The Applefest Celebration in historic downtown Weston, Missouri, is known as one of the best fall festivals in the entire state. This year was the 30th event and we made the trip to participate. Downtown Weston isn’t a large area, but for its size the festival is a big deal. The historic Main Street is lined with white tents selling an array of arts and crafts, as well as a number of antique stores, galleries, and eclectic and modern shops. The outside food court is large and offers your typical “festival” or “fair” foods, but also edibles you would expect to find at an Applefest like apple dumplings, apple pie, and candied apples. If you prefer a more formal meal, though, there are several restaurants in the area with a variety of cuisines. Not to mention several bars to choose from as well. There’s plenty of activities for children, which includes pony rides, games, and face and pumpkin painting. And the Burley House Market is another main attraction at the festival, but it remains open one weekend a month from April through November.
We briefly perused the tents selling various crafts, gifts, collectibles, and curios, but didn’t spend a significant amount of time in the area because it was extremely crowded. Besides, the festival is a great venue for driving business into the downtown stores and helping visitors get to know the area, so that’s what we did. We wandered around checking out Weston’s historic downtown, its old buildings dating back well over a hundred years, unique stores, an old tobacco barn, and even underground.
This little antique store is one of many and was beautifully decorated inside with everything Christmas!
We stumbled upon an underground cigar shop that we couldn’t pass up. Hakam wasn’t with us, but he enjoys an occasional cigar so we thought we’d surprise him with a few. It was a cool spot with a huge humidor and a ton of cigars to choose from. You can watch them make cigars right there, or relax in the sitting area and enjoy one before heading back up to civilization. I’ve always found cigar shops to be too smokey to endure for more than just a few minutes, but this one was so large that it wasn’t bothersome.
There’s enough to do and see at the Applefest to keep you busy for several hours, but we did it in just a couple because there was still one more place we wanted to visit…
The Farmers House
The Farmers House is a non-profit, community-based program for the youth and young adults (the Farmers) with developmental disabilities. Their goal: “To empower each Farmer to live a meaningful life and encourage positive interactions through social, recreational, vocational and transitional services.” They have more than one location (one in Kansas and two in Missouri) where the Farmers learn the day-to-day operations of a small business. The Farmers grow gardens, operate a cash register, provide customer service, stock merchandise, and partake in all the responsibilities of running a business.
The country store is adorable, with its rustic exterior and bright and colorful interior that offers a variety of goods including housewares, soaps, lotions, linens, fun gifts, souvenirs, jarred delights such as jams and butters, pies, and much more.
We were told this place is not only known for their outstanding work within the community…. but there hot apple fritters as well! So we got in line at the Farm to Fork Kitchen and placed our order. There are six big, hot, apple fritters to each order and they are delicious! We understand why this place is “known” for them. There are picnic tables between the Kitchen and the store, so we had a place to park-it and eat. And check out that truck!
The back of the store is where the gardens are grown. They’re located behind the shed in the picture below, but since it was out of season there wasn’t much to photograph. I still found a few things to take pictures of, like the old shed, a splash of color, and stairs that lead to nowhere.
The Farmers House is contributing to the lives of those with developmental disabilities by providing them with business and social skills they need now and will need in the future. The experience the Farmers gain from this wonderful program reaches well beyond the front doors of the country store. It’s not just about learning to run a business… it’s about improving lives. The program is supported through volunteers and donations, so stop by and purchase something, give your time, or check out their website and donate. They’re doing something GREAT… so help support the cause!
Thanks for reading! Please don’t forget to share this post on your social media and subscribe to our blog before leaving the site. Sharing and subscribing is a way to support our content, which makes it relevant and helps to get it seen by more people. We love the work we do, but we can’t do it without you! Until next time…