The Fort Falls For Johnny Appleseed


It’s that time of year, when the air gets crisp, the sky gets bluer, and the leaves change from summer green to chartreuse, saffron, and golden orange. This is the time of year when autumn comes bringing some of the best things in life to Fort Wayne — pumpkin spice, maple candy, and the Johnny Appleseed Festival. (This year marks the 41st annual event!)

If you’re a Fort Wayne local, then you eagerly await this special festival every year. Johnny Appleseed (formerly known as John Chapman) was a pioneer who gave what he could and helped those less fortunate by planting apple orchards across the Midwest. His story has made such an impact on the Fort Wayne community, not only do we have this festival in his memory, but our very own Tincaps are also from his legacy because he was said to wear a metal pot on his head as he traveled.


At the Johnny Appleseed Festival, you can expect to see pioneer men cooking kettle corn over an open fire, making the air smell just as sweet as those little kernels. The bees are buzzing around the barrels of the home made sassafras and root beer while the marching band winds their way through the festival. Get a feel for the pioneer way with the antique section and watch pioneer women make thread on a spinning wheel. Everything at the festival is done just how it was during the old days; there are no electric stoves, microwaves, or refrigerators.

Sit on bales of hay and watch pioneer men, women, and children make homemade chicken n’ dumplings in iron pots and sneak in some sugary and crunchy apple crisp. It is a perfect festival for a fall day with the family. We’ll meet you there, hopefully with pockets full of pumpkin cakes and mouths full of hams and beans (with a side of cornbread, of course).


Saturday - September 19th 10am - 6pm

Sunday - September 20th 10am - 5pm

At the Johnny Appleseed Park


Photos by Tony Frantz