The Friends of Mt. Pisgah State Park came through in a big way during Saturday's Apple Butter Day hosted at the park in Troy.

A rainy forecast did not stop community members and locals, totaling over 700, from checking out the festivities, and mother nature held off long enough for the event to stay dry.

Park naturalist Nicole Harris said the family friendly day focuses on teaching children the ways of early farm life, when October proved to be the busiest month as farmers scrambled to create a stockpile of food for winter.

The fourth annual event exceeded expectations of park staff and volunteers who organized the event. Last year Apple Butter Day attracted about 550 people, Harris said.

A horse drawn wagon piloted by Chaz Bastion turned out to be one of the more popular activities of the day, with families waiting in line for a chance to take a short ride around the park.

A hit amongst children was the opportunity to help Sean Weaver grind apples before pressing them to make apple cider. Weaver said he partakes in this event each year with his family, and received a lot of help from his daughter Lily on Saturday.

According to Harris, the apple grinder used is about 75 years old and allowed children to experience first hand how things were done years ago.

Weaver placed apples inside the grinder and allowed children to operate the hand cranked machine.

"This is easy," 8-year-old Sophie Cole said as she turned the crank.

When the barrel was full to the brim with apples, Weaver pressed them as children scrambled to place cups below the spigot.

No complaints about the taste were heard from children or adults.

Weaver said he enjoyed spending the day with his family and helping educate interested children.

Organizer Alice Frantz said she enjoyed helping children make rag dolls, especially a group of girls that didn't think they would be able to make them.

"After they saw that they did a good job on them they left the building just beaming," she said, noting that it was satisfying to be able to help them.

All proceeds from the event go directly to the state park, which is currently in the process of adding an additional pavilion.

In the past, Friends of Mt. Pisgah State Park has helped fund projects such as a new playground which was recently opened on the property, organizer Jerry Frantz said.

The next fundraising event scheduled at the park is the Sugar on Snow festival, to be held on March 8, 2014.

Tim Zyla can be reached at (570) 265-1634; or e-mail: