LA CRESCENT, Minnesota (WXOW) - An annual tradition continues in La Crescent in preparation for Applefest. Members of the Prince of Peace Lutheran church set up their apple pie-making assembly lines Thursday morning.
Local apple growers donate enough apples for the church to make 500 pies. If you think that's a lot, workers say they sell out quick.
"Growers donate the apples to us and so that's a wonderful gift," says Shirley Rosendahl, who has been making the pies since 1973. "We mix up our sugar, flour, cinnamon and stuff on the day before so that's what they put in the pies and somebody has to order the tins in August and so everybody gets their little jobs.
"Some of them crush the corn flakes and other ones mix the sugar and cinnamon together and at night, another group comes in and mixes the pie crust, the dry ingredients and than they start early on Thursday morning so some of them are here probably at 7 O' Clock already to get started," says Darlene Erickson, a 30 year volunteer of the pie baking.
A 12 year volunteer, Gary Beardmore says, "There's a lot of secret ingredients I can't tell you about you know but I don't even know what they are but there's just a lot of love in them you know?"
"I think when we very first started I don't think the men were involved and now we have men that are involved and it really helps a lot," says Erickson. "They do a lot of the carrying, a lot of the peeling of the apples, cutting up of the apples, and helping clean up afterwards so it's a group affect. We all work together."
"We have a great bunch of people that do this together," says Beardmore. "A great church to work through the Prince of Peace. It's been a lot of fun. It's not a lot of work it really is a lot of fun."
Erickson says, "It's kind of exhausting at the end of the day but you don't notice that while you're working and it's just kinda fun."
Since 1973, the apple pie bake has sold over 18,000 pies and has raised over $100,000. All the money raised goes towards different organizations and charities throughout the Coulee Region.
Due to their popularity, all 500 pies sell out by the end of the day.
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