Thousands expected for apple and scrapple fun

Scrapple shot put, peeling apples contest to be featured
By Lynn R. Parks

Bonnie Workman is proud that Bridgeville's annual Apple-Scrapple Festival, which she has helped to organize ever since its inception nine years ago, is growing.
"Our festival has more people every year," said Workman, Bridgeville. "And every year, we try to do something new to pep it up a little bit."
This year's festival, expected to attract up to 25,000 people, will take place Oct. 8 and 9. And that new, pep-adding event is a Scrapple Chunking contest.
Contenders will heave blocks of scrapple 2 pounds for youth, 5 pounds for adults in shot put fashion. Monitoring and judging will be done by Rob Perciful, Bridgeville, track coach for Seaford High School.
"We contemplated having the scrapple unwrapped and then inviting everyone to bring their dogs to clean up the mess on Sunday morning," said Workman. Instead, the scrapple, donated by Rapa Scrapple, will remain wrapped, enabling, Workman hopes, throwers to reuse the blocks.
The competition will take place on the softball field behind Woodbridge High School at 1 p.m. There is no fee to participate. Medals will be given to top throwers in four divisions.
"This is Bridgeville's answer to the Olympic games," said Perciful, who is also organizing the festival's 5-K run, the Hogg Jogg.
"We have had a running event for a while, and now we have a field event. All we need now is a jumping event."
Perciful said that the Scrapple Chunking will follow established high school shot put rules. The implement in this case the block of scrapple must not drop below the competitor's shoulder during the throw and the competitor's feet must remain inside a 7-foot circle.
A high school shot weighs 12 pounds and an average high school student can throw it 35 to 40 feet, said Perciful. "The good ones get up in the mid-40s," he said. But he does not expect that the blocks of scrapple will soar to those distances.
"It won't spin at all," he said. "And the wind resistance on that big block will slow it down."
Perciful has set a goal for his turn in the circle. "I want to throw the 5-pound block at least 30 feet," he said. "And I haven't been practicing.
"I have a feeling that this will be a really big event," he added. "In the spirit of Apple-Scrapple weekend, I think that it will be a lot of fun."

Apple events too
Most festival activities will be set up along Walnut Street and Delaware Avenue, as well as on Railroad Avenue. Woodbridge High School will host a craft show, the Bridgeville Volunteer Fire Department will hold its annual open house and the Union United Methodist Church, Market Street, will prepare a breakfast, featuring, naturally, scrapple.

The Scrapple Chunking competition is not the only new event for this year's festival. In addition to the apple pie and apple dessert contests, cooks are invited to participate in a scrapple cooking contest. Organizer Rita Hovermale, Bridgeville, said that she is looking for entries that show a different side to the meat; "something besides frying it and putting it on a piece of bread."
"Scrapple is a very economical food," she added. "But either you love it or you hate it. We are hoping to come up with other ways to use it."
To register for the cooking contest, call Hovermale at 337-8318 (home) or 337-8289 (work). First prize winner will receive a $100 bond and each participant will receive an apron and a block of scrapple.
Hovermale is also overseeing an apple decorating contest, in which judges will pick the best of home-decorating ideas made with fresh apples. "Anything to do with the home, either inside or out, is welcome," she said. "I know that some people are submitting centerpieces and other are doing wreaths." Items will be returned to the competitors. First prize is a $100 bond and each participant will receive an apron and a bag of apples. For details, call Hovermale.
Also new this year are tethered balloon rides. Dr. Charles Wagner, founder of Milton's Balloon Festival, will offer the rides at the Woodbridge football field from 8 to 10 a.m., weather permitting. Cost is $5 per ride.
Of course, the festival will again feature a scrapple-carving contest and an apple peeling contest. Also back this year will be tractor pulls featuring antique and kiddie tractors.
The Hogg Jogg, has been moved from in town to an orchard owned by T. S. Smith and Sons. The orchard, where registration will take place, is located on the Redden Road. The race will start at 8 a.m.
Workman is particularly proud of the musical groups that will entertain the group. For Friday night's street dance, the Kelly Bell Band, a blues band from Baltimore, will perform. "They are a great band, very good," said Workman. "I have their CD and am really glad that they are coming."
The Cruisers will play for Saturday night's street dance. Also performing Saturday will be Jamie Slocum, a Christian music artist, who will be sponsored by radio station Light FM.
And taking the stage at 11:15 a.m. on Saturday, immediately after the hog calling contest, will be Dan McAvoy and the Great Whatever, a Philadelphia band whose album, "Peace, Love and Scrapple," features the original scrapple song, titled simply "Scrapple." "I am really pleased to have them," said Workman.
This year, parking will be provided in the Southern Delaware Visitor's Center, US 13 just south of town. The parking lot will be manned by volunteers from the Woodbridge Athletic Association. Cost will be $2 for all-day parking. Buses will transport people across the highway and tractor-drawn trolleys will provide transportation throughout town and out to the T. S. Smith Packing House, where there will be tours of the packing house and of an orchard as well as a cornfield maze.
As it has every year, the Bridgeville Public Library will sponsor a carnival on Railroad Avenue. Food booths will be set up throughout the festival and there will be an outdoor antiques dealers' market. Delaware Avenue will be lined with antique and classic cars and trucks and an art show will be set up on the grounds of the library. In addition, there will be a petting zoo, children's games, pony rides, a trade show and a farmer's market. Activities start at 4 p.m. on Friday and at 9 a.m. Saturday. Street dance get under way at 8 p.m. each evening.
Major sponsors are T. S. Smith and Sons, Rapa Scrapple, Greenwood Trust, H. E. Hardesty and Sons and Pepsi. Proceeds benefit the festival itself as well as various community groups, including the senior center, Union and Trinity United Methodist churches and the library, as well as school clubs and sports teams.