Article Contributed by
Busti Historical Society
September 24, always the last Sunday in September, is the date for the Busti Apple Festival. This year is the 38th annual. The Apple Festival is the regional favorite among history and craft fairs featuring dozens of handcraft vendors, a farmers’ market of produce and seasonal foods, and historical craft and skill demonstrations spread all over the extensive grounds, a new large building, and a pavilion.
The festival, like the sponsoring Busti Historical Society itself, was organized to help a local 4-H group accomplish the restoration of the historic 1838 Grist Mill. After 40 years of work, the Mill was rededicated to the community in 2013. It will be open and grinding throughout the festival.
More recently the Society acquired the miller’s house directly across the road and began restoration of that to the 1846 period in which it was built. The exterior was completed: roof, siding, paint, windows, porch, in 2016. One completed interior room will be open for public view this year.
In addition to the vendor/sales booths lining the highway and extending onto the grounds, there will be historic and educational exhibits indoors and out on both sides of the road. Cider pressing, weaving, flax breaking, shingle making, Civil War surgery and Civil War re-enactors, apple butter making, soap making, historical and scientific curiosities, genealogy, and old fashioned toys are among the many attractions. A one room school will be taught in an authentic classroom in the regular museum building. A unique display of Chautauqua County gunsmiths, their products, their tools and workshops, even their families is presented here and nowhere else.
In front of the miller house, Allegheny Crossing, an old time string band will play throughout the day and is available to call square dances on the spot should the crowd ask for it.
All the familiar ready to eat and take home foods are available: hamburgers, hot dogs, beef on kummelweck, pulled pork, pies, cheese, cider, and apples and more.
The festival has a great record for good weather, celebrating the last of summer and the best of fall, but it goes on rain or shine. Admission is $5 for adults, children under 12 free. Parking is free on the Busti Firemen’s grounds. Half the admission fee supports the firemen. This is a busy, crowded environment, not suitable for pets large or small, walking or carried. For your safety and theirs, leave them home.