It was the second full weekend in October. Looking around me, I saw people waiting in long lines for scrapple sandwiches at three separate vendors. That is when I knew I was in the right place. I was with my people again. I was attending the Apple Scrapple Festival.
What is the Apple Scrapple Festival?
Bridgeville is home to RAPA Scrapple, the largest producer of scrapple in the world. Also in Bridgeville is T.S. Smith & Sons, Delaware's oldest apple operation. So in 1992, to promote the city and bring some tourism to town, Bridgeville combined apple and scrapple into one festival. Conveniently, they also rhyme.
There are definitely apple-y things to do. You can eat apple dumplings and other apple treats. There are shuttles to visit the T.S. Smith & Sons farm. Most of the yard decorations involve apples. I ate something called an Apple Slushie and it was delicious! There are even apples made to look like pigs.
But the focus of the Apple Scrapple Festival, without a doubt, is wonderfully delicious RAPA scrapple. Philadelphians are proud of their scrapple, and the PA Dutch have a strong claim to it, but at least for this weekend, Delaware is the home of scrapple.
First, as someone who grew up eating RAPA, it's thrilling to see their factory in person. And their factory is mixed in with all the action.
The old Ralph & Paul Adams sign.
The Giant Brick of RAPA Scrapple sign.
I honestly felt such anticipation as I was getting closer to both of these.
But the scrapple love goes well beyond the factory. There are long lines for scrapple sandwiches. I ate scrapple pizza for the first time. There is a contest to see who could "chunk" scrapple the farthest!
I bought THREE scrapple-related t-shirts!
At the Apple Scrapple Festival you are surrounded by thousands of scrapple lovers. Bridgeville has been holding this festival for 25 years! For a quarter of a century, thousands of people have been showing up every year to celebrate their love of scrapple. I stopped by the RAPA booth and talked to the Plant Manager for 20 minutes about finer points of scrapple. I can't imagine that happening anywhere else in the world.
In addition to apples and scrapple, there are loads of local vendors, a car show, amusement park rides, and this crazy automated organ!
And at the center of it all is one city's love and devotion to scrapple.
Enjoy some more sites and sounds with the photos I took while there.
And if you also have attended the Apple Scrapple Festival, please share your stories in the comments! Let's share the Bridgeville scrapple love.