Community members are gearing up for the upcoming Apple and Cider Festival, which will include apple pressing, cider tasting and apples sales to benefit hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico. (Frenya Fennwood)

Community members are gearing up for the upcoming Apple and Cider Festival, which will include apple pressing, cider tasting and apples sales to benefit hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico. (Frenya Fennwood)

First-time festival celebrates apples, cider

Fall beckons harvest season for Washington apples. And now, East Jefferson County has a festival for that.

Three Jefferson County cideries have banded together to form the inaugural Olympic Peninsula Apple & Cider Festival, going on today through Sunday.

The three days will feature a firestarter five-course dinner, hard cider tasting festival, World Apple Day events, apple pressing and cider-making seminars, live music and dancing.

“Inspired in part by the Franklin Cider Days on the East Coast, this festival is a new Northwest tradition, grounded in the flavor of the season and the culture of the region,” festival coordinator Daniel Milholland said. “Rugged, classy and delicious.”

Tickets cost $145 for a full-access weekend pass. Tickets to the five-course dinner at Finistère, 1025 Lawrence St., cost $125, and tickets to the hard cider tasting festival cost $25. They can be purchased at AppleandCiderFest.com.

Five-course feast

The festival opens with a five-course feast of seasonal foods and ciders prepared by former Canlis chef Deborah Taylor. Her menu features porchetta stuffed with rosemary and garlic, served with braised apples and kale in a yellow mustard seed jus and paired with Alpenfire’s Glow Rosé cider.

The weekend festivities center around Saturday’s tasting festival from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Eaglemount Wine and Cidery, 1893 S. Jacob Miller Road.

40 Northwest cideries

It will feature a spread of more than 40 Northwest cideries. Tickets include 10 cider tastings and a 2-ounce festival tasting glass. Additional tastings cost $1 each.

About 900 pounds of Washington-grown Granny Smith apples were donated to the festival. The apples will be sold at $2 per pound during Saturday’s tasting festival to support hurricane relief in Puerto Rico.

Other events include an after-party, three seminars and live music performances.

Participating cideries are Alpenfire Cider of Port Townsend, Finnriver Cider of Chimacum, Eaglemount Wine and Cider of Port Townsend, Dragon’s Head of Vashon Island, Pear UP Cider of East Wenatchee, Schilling Hard Cider of Auburn, Nashi Orchards of Vashon Island, Liberty Ciderworks of Spokane, Locust Cider of Woodinville and 2 Towns Cider House of Corvallis, Ore.

The weekend’s schedule of events includes:

Today

• 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. — A five-course dinner with seasonal foods and ciders will be served at Finistère.

Saturday

• 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. — Artis the Spoonman and chef Arran Stark will offer an apple-themed performance during Port Townsend’s Farmers Market, 650 Tyler St.

• 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. — The hard cider tasting portion of the festival will feature more than 40 varieties of cider, music, food and apple pressing at Eaglemount Wine and Cidery.

• 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. — Food trucks, a fire show and dance party will come to Propolis Brewing, 2457 Jefferson St., for an after-party.

Sunday

• 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. — Alpenfire Cidery will host three seminars — cider making, an orchard and cider house tour, and apple pressing at 220 Pocket Lane.

• 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. — Joy in Mudville will perform at Eaglemount Winery.

• 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. — Finnriver Farm & Cidery will host a community celebration with live music, pizza, dancers, bagpiper, apple experts and cotton candy at 124 Center Road.

________

Reporter Sarah Sharp can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56650, or at ssharp@peninsula dailynews.com.

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