About 40,000 people are expected to visit the southern Illinois community of Murphysboro for this year's Apple Festival, bringing the town a bump in sales tax revenue. The festival, which includes a pie-eating contest, carnival and parade, began Wednesday and runs through Saturday. The Southern Illinoisan reports the town of about 8,000 people will welcome 13 food vendors and 83 craft vendors. Area apple growers also say it's one of the busiest weeks of the year for their orchards. Murphysboro Mayor Will Stephens says the Apple Festival is the community's "signature event." He says "It builds our brand year to year."