2016 Johnny Appleseed Festival

Saturday, September 24, 2016 - 9AM to 4PM

Meet and greet Johnny Appleseed himself, as he strolls the streets of downtown, telling his story throughout the day.

Join Johnny in front of the Raue Center at 11AM and 1PM for stories and picture opportunities.

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Join the fun and be a volunteer at the festival!

Click to View Volunteer Opportunities on SignUp.com

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Major Event Sponsor:

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About the Johnny Appleseed Festival

Crystal Lake's largest one-day event which brings families and the community together to celebrate Fall.

FREE ENTERTAINMENT!!  Downtown will come alive with music and fun.

Northwest Highway will be singing and playing music at Brink Street Market throughout the day.

Music and entertainment in Depot Park -- all day!   In the afternoon, The Corner Boys will be entertaining the crowds.

Craft Fair - Ormsby Motors' Parking Lot 

A Craft Fair (9AM - 4PM) will be held in Ormsby Motors' parking lot.  Dozens of vendors displaying beautiful and unique handmade items (everything from quilts to painted rocks to jewelry to fabric tote bags to crocheted items to holiday decorations to....well, you get the picture!). Click here for an application.

Demonstrations and More FREE Entertainment!! 

View and participate in demonstrations of an antique apple cider press and apple peelers, provided by the Crystal Lake Historical Society.  There will be musical groups, dance presentations, martial arts demonstrations, storytelling in front of the Raue Center (provided by the Crystal Lake Public Library), and so much more!  Free balloon art creations in front of Crystal Lake Bank & Trust (70 N. Williams) from 10AM to 12PM.  Lots of fun for everyone!

Low Cost Entertainment for the Family!

Activities such as children's games, pony rides, petting zoo, pumpkin train, pumpkin bowling, temporary tattoos, climbing tower, giant slide, wagon rides, amusement rides, moonwalk, etc. require tickets.  Tickets are $1 each.  Two ticket/information booths will be setup (one at the corner of Williams & Brink, and one at the parking lot near most of the activities). Click here for a detailed list of ticketed activities and the number of tickets required. 

The Souvenir Booth (selling apple cider donuts, water, apple juice, apple sippers, apple-shaped sunglasses, Crystal Lake T-shirts & mugs, tote bags, and books) will be located in the Brink Street Market next to the large parking lot.  The Souvenir Booth will accept BOTH Cash and Tickets.  

Farmers Market

Farmers Market is located (today only) at the corner of Grant & Brink.  Visit your favorite market vendor.  


Pie Baking Contest!!  Ten bakers will against each other.  Pies will be judged on appearance, taste, and crust.  Click here additional information.  

 And the 2015 winners were:

1st Place - Andrea Tusynski

2nd Place - Eileen Lane

3rd Place - Alexis & Bella Shipman

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Pie Eating Contest!!  Ten contestants will compete against each other and the clock.  The rules are as follows:


• Each participant receives the same kind, size & weight pie.

 • Five minute time limit.

• Participant will be declared a winner if they are the first person to eat (swallow) the entire pie.

 • If entire pie is not eaten in 5 minutes, winner is determined by remaining weight of uneaten pie.

• All decisions are final. • Entry fee: $5

REGISTER on 9/24 at the Ticket Tent near the Clock.

Pie Clarifications:
All pies are made by Benedicts La Strata with the exact same number of


2015 Pie Eating Contest Winners:

1st Place - John Tsuetaki

2nd Place - Nevin Forstrom

3rd Place - Molly Knoll

Scarecrow Decorating - Dozens of scarecrows will adorn the lightpoles in Downtown Crystal Lake.  Businesses and individuals will compete for bragging rights in six categories: Scariest, Most Colorful, Most Creative, Most Humorous, Most Represents Business, and Judges' Choice.  The creativity of the scarecrows will really give Downtown something to "crow about"!  Click here for a Scarecrow Decorating flyer.

2015 Scarecrow Decorating Winners:

Scariest - Duke's Alehouse & Kitchen
Most Colorful - Shay
Most Creative - Lulu's Wiggin Out
Most Humorous - Home State Bank
Most Representative of Business - Area 51 Tattoos
Judges' Choice (pictured below) - Crystal Lake Bank & Trust

Great Ball Race - 3PM

For fast-paced excitement and fun, check out the Great Ball Race on Brink Street.  Purchase your chance to win $1,000 at the ticket booth near Dalzell Jewelers.  Race time is 3PM.  Come on down and cheer your ball on to victory.  Click here for additional information about the Great Ball Race.

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Thousands of people attend the Johnny Appleseed Festival.       We hope you'll join us in 2016!

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2016 Sponsors (check back often as we update this list)

The Johnny Appleseed Festival and Great Ball Race are planned, organized and staffed by volunteers.  Thank you to the following sponsors for their support, which enables us to host these wonderful family-friendly events for our community:

Home State Bank - Major Event Sponsor


American Community Bank


Area 51 Tattoos

Baxter & Woodman

Benedicts La Strata

Blush Salon

BMO Harris Bank

BMW of Crystal Lake

The Clothes Gallery

Color Me Mine

Country Inn & Suites - Johnny Appleseed sleeps here!

Countryside Flowershop & Nursery

Crystal Lake Bank & Trust

Crystal Lake Historical Society

Crystal Lake Travel

Crystal Lake Upholstery

Dalzell Jewelers

Express Employment Professionals

Fabric, Fiber & Finds

Georgio's Pizzeria & Pub

Goal Line Sports Bar & Grill

Herrick Auto Rebuilders

Joe's Barber Shop

KaleidoScoops Ice Cream

Kitchen Outfitters

Lloyds Paint & Paper

Marvin's Toy Store

Mazda of Crystal Lake

McHenry County Living

Montessori Pathways School

Northwest Herald - Print Media Sponsor

O'Grady's Barber Shop

Ormsby Motors

Out of the Box

Players Bench Music Store

Raue Center for the Arts


State Farm Insurance - Ben Volling, Agent

Suran Built

That's Amore Pizza

VW of Crystal Lake

Wear Did U Get That

Thank you to our Sponsors!

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Here are some photos from prior Johnny Appleseed Festivals:

View photos of Scarecrows from prior years: