment will be included in this year’s festival.
Also, those attending can satisfy their taste buds with an array of mouthwatering food options available at either of the two festival food courts. From classic festival fare to local specialties, there’s something to please every palate. And don’t forget the apples! Explore a variety of apple-licious treats from candy apples and fried apple pies to apple dumplings and apple cider.
The large children’s area is a festival within a festival, uniquely designed with rides, inflatables, interactive games, face painting and much more. Located in the parking lot of Erwin Town Hall, the 2023 children’s area is a place where the young festival-goer can let their imaginations run wild.
To enliven one’s competitive spirit, the Unicoi County Apple Festival includes many activities and contests. The UT Extension’s Apple Cooking Contest will take place on Friday, Oct. 6, and on Saturday, Oct. 7, runners from across the country will converge on the streets of Erwin for the running of the Apple Festival 4-mile footrace and 2-mile race walk. The festival spans across a 5-block section of downtown Erwin and includes adjoining side streets.
From Interstate 26, take Exit 37 into downtown Erwin. Admission to the festival is free, making it an accessible and enjoyable experience for all. Several parking areas around Exit 37 have been secured for festival attendees.
To ensure the safety of the large number of attendees, festival organizers ask that you please do not bring pets onto the festival grounds. Bicycles and skateboards are also not permitted on festival grounds.
While visiting the Unicoi County Apple Festival, be sure to discover the vibrant business community located in Erwin and Unicoi County, with local shops, boutiques, and vendors offering a wide range of products and services. The festival, surrounded by the stunning Appalachian Mountains, offers breathtaking views and ample opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to explore the natural beauty of the region, so spend the weekend enjoying all that Unicoi County has to offer.