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National park to hold Apple Butter Celebration

By The Journal -- (Martinsburg, W.Va.)

On Sept. 22, the air around Skyland Resort will be filled with the aroma of boiling apple butter and the sounds of bluegrass and children's laughter.

The 13th annual Apple Butter Celebration will coincide with the autumnal equinox this year. Event participants will celebrate Appalachian culture and get a preview of fall colors that will soon blanket Shenandoah National Park.

"Nothing says autumn like apple butter and fall foliage," said Helen Morton, director of sales and marketing for Shenandoah National Park lodging, managed by ARAMARK Parks and Destinations. "Making apple butter is an American fall tradition with the whole family pitching in. We pay homage to this spirit at the yearly Apple Butter Celebration by encouraging guests to give the pot a stir and enjoy customs of the Shenandoah region."

The celebration starts at dawn with the lighting of the fires and the filling of the copper kettles. The day long event will include entertainment starting at 9:45 a.m. with singer Resi Linton followed by the by Shenandoah Valley Cloggers, High Horse Cloggers and music from High Ground Blue Grass Band and Possum Ridge String Band. Skyland Resort chefs will prepare grilled chicken with apple salsa, pork ribs with apple barbecue sauce, cobbler, caramel apples, cider and other fall-fruit themed delights. Wine tasting, pony rides and children's crafts will also be offered, as will kettle-fresh apple butter to take home. The event will also provide guests with a first look at the unfolding fall colors. Shenandoah National Park's wide variation in elevation from 561 feet to 4,049 feet lends itself to an extended color season, starting in late September and running well into November.

"At the start of fall, guests can anticipate crimson red Virginia Creepers and yellow poplars staying true to their name. In addition, dogwood will likely begin its transformation to a dull red and the black gum may begin to turn bright red. These colors will only continue to spread into October and beyond," Morton said.

Morton reminds guests to book their fall foliage getaway sooner rather than later. "Most travelers wait until the leaves have started to change to confirm their plans. This is a popular season, so rooms are at a high demand."

For more information about the 13th annual Apple Butter Celebration, call 888-896-3833 or visit www.visitshenandoah.com.

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