LISBON, Ohio (WYTV) – Lisbon is preparing for the 53rd Johnny Appleseed festival this weekend. For the last 12 festivals, the current executive director of the Lisbon Chamber of Commerce has ran it. Now, her successor is learning how it’s run before she retires.
It may not be the Columbiana County Fair, but the Johnny Appleseed festival brings in a large crowd every year to downtown Lisbon.
It follows a theme.
“The apple dumplings, the apple fritters, the apple ice cream, just about anything apple you can think of,” said Marilyn McCullough, executive director of the Lisbon Chamber of Commerce.
It also follows the lore of Johnny Appleseed.
Last year, they didn’t have the festival because of the pandemic.
McCullough has been in charge of the festival since 2008, but she announced earlier this year she is stepping down.
“‘Cause I’m old,” she said. “No, I just think that it’s time for some new blood.”
That new blood is Lindsey Smoot.
She will be the new executive director of the Lisbon Chamber. Smoot has worked with event organization in East Liverpool and she’s big on community outreach.
“I think small towns are extremely viable. I think there is a lot of opportunity,” Smoot said.
Smoot has been working closely with McCullough on getting ready for the festival, learning the ins and outs of what she needs to know.
She admits it’s a lot of work.
“Finding enough vendors, finding enough food trucks, food providers, making sure you have a balance of paid activities, free activities, community buy-in, getting the audience here,” Smoot said.
They are hoping the weather stays nice for this weekend, but don’t ask McCullough what the weather is supposed to be.
“And I traditionally don’t look because I don’t want to know ’cause nothing I think or say will change it,” she said.
The festival kicks off Saturday at 11 a.m.
33 anchor Aaron Deane will be a judge for the pie baking contest on Saturday.