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LIGHTNING PHOTOS: Rain fails to fall on Apple Festival

Breakout workout team performs. Breakout workout team performs.

The 68th annual North Carolina Apple Festival went into the books with the traditional King Apple parade, big crowds and an unusual absence of afternoon thundershowers.

In what must have tied a record held by only a handful of the previous 67 Apple Festivals, the four-day event made it from Friday morning through Labor Day without a rainstorm. Even though it rained overnight Saturday, no rain fell during the festival hours.

"We've had a really good year," Apple Festival Executive Director David Nicholson said Monday as he helped direct vehicles at the parade staging area. "It hasn't been overwhelming. Sometimes we almost get too many people."

"My vendors are happy," he added. "I had one lady who has been here 15 years tell me that Saturday was the best day she ever had at the festival."

The parade attracted a few more politicians than usual, being an election year for all legislators and for county officials. The highest ranking was Gov. Pat McCrory, who made this year's edition his third straight Apple Festival and second straight as governor.

"I promised people when I was elected that you'd see me out in the west," the former Charlotte mayor said. "I've been out here the last three days. My wife and I have been taking advantage of the western residence."

Asked for his evalation of this year's apple crop, he pointed to a peck basket of Golden Delicious, declaring himself a yellow apple man. During the parade, he tossed the apples to eager youngsters.