Clarksville Chamber of Commerce gears up for festival
CLARKSVILLE—With so many events getting canceled this year because of COVID-19, the news that Clarksville’s Chamber of Commerce decided to go ahead with 42nd Applefest this year came as a welcome note for many.
Applefest runs from Saturday, Oct. 10 through Sunday, Oct. 11. For a schedule of events, see Page ??
The news also comes when the Apple Shed is finishing some of its major restorations.
The building was originally an apple packing plant, said Linda Blakey, the project coordinator for the restoration. The wood for the Apple Shed was re-purposed from an older grainary.
“Back in the early ’70s, the shed was given to the Art Guild, which then formed the Raintree Arts Council,” she said. “There’s a lot of history in this building.”
A lot was done to the building back then to keep it structurally sound. But since then, the town of Clarksville has experienced several floods. All that river water did a lot of damage to the building.
“The wood had 100 years on it anyway,” Blakey said. “So, it was due for another renovation.”
Flood disaster relief money was available, she noted, so they decided it was a good time to fix up the Apple Shed. But the more they dug up and uncovered, the more they realized they needed to replace.
“It wasn’t just a matter of putting new floor joists down, it was the matter of getting the rotten ones out,” she said. A basement filled with water compounded the problems.
“It was a huge project,” she said, “and we’re not through yet.” So far, they’ve spent about $124,000 on the project. “That’s because we’ve had to replace everything.”
During the last flood in Clarksville, the water leached up into the building, curling the wood, she said. Women could not walk across the floor in high heel shoes. All the wood had to come up, she added.
Last fall, they put on a new roof. Amish workers came in and did that. Blakey said there’s still plenty on the list that needs to be done, but to get to them, they need donors to help pay for the repairs and renovations.
It’s a big building, she added, and it requires a lot of TLC. Some of it tough love, she said.
The building was mainly used for Eagle Days and Apple Fest. But over the years, it has evolved into a wedding venue, with its rustic look. “And it’s very rustic,” she added. There is no air conditioning or heating in the building. For some winter events, they have to bring in