By Nick Thomas
At what point does a fascination cross into the realm of passion (or, maybe a healthy obsession)? Fans of Disney films might cross that line when they saunter back to their Disneyland hotel room after the sun has set adorned with Mickey Mouse ears covering messy hair thanks to the Matterhorn while mumbling “it’s a small world after all” on repeat as they drift into a sugar-and-thrill-ride-induced comatose. Likewise, apple lovers might cross a similar line when they visit Massachusetts’ 20th Annual Franklin County CiderDays.
Cider enthusiasts’ eyes may widen to the size of… well, apples when they see the itinerary for the festival. It proudly features more than 40 apple-themed events nestled snugly between Friday, October 31 and Sunday, November 2 spread out across 14 participating orchards and venues throughout Franklin County.
Highlights of this year’s CiderDays festival include a Kickoff Reception held at The Blue Heron restaurant, an amateur cider competition, a beginner’s cider making workshop, cider and cheese pairings, and a talk on ice cider making tips. Several apple celebrities will also be present, including Amy Traverso (Yankee Magazine editor, The Apple Lover’s Cookbook author) who will teach interested parties how to pick the proper apple for any recipe.
CiderDays also offers child-friendly events. In addition to markets, tastings, talks and tours, families and the under-21 crowd can also participate in an apple pancake breakfast, orchard rides and learn how to press apple juice.
There is no admission fee for the festival itself and many of the events are also free, however some activities do require purchase of a ticket ranging from $20-85. Any tasting event also requires purchase of a commemorative CiderDays glass for an easy $5.
For more information, call 413-773-5463 or visit the event’s official website here.
Photo courtesy of CiderDays