18 Oct Apple Festival + Antique Cars = Outstanding October!
More than 100,000 flock to Unicoi County!
Credit inspired planning, perfect weather, and pent-up demand for an authentic mountain experience. No matter the credit records were broken for two legendary events that help define Real. Wild. Unicoi County.
Organizers of the 45th Unicoi County Apple Festival, held October 7th and 8th, say at least 100,000 visited downtown Erwin for the two-day street festival. According to Cathy Huskins, Executive Assistant for the Unicoi County Chamber of Commerce, “This was the biggest crowd that I have ever seen.” That’s significant based on Cathy’s 22 years of organizing the event. There were 350 street vendors for the event and plenty of traffic to local downtown merchants.
Unicoi County is famous for its unique apples grown at high elevations in the Coffee Ridge community which was the inspiration of the festival nearly a half century ago.
Just a week later, the 62nd Southeastern Autorama filled downtown with more than 240 registered antique vehicles and another 60 that just wanted to show their stuff on the streets of the downtown.
“My father was a big proponent of the Autorama and I wanted to carry on his legacy,” said Southeastern Autorama President Joey Bailey. “We don’t count the number of visitors during the event, but downtown was full of enthusiasts who came to take a look at some of the most treasured cars and trucks that you’ll find in the region.” Bailey says all of Main, Union and Gay Streets were filled with vehicles on exhibit as well as First Baptist Church’s parking lot adjacent to Main Street.
“We had only a few vendors selling antique auto parts, so there was plenty of traffic for our downtown merchants, says Bailey.
“There is no better way for visitors to sample the beauty and unique lifestyle of our county than with our special collection of back-to-back events that occur in October,” says Austin Finch, Unicoi County Economic Development Director.