Megan Wiles - Conner Prairie Alliance Member
First, allow me to introduce myself. I’m Megan Wiles and I am serving as Chair of the Apple Store this year along with my co-chair, Jackie Clark.
The Apple Store was first created in 1985 as a project of the newly created Conner Prairie Alliance, a women’s organization that was formed to support Conner Prairie through creative fundraising. We opened the Apple Store in its current location on the north end of the parking lot in 1993 and originally we only sold apples, but now the dedicated women of the Alliance offer much more than just plain apples. We hand-dip the BEST caramel apples in Central Indiana! We also offer apple cider slushies, which are addicting and if you’re not careful, you can get brain freeze really quickly drinking them! We offer apple cider donuts, apple pie and gourmet caramel apples – apples covered in caramel, then in nuts, then with dark and white chocolate drizzled over them and sometimes we even add sprinkles!! I think I gain a few pounds just looking at them.
The Apple Store is only open for eight weeks, so we definitely stay busy! In 2009, the Apple Store sold:
- 14,096 hand-dipped caramel apples (plain, nutty and gourmet)
- 4,164 apple cider slushies
- 5,632 apple spice and pumpkin donuts
- 2,109 cups of hot apple cider
- 1,511 bags of apples (multiple varieties throughout the season) and
- 1,878 containers of apple cider (gallon and half gallon).
In the store you can also find apple butter, pickled garlic, muffin mixes and all sorts of great food items, as well as hostess gifts and home décor items. One of my favorites is the sweet potato butter! We are going to be sampling several of the items we offer in the store this year and sharing different recipes on connerprairie.org as well as on our Facebook page.
This year, we’ll be open from Sept. 1 - Oct. 31, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesdays – Sundays and will be open on Labor Day and at night during the last weekend of Symphony on the Prairie, Sept. 4 & 5.
All of the proceeds from the sales in the Apple Store benefit Conner Prairie. Since 1982, the Alliance has donated more than $1 million to support a variety of programs and projects, including most recently the 1859 Balloon Voyage. The ladies of the Alliance look forward to seeing you in the Apple Store this year! What will you stop by to taste?
My name is Bernard “BJ” Sullivan and I am the chief pilot for Conner Prairie’s “1859 Balloon Voyage.”
I’ve been a part of Conner Prairie since March 2009 and needless to say, it’s been a pretty wild ride the past year and a half. As this is my first blog for Conner Prairie, I think it’d be appropriate for me to introduce myself, so all of Conner Prairie’s blog readers can get to know me a little bit better.
I’m originally from a small town in Upstate New York called Hudson Falls. In 2008, I graduated from the State University of New York College at Cortland, dual majoring in childhood education and special education. Once I had graduated I immediately started seeking teaching positions in Upstate New York with little luck finding any thing that seemed to fit my preferences for a full-time job. I knew something was bound to come, so long as I waited patiently.
My balloon experience goes back to when I was a young boy riding my bicycle around the countryside chasing hot air balloons. I knew from a very young age that I wanted to fly, or at least fly in a hot air balloon. When I was 14 years old I had the opportunity to go for my first flight and from there forward I was hooked. By the time I was 20 years old I had my first balloon and my F.A.A. certification to fly passengers.
In February 2009 I was interviewed at Conner Prairie for the chief pilot position for the 1859 Balloon Voyage. My balloon pilot experience and degrees in childhood education and special education were a good fit for the position. In a matter of two weeks I went from a fresh college graduate living in Upstate New York to a full-time tethered helium balloon pilot. It was certainly a change in pace but has been an ongoing adventure that has opened many doors along the way.
Stop by Conner Prairie’s 1859 Balloon Voyage and say hi to me and the rest of the balloon staff.