h/t Fremont County Pioneer Museum for the featured photo
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Fremont County Pioneer Museum shares the following information:
Saturday, September 14th was the very first ‘Apple City Festival’ held at the Fremont County Pioneer Museum in Lander.
Lander has a long history of growing apples dating back to the 1860s and was once known as “The Apple City.” Lander pioneers Ed Young and Jacob Meyer, among others, worked hard to create trees that would survive Wyoming’s climate, creating unique varieties to the area. Many of these early trees are still producing today. You can find Lander apples at the local farmer’s market. The museum wanted to create a fun family event to recognize the history of apples in the Lander Valley, and the apple fest was created.
Lander Museum Director Randy Wise shares, “Apple pie was cut, judged and eaten, cider was pressed, Lander apples and hard cider sampled, and a good time was had by over 400 folks at the First Lander Pioneer Museum Apple Fest this past Saturday.”
Three Lander bakers took the top spots among the eleven pies in the best apple pie contest. Winners below:
- 1st Place – Meagan Binkley winning a ribbon and $50.
- 2nd Place – Sarah Trembly’s “Mary Trembly Apple Pie” winning a ribbon and $30.
- 3rd Place – Cheryl Wise’s “Feisty Pie” winning a ribbon and $20.
“It was hard to pick the best pie – they were all terrific,” said Judge Kendall Hayford. “I’m stuffed, but sign me up for next year!” After the contest, the pies were sliced and sold for $2 a slice to the crowd – a line stretched clear out of the Livery Stable for a chance to taste the pies and not a crumb was left.
A popular activity was the cider press – kids lined up apples in hand to crank the gears and grind and press the apples to make cider. “You’ve never had apple cider until you’d had it fresh from the press,” said Pioneer Association President Bill Elder. “These kids are having a blast running this machine – it’s modern, but built like a traditional 100-year-old press.”
Other kids’ activities included a crafts table and an applesauce eating contest. Different age groups had to eat apple sauce through a straw – the kid who ate their applesauce the fastest won a gift certificate to the museum store. Kids aged 5 and under, 6-8, 9-10, and 11 to 12 all competed.
Orion Bellorado, Owner/Operator of the Roots Kitchen and Cannery from Jackson came to the apple fest with kegs of hard cider he produces from Lander apples. Very popular in Jackson, there was a long line to get a taste of the tart hard cider. “What a neat event,” said Bellorado. “We are excited to be a part of this, to share what we make from Lander apples with Lander people.”
Jack States from the Canyon Ranch, where some of the original apple trees first planted in the valley, was at the festival with samples of Lander apples. Jack talked to many people about the history of apples in Lander. He is active in helping bring back historic orchards and trees in the area. “People don’t realize just how big a part of our local agriculture apples were,” States said.
“We’d like to thank everyone who came out on this gorgeous day to join us for our first apple fest,” said Randy Wise, Director of the Lander Museum. “We’ll be planning to do it again next fall with even more apple-related activities.”
Wise wanted to give a special thanks to all the folks who helped with the event. “Our judges worked hard, if you can call sampling apple pies hard work,” said Wise with a smile. “The Pioneer Association, our friend’s group, helped enormously, as did many other volunteers.”
Next up for the Museum is the annual “Halloween Night at the Museum,” the weekend before Halloween. A massively popular kids event, it is a “slightly spooky” tour of the museum with many fun activities. For information call the museum at 307-332-3373 or check the Facebook page at Pioneer Museum Lander Wyoming.
More photos from the festival can be found in our previous post.