Get a taste of local history at Cider Fest in McHenry County
Visitors to the 45th annual Cider Fest will get an opportunity to step back in time with skilled artisans, a turn-of-the-century cider press, children's activities, music and vintage items for sale.
Blacksmith Sam Johnson, flintknapper Richard Hamilton and broom maker Bob McCann will anchor this year's festival, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2, at the McHenry County Historical Museum, 6422 Main St., Union. Civil War re-enactor Chris Dosch -- a Zouave with the 114th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment -- will conduct demonstrations throughout the day.
"They fought in very major engagement from Fredericksburg to Appomattox," Dosch said.
Children's hands-on craft activities are planned from 10 a.m. to noon. Make ice cream in a bag, pinwheels and button and string "humdingers." Alternating sack races and cake walks follow between 12:15 and 1:50 p.m. on the museum's south side.
The barn-raising demonstration -- with assistance from members of the audience -- starts at 11:30 a.m.
Visitors also are welcome to tour the 1843 Gannon family and 1895 West Harmony one-room school. There is an Apple Bake-off contest in the morning, followed by a 11:30 a.m. barn raising and children's activities. The Kishwaukee Ramblers begin playing at 1 p.m.
Mums, asters and decorative kale will be for sale. Our popular fabric sale makes its return, as does the celebrated white elephant sale, silent auction, food booths, hot cider and doughnuts, a selfie station and more. And if you still are hungry, visit the bake sale -- supplemented by entries from the eighth annual Apple Bake-off Contest. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. with judging following at 10:30 a.m. in the 1895 West Harmony School.
Categories are apple pies, apple cakes, and apple squares/bars. There is a $2 fee per item, one entry per category. First- second- and third-place contestants in each of the three categories will receive ribbons, with a special prize going to the grand champion.
Finally, this is your last chance to visit the featured exhibit: "Art of the Past: Viewing History through McHenry County Artists" and to bid on original artwork. The exhibit includes paintings, drawings and portraits done by local artists.
Bid on original art submitted as part of a juried art show titled "This Place Matters: Historic Structures and Landscapes of McHenry County." Half of the proceeds earned from the sale of each piece of artwork will be paid to the artist, with the remaining half benefiting the McHenry County Historical Society, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization.
For details, visit www.gothistory.org or call (815) 923-2267.