History of the Festival

fire2_lrgThe congregation of Oxford Presbyterian Church has strong roots dating back over 250 years. It was this deep sense of community that gave birth to what would become much more than a fundraising event, but a beloved tradition—born out of the ashes of a terrible tragedy.

The congregation and the entire community will never forget Memorial Day weekend, 1989. It was between 9:00 and 9:30 on Sunday evening when the fire broke. With more than 100 firefighters from 15 departments from Chester County, Lancaster County and Maryland responding, they all gave thanks that the building was empty. Not only the church congregation, but more than 20 community groups were left without a home.

fire_lrgIt was a rainy day in 1989, one that matched the feeling of helplessness felt by many, struggling to figure out how to fund the rebuilding. It was there that the Apple Festival bloomed, themed to the fruit of the season. An enthusiastic committee met at the Oxford Library planning this first Apple Festival. Thousands were in attendance, regardless of the forecasted rain. When Reverend Ted Atkinson said the opening prayer, the sun burst through and it was the most gorgeous day imaginable.

Although the event has raised tens of thousands of dollars for many different causes over the years, the heart of the Festival has remained the same. This is a day of fellowship and family fun, of strengthening not only the congregation but the community as well. We hope you will choose to join us this year!