Non-apple Festival activities

Sure, you can enjoy apple-pancake breakfasts and apple-orchard tours and apple-recipe contests and the King Apple Parade, but — in case you need a break from all those red edibles — there are plenty of Apple Festival events that have nothing to do with fruit.

Check out these festival highlights:

• Western North Carolina Air Museum Open House and Sightseeing Rides.

The museum, housed at the Hendersonville Airport, is dedicated to preserving and promoting our region’s flying heritage. See and explore the Stearman N2S-4 (also known as the “Yellow Peril”), a plane that introduced World War II aviators to flight; the North American SNJ-5 Texan, a classic two-seat trainer for young combat pilots; the Piper Cub and the Aeronca Champ, longtime favorites among flying buffs; and many more historically significant planes.

The museum will offer tours and aircraft rides 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sept. 4-7, plus an antique aircraft flyby to kick off the King Apple Parade on Sept. 7 at 1:50 p.m. Call 698-2452 for more info.

• The East Flat Rock Doll Museum.

Here, you’ll find celebrity dolls running the gamut from Howdy Doody to Paul McCartney. Diane Eschenbach established the museum in her new shop, Music Box World, and believes it to be the first doll museum in Henderson County. The dolls on display are not for sale: As Eschenbach puts it, “A true collector will not sell [her] stuff.”

Museum highlights include an original 1932 Betty Boop doll, an original Kewpie doll, a 1930s Orphan Annie, and Eschenbach’s newest acquisition: a Diana, Princess of Wales doll wearing a replica of her pearl-and-sequin-studded “Elvis” dress, one of the princess’s favorites, which fetched more than a quarter million dollars at her famous evening-gown auction. (No, the King wasn’t a cross-dresser, so far as we know; it was the press who dubbed the gown, with its sequins and high, white collar, the “Elvis” dress.)

The museum will also offer collectible Beanie babies for sale during the festival.

The East Flat Rock Doll Museum is located within Music Box World at 200 Lamplighter Lane (one block off Hwy. 176 at West Blue Ridge Road). Hours during the Apple Festival are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. each day. Call 698-0340 for more info.

• Gem and Mineral Spectacular/Moon Rock Special Display.

If rocks are your thing — rare rocks, sparkling rocks, out-of-this-world rocks — the Apple Festival offers plenty of opportunities to view them. At the 17th Annual Gem and Mineral Spectacular, held at Tom’s Park Activity Center on Lily Pond Road and sponsored by the Henderson County Gem and Mineral Society, you can gaze upon a 3,215 carat, faceted, smoky-quartz gemstone, plus loads of other rocks, gems and fossils. For more studious types, educational programs will be offered each day on topics such as geology, fossils and the lapidary arts. Hourly door prizes and lots of refreshments round out the event. The Gem and Mineral Spectacular runs 1-6 p.m. on Sept. 4, and 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sept. 5-7.

As an added treat, the Mineral and Lapidary Museum of Henderson County will display a moon rock brought back to Earth by the Apollo 14 mission, under the direction of the late Captain Alan Shepherd. The museum is located at 400 N. Main St. in Hendersonville, and hours during the festival are 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Sept. 4-6, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 7.

Call 698-1977 for more info about both exhibits.

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