Kent to celebrate season with cider

Emily Cope

Ozzfest is celebrated for its music and mosh pits, Fright Fest is famous for its thrills and chills and Oktoberfest is known for its beer.

And while Kent’s Ciderfest isn’t a well-known “fest” yet, it’s definitely growing.

Standing Rock Cultural Arts and Downtown Innovative Community Events are co-hosting the third annual Ciderfest Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. at the Home Savings Plaza in downtown Kent.

The event will feature cider from Beckwith Orchards and music by Guy Pernetti and Harold Hight. Various local businesses will provide food, and free pumpkin painting will be available for children. An old-fashioned cider press demonstration will also take place.

Karen Barrett, owner of City Bank Antiques and creator of the Downtown Innovative Community Events program, said the program organizes events that bring people to downtown Kent to shop. The cider festival is one of seven annual events the program has put together.

Barrett said Ciderfest will be a fun event for anyone.

“We made our events family oriented,” Barrett said. “So they appeal to the community as a whole. The cider festival is just a community social event. We need every so often to get together. This is kind of our last chance before we all end up nestled into our homes for winter.”

Nonnie Swann, who will run pumpkin coloring at the event, said she enjoys the Downtown Innovative Community Events programs because they are something new.

“It is innovative because it hasn’t happened before,” Swann said. “For these events, people come forward and say, ‘I can do this or that.’ They offer what they have. What results is that you end up with things that aren’t heard of or seen anymore. For example, a cider press demonstration.”

Mark Stickler said he and his wife will be using their cider press to demonstrate how people used to make cider.

“In a crowd full of people, I’d guess only a handful know how cider is really made,” he said. “My cider press is all hand, which makes it nostalgic because it’s similar to how they would have done it in the 1800s. We just volunteered to show people how it was done in the past.”

Jeff Ingram, executive director at Standing Rock Cultural Arts, said he hopes people come downtown and have a good time.

“I hope everyone comes out and enjoys our great downtown,” Ingram said. “There are a lot of unique small businesses to check out. And the festival is just a great way to celebrate the harvest. Plus there will be caramel apples. What better reason to come?”

Ciderfest will take place regardless of the weather conditions. Some events, such as pumpkin painting, may be moved indoors to the North Water Street Gallery if it rains.

Contact College of the Arts reporter Emily Cope at [email protected].