From the humble origins of the first Casey County Apple Festival held on a single day at a gravel parking lot in 1974, The Casey County Apple Festival has grown into one of Kentucky’s most favored street festivals. In 2010, the Casey County Apple Festival was named “Best Festival in Kentucky” for the first time; the festival has repeatedly won the title of “Best Festival in Kentucky” from 2012-2015. After the success of the first festival, the 1975 Casey County Apple Festival was held on the campus of Casey County High School to accommodate a greater attendance. As the festival continued to grow, a much larger space was needed for the festivities.
In 1979, the Casey County Apple Festival was held at its new and continuing location on the streets of downtown Liberty. The festival boasts plenty of entertainment, a full size carnival, live music, numerous pageants, 200-plus vendors, and a 10-ft Giant Apple Pie that serves as the centerpiece of the festivities. The annual festival is hosted each year on the fourth weekend of September and attracts 50,000-60,000 visitors to the area.
As the centerpiece of the festival, the 10-ft Giant Apple Pie is a delight for festival goers. Preparations for the pie begin on Thursday of festival week when volunteers start peeling the apples for the pie. On Friday, the 10-ft stainless steel pan is filled with the pie ingredients and placed in the giant oven where it will bake for 12 hours. Festival goers can get a view of the pie baking through the window in the oven door. On Saturday at noon, the pie is removed from the oven and served to the public—free of charge!
Other free attractions include the 10-ft chocolate chip cookie prepared and sponsored by IGA of Liberty, and the 10-ft pizza prepared and sponsored by Liberty Pizza Hut. The chocolate chip cookie is served on Wednesday night of the festival, and the pizza is served on Thursday night of the festival. Visitors to the Casey County Apple Festival are sure to find something of interest for everyone in the family. Attractions and activities such as the carnival, pedal tractor pull, big wheel race, and frog jumping contest are favorites among children attending the festival. The festival offers an abundance of food vendors conveniently located around the courthouse square and on Middleburg Street. Types of foods festival goers are likely to find include funnel cakes, pork burgers, ribbon fries, and Greek gyros. Hustonville Street features vendors selling arts and craft items, and the vendors located along Middleburg, Beldon, and Randolph Streets offer commercial and flea market items.