Get ready to celebrate Lander’s apple history. The Lander Pioneer Museum Apple Fest is set for September 30, 1 to 3 p.m.
The event will feature apple cider pressing, crafts for kids, Lander apples and talks about the history of Lander apples, horseback rides, an apple pie contest, a kid’s apple sauce eating competition, hard cider from Jackson and more.
New this year is a giant apple slingshot. For a fee, kids (and adults) can try to hit a target down range with an apple.
Lander has a long history of apple orchards, and in the early days the community was known as “The Apple City.” A lucky combination of good water and soil, shelter from the wind, and farmers willing to experiment with many tree species to find ones that would grow well here, the Lander Valley developed many fine orchards.
In honor of this history, the Pioneer Museum holds apple fest, a fun family event which highlights the many aspects of apples and apple use in the valley.
“Our past Apple fests were a huge success. Kids loved pressing, and drinking, fresh cider,” said Museum Curator Randy Wise. “We’re having that, plus much more this year so people can have fun and learn about this important part of Lander’s history.” Wise said that attempts are being made to bring back some of the historic orchards in the area.
Apple fest will include an apple pie contest with cash prizes for the top three pies. There is also a kid’s pie competition with those winners also getting prizes and ribbons. “The Fremont County Pioneer Association, which supports the museum, has donated some nice prize money,” Wise said. People are encouraged to get out their yummy family recipes. The rules are available at the museum, or online at the museum Facebook page.
The judging will be at 11 a.m. with three lucky judges getting to pick the winners. At one p.m. the pies will be cut up and slices sold to the audience with the money going to the museum.
Another fun event is an apple sauce eating contest for kids. There will be three age groups and the kid who can eat their cup of apple sauce the fastest will win a prize in each age group. The catch is they have to eat the apple sauce with a straw and can’t use their hands. There will also be kids crafts and local apple demonstrations and talks.
A highlight is always the presence of Farmstead Wyoming and their samples of hard cider. Many of the apples the company from Jackson uses to make its cider come from the Lander area, and Farmstead will be back this year offering samples of its tart, tasty Wyoming made drink. People are encouraged to bring in their apples and crabapples by the bag, basket or truck load for the company if they want to see the apples put to good use.
For information call the museum at 332-3373.