The Murphysboro Apple Festival is Southern Illinois’ oldest and largest alcohol-free festival, drawing more than 45-thousand visitors each year.
Always held the second weekend after Labor Day, this four-day event packs downtown Murphysboro with family-friendly activities, including free entertainment, carnival rides, pageants, concessions, a car show, and a menu of apple-themed treats.
The Murphysboro Apple Festival is celebrating its 70th year in 2021, back after a scaled-back event in 2020. We're proud to have welcomed millions of people to Murphysboro to share traditions both old and new.
The Grand Parade traditionally steps off at 11 a.m. on Saturday during the Murphysboro Apple Festival. The date in 2021 is Saturday, September 18th. The parade route follows Walnut Street and stretches from 21st Street to 7th Street. The Grand Parade draws around 15,000 visitors each year, so we recommend that you arrive early. The parade typically lasts 2.5-3 hours.
For those taking part in the parade, line-up is at 9:30 am. at the following locations:
For more information, visit the Grand Parade Event Page.
You can watch the Grand Parade anywhere along the parade route on Walnut street, from 21st street to 7th street.
Please be respectful of the private property of homes and businesses located along the parade route and do not block cross streets or driveways until police officers begin road closures.
We have a special accessible viewing area for those with disabilities. It is located in front of the Murphysboro Event Center, directly adjacent to the handicapped parking spaces in the Regions Bank parking lot (1301 Walnut Street).
Public parking lots located at:
Note: Parking is prohibited along Walnut Street during the Kiddie Parade Friday afternoon and from Friday night until the end of the Grand Parade Saturday afternoon. When parking on city streets, please do not block driveways, alleys, or entrances to parking lots.
Handicapped parking is available during the Festival in the Regions Bank parking lot (1301 Walnut St). There are four spaces available on the west side of Regions Bank and five spaces available on the south side. These spaces will be available after 4 pm Wednesday through Friday, and all day Saturday during the Apple Festival.
Visit the Kiwanis General Store in the concessions area near the Appletime Stage for locally grown apples and apple treats, including apple cider, apple butter, applesauce, smoothies, and gourmet caramel apples.
Visit the Appletime Bakery on South 13th street for freshly baked apple treats, including cookies, cinnamon rolls, and apple pie… either whole or by the slice. Some items will be available for pre-sale through our online store and available for pick-up from the Bakery during the Festival.
Place your bid on Champion Apple Pies and Apple Butter during our Apple Pie & Apple Butter Contest Auction. Our auctioneer will be calling bids on Thursday night from the Appletime Stage.
If you’re in the mood to visit a working orchard while you’re in the area for the Apple Festival, nearby choices include our generous providers Mileur Orchard on route 149 west of Murphysboro and Rendleman Orchards on Route 127 south, near Alto Pass.
A limited number of advance ride tickets for the Apple Festival Funland are made available for cash-only purchase approximately 1 month before the Festival. Tickets are only available at the Murphysboro Apple Festival Office (110 South 14th Street), or at Wright Building & Design (208 S. Williams Street). After advance ride tickets sell out, ride tickets may be purchased on-site at the Apple Festival Funland during operating hours.
Other ticketed events:
Make sure to look for all on-sale date announcements on our Facebook Page!
Buy a T-shirt, hat, button, a mug, or a Captain Applesauce souvenir to commemorate your visit to the Murphysboro Apple Festival at the Appletime Emporium, in the middle of the carnival area just off Walnut street at South 13th Street. Please note, the Emporium is closed during the Grand Parade.
We’re so glad you asked! As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Murphysboro Apple Festival, Inc. is qualified to receive tax-deductible donations and bequests. Please consider making a donation to support our mission to provide an annual family-friendly community street festival for residents and visitors to southern Illinois.
Donate online here.
We are a volunteer-run organization and enjoy welcoming new faces every year! Here are a few suggestions:
Please contact us about how you’d like to contribute to one of southern Illinois’ richest traditions.