In celebration of its leading agricultural assets, Bridgeville will hold its 22nd annual Apple Scrapple Festival this weekend.
The festival, which usually attracts nearly 25,000 visitors, has become a local staple showcasing the products of Bridgeville businesses T.S. Smith & Sons and RAPA Scrapple.
"The event was formed 22 years ago to promote agribusiness and tourism in Western Sussex and to give our many civic, non-profit, church and school organizations an avenue to raise awareness and money for their groups," said Karen Johnson, executive chairperson of the festival. "We have a lot of wonderful events that people love every year."
Bridgeville Commissioner Patricia Correll said town residents are getting very excited for the festival.
"We are delighted they do this every year because it's just a wholesome thing for our community," Correll said. "It's important because it economically promotes the town, but there's a lot of spirit and pride on the part of the residents. It's just a positive thing with a very positive atmosphere."
Of particular note this year, Johnson said, are events that require the participation of festival-goers.
The 5K Hogg Jogg will be held at 9 a.m. on Saturday at the Woodbridge Farm/Athletic Field. Registration, which costs $10, runs from 7:30 to 8:50 a.m. All runners will be given T-shirts and there will be special awards for the top female and male finishers in each age group.
The free Scrapple Carving Contest is at 11 a.m. in the food court tents. Participants will be given a two-pound block of RAPA scrapple and carving utensils.
"You're given a few minutes to craft your design," Johnson said. "We'd prefer participants stick with the theme of the festival, likes apples or pigs. There are cash rewards for both kids and adults."
The Ladies Skillet Toss and Scrapple Chunkin' Contest will be held beginning at 1 p.m. on Saturday at Woodbridge High School. Registration for the skillet toss begins at 12:30 p.m. and the event involves heaving an eight-inch, cast iron skillet as far as the participant is able. Registration for the chunkin' contest begins at 1:30 p.m. and the event features contestants chunkin' packages of scrapple shot-put style.
Johnson reminds visitors that the festival offers free parking and free bus shuttle service. Also, festival-goers are asked to leave their pets at home.
The shuttle service will run visitors to nearby T.S. Smith & Sons, where the farm is holding its Apple Harvest Festival from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The festival will feature you-pick apples, performances of the Sussex Master Gardeners' "The Adventures of Peter Rabbit in Farmer McGregor's Garden," wagon rides, live music and more.