Johnny Appleseed Festival
1502 Harry Baals Dr. Fort Wayne, IN 46805
Each year, the people of Fort Wayne invite visitors from throughout the nation to celebrate the pioneer spirit of John Chapman, better known as "Johnny Appleseed". This national folk hero spent this last years planting orchards in the Fort Wayne area. The Johnny Appleseed Festival was created in 1974 to commemorate the life and good deeds of John Chapman and to depict the pioneer life he lived in the 1800s.
During the latter part of his life, Chapman traveled the countryside on foot, planting orchards in Fort Wayne and surrounding areas. In the process, he became a national folk hero and his gravesite memorial area in Fort Wayne's Archer Park has been designated a National Historic Place and is identified as such on the National Register of Historic Places.
It is one of the few festivals in the United States aimed at preserving American history. The first Johnny Appleseed Festival was a one day event with several thousand visitors. Today the festival is a two day event and draws over 300,000 visitors from all over the Midwest.
The uniqueness of the Johnny Appleseed Festival still amazes people yet today. It's not often you find a festival with such stringent qualities for it's vendors. There are no modern conveniences allowed. Cooking must be done over an open fire, without the use of propane gas. Vendors are required to dress in 1800 period dress, sell products, demonstrate trades, entertain and provide food potentially available within the 1800's.