2017 Student Writing Contest Winners

First Place Winner – Essay
Ryan Givens
11th Grade
Lincoln Charter School – Denver

The apple by itself is a simple, round, everyday fruit. The apple is not an exotic fruit. Honestly, the apple is probably not the most sought after fruit. But yet here in Lincoln County, we celebrate apples with their own festival every September.

When you put a bunch of apples in a bag, then you have lots of simple, round fruits that you can now share with friends. When you create a festival based upon this simple fruit, you then create a sense of community. A community of friends, neighbors and families that gather to celebrate amazing foods, shop at local vendors and take time to celebrate our amazing county.

This year our community will gather on September 16th to celebrate the apple. Our community will be met with beautiful fall weather, the smell of apples everywhere, and the taste of pride in the air from the many local apple farmers. Amongst the children playing, the elderly remindful of past festivals, the farmers discussing their crops, and the many people enjoying the fried apple pies, a person experiences all of this in a small North Carolina town because of a small, simple, round, fruit – the apple!


Second Place Winner – Essay
Abigail Knight
12th Grade
Lincoln Charter High School – Denver

Historically, gatherings celebrating the bounty of nature represent the quintessential element that unifies people and reminds us all of the life that we often forget. As children, we are told of the story of Thanksgiving and the Pilgrims and it’s this story of coming together that we are raised on. It’s an idea that seems so very Americana that the transition to the Apple Festival is as natural a progression as the transition from Summer to Fall. Apples, therefore, are no less than the act of communion in its purest form. Although it seems hard to imagine now with all of the paved roads and new-age trends that have pervaded Lincoln County, not long ago Lincoln County was a place of history. The streets weren’t paved and people didn’t turn to the conveniences of modern technology to make their lives easier. They labored and lived and were were content. Content isn’t something that seems to come too easily anymore, though. So, when that one time of year rolls around and the scorching temperatures of Summer are ushered out by the soft hues of Autumn, we come together. We bask in the content feeling that we get when we realize that life goes on and that it can be good. We revel in the fruits of labor and we enjoy life in its simplicity. The Apple Festival is our very own Thanksgiving feast where opposed to two groups meeting as opposites we come together and find ourselves as one.


Third Place Winner – Essay
Caroline Jenkins
10th Grade
West Lincoln High School

When I walk the streets of Lincolnton on the September afternoon of the annual Apple Festival, my heart always overflows with love. Love for the beautiful smells, the loud music, the laughter, and love for our town. The Apple Festival is an event I look forward to year after year. Not only is it a day full of joy and excitement, but it goes to show how our little Lincolnton can come together as one.

Each year, the Apple Festival attracts more than 80,000 visitors to charming downtown Lincolnton. That number wasn’t always so high, though. Thinking back to September 1972, along with Howard Waynick, who was the Agricultural Extension Agent, and local apple growers, Lincoln County’s first Apple Festival was held at Boger City United Methodist Church and attracted about 300 visitors. Yet, it wasn’t until 1978, that word was getting out and the festival was moved to Main Street, with an estimated 8,000 visitors, and it was in that year that the very first Apple Queen was crowned!

Ever since then, the Apple Festival has been a well-known event with so much support from all local businesses, church groups, bands, schools, and sports teams.

I’m so very honored to live in the beautiful town of Lincolnton. The Apple Festival contributes to each and every part of our community. It’s such a wonderful event in such a wonderful town. This town raised me, and I’m proud to say so. Lincolnton, I love you.


First Place Winner – Poetry
Madelyn Heintz
11th Grade
Lincoln Charter School – Denver

“The Apple Festival”

Strolling downtown,
in the beauty and culture,
the smiles of every boy and girl,
basking with childlike wonder.
Whether it be their first or fifth,
Memories bound that they won’t forget.
A day not unlike any other,
Yet will cherish forever.
Only come once annual fall;
one special event unites us all.
We celebrate the day,
as kindred spirits;
those who can hardly wait.
Friends and family shout with cheer,
“The Apple Festival is finally here!”


Second Place Winner – Poetry
Chandler Drake Carpenter
10th Grade
West Lincoln High School

The Apple Festival

In September every year
You will meet new people here
From afar and from this town
Anyone can come on down!
Activities and even food
Fills the heart with gratitude
Not talking ‘bout a vegetable
This is the Apple Festival.
More than 80,000 heads
Joined to eat those tasty reds
For little kids there are some rides
And come and try our apple pies
Recipes from your great maw
Will win the contest above all.
Business’ will make some money
From people filling up their tummy
Everyone making new friends
‘cause many people do attend
On this day we come together
We make memories forever
The festival is a great thing
I am so glad that it’s not spring.


Third Place Winner – Poetry
Chloe Brooks
10th Grade
West Lincoln High School

Forty-five years of fun,
Apple decorating and apple runs,
Pageants and contests to be won,
All day long in the blazing hot sun.
Money raised, there is a ton,
Some goes back to college funds.
Apple farmers won’t quit ‘till the work is done,
So let’s come together to celebrate as one.

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