Just over 50-thousand attendees is the estimate of officials in Clinton for this weekend's 49th edition of the Apple and Pork Festival.
Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers says that is a crowd typical of Saturday at the annual festival but the heat and humidity of the weekend played major factor in this year's drop in attendance.
Chief Lowers indicates Saturday of Apple and Pork was a busy day for the fire department and EMS crews with the amount heat exhaustion calls that came in.
Director of the CH Moore Homestead, Joey Woolridge, says the weekend was good for her. She says the trends of the weekend were different this year.
The yearly Apple and Pork Festival is a fundraiser for the CH Moore Homestead Victorian mansion and the yearly upkeep for it. The heat and humidity had a hit-and-miss impact on the groups on the grounds of the Homestead and throughout the community.
We'll have complete coverage of the Apple and Pork Festival in the coming weeks on Regional Radio News.
>>Day One of Apple and Pork
The first day of Apple and Pork is officially over. It was a hot day and because of this, attendance was low, but steady.
According to Police Chief Ben Lowers, 29,100 people were in attendance and this is down from the average count of 50,000 count at the end of the first day in previous years.
Though crowds were sparce, Joey Woolridge indicates that the air conditioned Homestead saw steady action all day. She has also noticed a trend in recent years of younger people touring the Homestead.
Woolridge adds that the Homestead will be open from 9 am until 4:30 pm, flee markets will be open as early as 7 am and food booths start selling at 9 am if you want to come out early and beat the heat.
A reminder that it will be hot again tomorrow and that animals are not allowed on festival grounds.
Tune in tomorrow to The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM for more Apple and Pork coverage.
>>Uniqueness of Apple and Pork Festival in Tradition
The Apple and Pork Festival is unlike a lot of festivals you'll find in central Illinois in the fall.
While many provide the area with a carnival atmosphere with rides and fried foods, the Apple and Pork Festival prides itself on its tradition. The CH Moore Homestead is the host and benefactor of the annual festival, and its Director, Joey Woolridge says there is something to be said for the tradition it provides.
The festival provides youth the opportunity to watch a rope-maker, there's tomahawk throwers and gandy dancer train cars. Woolridge notes the youth that come out are just as entertained by that as they would be a carnival ride.
The Apple and Pork Festival is this Saturday and Sunday at the CH Moore Homestead in Clinton. Visit CHMooreHomestead.org or find the Apple and Pork Festival Facebook page.
>>Apple and Pork Festival Still Going Strong Headed Into Year 49
As the Apple and Pork Festival enters it's 49th year, the yearly festival continues to remain a staple of the community and central Illinois.
Director of the DeWitt County Museum, Joey Woolridge indicates the festival started in modest fashion with a booth with a couple of kettles and a few sandwiches and now it is an event that draws anywhere from 75,000 to 100,000 people to DeWitt County.
As Saturday and Sunday go along, parking comes at a premium. Woolridge encourages those coming into town to stop outside of town at the high school and take the trams to the homestead.
As the festival has evolved, the Festival grounds are full of non-profit groups that do fundraising for the weekend. Woolridge indicates there are numerous groups that make their budgets for the year, and if they don't, they come very close.
The Apple and Pork Festival is this weekend in Clinton.
We'll have plenty more on the Apple and Pork Festival this week on Regional Radio News.
>>Local Authorities Prepare For Tens of Thousands of Visitors This Weekend
As the DeWitt County and Clinton community prepares for thousands of visitors this weekend, local authorities will be out monitoring what is traditionally a very mild crowd.
Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers indicates authorities station themselves just off Center Street in Clinton and are active around the community as the crowds make their way to the CH Moore Homestead grounds.
According to the Chief, the event has rarely seen major incidents that require their attention. He explains the problems remain minor like traffic congestion, maybe a fender-bender or other minor vehicle trouble.
Chief Lowers explains the nature of the festival lends itself to a crowd that comes for the flea market and food. He notes with the absence of alcohol at the event, that can generally keep crowds from getting out of hand.
Chief Lowers indicates locals who wish to not participate in the festival generally know the areas of town to avoid but he says the western half of the community becomes very congested and indicates avoiding areas like Van Buren Street and Grant to Highway 51.
>>Clinton City Council Discusses Weekend's Apple and Pork Festival
Members of the Clinton City Council made brier remarks regarding this weekend's Apple and Pork Festival.
Commissioner of Streets and Public Improvements, Nan Crang, reminded residents of the street closures for the weekend.
Commissioner of Public Safety, Dan Ballenger indicates the cooling tent that was up at the festival last year will be up again this year. With temperatures expected near 90-degrees and heat index values in the upper 90s, it could be a resource for a number of visitors.
This weekend's Apple and Pork Festival will also have the usual first responder command post set up at the corner of Woodlawn and Center Street if attendees have any issues they need taken care of.
>>Apple and Pork Festival Entertainment Lineup Set
This year's annual Apple and Pork Festival entertainment lineup has been set.
Woolridge indicates, thanks to the generous contributions from Exelon, the entertainment of the festival is free.
The popular tomahawk throwers are back at the festival again this year and Woolridge indicates there's plenty to do for the kids on the grounds of the CH Moore Homestead.
Additionally, the CH Moore Homestead will be open for tours all weekend and with hot weather predicted, Woolridge hopes there is some interest in the Victorian mansion which is air conditioned.
The Apple and Pork Festival kicks off Saturday morning and concludes on Sunday evening.
Organizers and authorities remind attendees pets are not allowed on the grounds of the CH Moore Homestead.
>>Warner Hospital Foundation Sponsoring 2017 Swifty Swine 5K
The annual Swifty Swine 5k Run/Walk is being sponsored this year by the Warner Hospital and Health Services Foundation.
Russell Long with the Foundation explains they stepped up this year to sponsor this year's event, set again for the Saturday morning of the Apple and Pork Festival.
The race is again at the Weldon Springs Recreation area. Long indicates there will Warner Hospital and Health Services staff out to help folks stretch out before and recover after and also yoga prior to the run/walk.
Long indicates several area businesses and non-profits have stepped up to provide prizes for the winners. They are centered around health and wellness.
Get signed up by visiting the Swifty Swine 5K Facebook page.
>>Clinton High School Students To Be Busy During Apple and Pork Festival
The annual Apple and Pork Festival engulfs the entire community, so much so, a good amount of high school students will be participating again in this year's festivities.
From the band performing to open the Festivities on the grounds to several sports teams working the parking lots at the high school, Superintendent Curt Nettles says its great to see their kids being a part of an event that means so much to the community.
The 'M Squad' will be serving caramel apples on the grounds of the CH Moore Homestead. The band annually opens the festival playing the National Anthem and several other tunes on the stage.
For all things Apple and Pork Festival, visit CHMooreHomestead.org or find the official Apple and Pork Festival Facebook page.