2023 Apple Recipe Contest at the NC Apple Festival Mainstage

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Do you have an amazing apple recipe? Put it to the test at the 2023 NC Apple Festival – Apple Recipe Contest. This event will be held on September 1st at the Apple Festival Main Stage in front of the historic courthouse. Entry is free and there will be prizes for 1st and 2nd place in all categories, as well as a grand prize! 

Read below on how to enter the 2023 Apple Recipe Contest – we look forward to seeing your entries! 


  • Any interested individual may enter the contest.
  • Recipe entry must be submitted online by August 28, 2023.
  • Participants must bring the entire finished product to the Apple Festival Main Stage in front of the historic courthouse between 11 a.m.-12 p.m. on Friday, September 1st, 2023
  • Judging will be from 12-1 p.m. 
  • Winners will be announced during the award ceremony at 1:15 p.m., before the Opening Ceremony of the Apple Festival which begins at 2:15 p.m.
  • Please note: these times are subject to change slightly based on Apple Festival scheduling, participants will be notified of these changes and they will be reflected here.
  •  Entries will be divided into four (4) categories as follows:
    • Bread – sweet or savory in a loaf or muffin form
    • Pies and Pastries – must have pie crust or pastry dough component
    • Desserts – includes cakes & cookies
    • Kids – made for kids by kids (w/adult supervision)
    • Local Business  – a local business in Henderson County that produces an item in one of the categories above (bread, pies, pastries, desserts)
  • Please note, the Local Business category only one has 1 winner and they will not receive a prize. They will, however, receive a certificate of recognition and bragging rights as the Best Apple Recipe in Hendersonville! Additionally, the Local Business category does not need to provide as a recipe as we understand this can be proprietary information.
  • No items requiring refrigeration will be accepted due to lack of refrigeration facilities.
  • Entries must be covered with some type of wrap to protect from insects.
  • Individuals may enter more than one recipe, but each recipe must be in a different category and must be submitted online individually.
  • Recipes must be original (not copyrighted).
  • Standard measuring units should be used in all recipes.
  • Variety of apple used should be included in written recipe.
  • All recipes must contain at least 2 cups of apples or 1 cup applesauce and be freshly homemade.
  • Taste, texture, and eye appeal will be used in scoring entries.
  • All recipes become the property of the Apple Festival Committee and N.C. Cooperative Extension, Henderson County Center. Entry constitutes permission to edit, modify, adapt, publish, and otherwise use the recipe in any way.
  • The judges’ decisions are final for interpretation of any and all rules related to the contest. Winners will be announced onsite, as well as on Facebook Live as soon as judging is complete.
  • If participants are unable to pick up their award at the Main Stage ceremony, awards will be held at the N.C. Cooperative Extension, Henderson County Center.

If you have any questions, please contact our Family and Consumer Sciences Agent, Abigail Pierce, at abigail_pierce@ncsu.edu or call our office at (828) 697-4891. 

assorted apple goods on a table