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Arts & Entertainment Plenty of traditional food at ColorFest Saturday in Dillsboro

Homemade apple butter starts with plenty of freshly peeled and sliced apples added to a woodfired copper kettle.Catch the Spirit of Appalachia (CSA) and the Dillsboro Merchant Association (DMA) is presenting a feast of talented artists, musicians, and food — served up with a taste of the autumn season at this year’s Colorfest, Art and Taste of Appalachia, Saturday, Oct. 5, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. in Dillsboro.

The CSA board will be out in full force, working throughout the town of Dillsboro in different capacities among the talented visual artists. Some of them will be stirring apple butter in a copper kettle across from Dogwood Crafter’s Cooperative on Webster Street.

A survivor of colonial America, apple butter with its taste of cinnamon, continues to be popular . . . long simmering, preserved and saved by the family for the future.

“Making apple butter is fun and traditional here in the mountains,” says Betty Brown, president of the Board of Directors for CSA, “and a bit of heritage to share with visitors to our community. That’s why we’re bringing our copper kettle down to Dillsboro for ColorFest.”

To make apple butter takes a big commitment from all concerned. It begins with nine bushels of apples the night before the big day. All the apples have to be peeled and cored, the pots cleaned, and firewood collected. The fun will begin early on the day of ColorFest, at 6 a.m., when the fire is started. Sliced apples are poured into the pot, and then those who have volunteered to stir must do so constantly, all the while stoking the fire.

During the festival, jars of freshly made apple butter will be for sale at CSA’s booth; but take time to visit the other food booths, and share in the taste of the season. Some of the best cooks in Dillsboro are gearing up to produce some mouth-watering treats for the DMA’s Bake Sale, to be located on Haywood Street, where individual servings of cake, cookies, pies and other goodies will be for sale.

Also on Haywood Street, in the log cabin alongside the Dillsboro Smokehouse, will be Randy and Ann’s sugar cinnamon roasted glazed pecans and almonds, as well as cashews, sea salt roasted almonds and peanuts. They will also have soft pretzels, jams and jellies.

On Depot Street, just across the tracts by KJ’s Needles in a Haystack shop, will be “Wood Fired Farm Pizza,” where personal-sized pizza will be served, made to order. All the vegetables and meats are local ingredients—cooked only by a wood fire.

Stop by the Summit Church booth and enjoy homemade foods—turkey and cheese wraps, veggie wraps, can drinks and funnel cakes. The Summit Church booth will be located at the Indulgence Beauty shop on Front Street.

Also, while visiting ColorFest, visitors will have a great many diverse restaurants to choose from that provide great choices of wholesome food: the historic Jarrett House serves delicate hot biscuits and family-style home cooked meals, the Dillsboro Smokehouse offers the best barbecue, the Well House serves a great deli sandwich, Kosta’s takes you beyond the mountains with mouth watering Greek food. But, if you want a glimpse of yesteryear, you can sit on a stool at the old-fashioned fountain of Bradley’s General Store and have a double-decker ice cream cone.

All in all, Dillsboro in October amid the artists of Color- Fest, Art and Taste of Appalachia, is a lot like the process of making apple butter . . . it’s the slow, simmering result of community.

For more information, contact the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce at (800) 962-1911. To learn more about Dillsboro, visit

ColorFest, Art & Taste of Appalachia is produced by Catch the Spirit of Appalachia, Inc., with support from the Dillsboro Merchants Association, Jackson County Arts Council through Grassroots Arts Programs, Jackson County Visual Arts Association and Jackson County Chamber of Commerce.

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