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2nd Largest Cider Festival in the Pacific Northwest is right here in Gig Harbor

You read that right. In only its second year, the Cider Swig: The Great Peninsula Cider Festival has grown to become the second largest cider event in the state of Washington. With 22 cideries lined up to date, there will be over 80 varieties of cider offered during this regional event on Saturday, September 26 at Sehmel Homestead Park in Gig Harbor.

Needless to say, the event organizers were greatly surprised by the tremendous positive response from the first “Swig” last fall. “While most of our cideries are from Washington State, the applications are coming in from all over,” said event chair, Dr. Julie Ann Gustanski. “We even have one from the far reaches of Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom!” And, we promise, there is a lot to be excited about in year two…

While the 20-plus cider and perry varieties infused with flavors as ginger, pumpkin, vanilla, or even habanera chilies, are the focus of the festival, there will be much more to do, taste, and see. The Cider Swig will feature six food trucks offering tantalizing epicurean bites to pair with your cider. From barbecued oysters, ribs and chicken to fresh salads, Pannini, Caribbean jerk, sausages, caramel apples, hot fudge sundaes and more – no one in the family will go home hungry! And, if you’re wondering about entertainment, five area bands will perform throughout the day: Louisiana Cajun by the “Godfather of Fun” Richard Allen, Driving Sideways bring their eclectic style of acoustic guitars, intricate vocals, and a rhythm section that can’t be matched, "gypsy-groove" by Budapest West, dueling twin fiddles by Spare Thyme, and classic rock to rockabilly by none other than Billy Farmer – there is something for everyone to enjoy.

But what about the kids? No worries – the Cider Swig has the kiddos covered, too! This year the Kid’s Apple Zone, operated by the Curious by Nature School, will have a greater a variety of games, races and activities for ages 3 to 15 – from bouncy houses, to art activities, the apple launcher, apple races, free chocolate milk from Smith Brothers Farms, and more – there will be fun for kids of all ages! There is even a drop-off available for a small fee, so adults can enjoy the Cider Garden. They have really thought of everything!

So let’s review. The Cider Swig is now the second largest cider festival in Washington State with over 20 cideries. Awesome music and food to round out the senses, and great activities to keep the kids entertained. Can the Cider Swig get any better?

We think so! Proceeds from the event support environmental education and conservation in area parks, trails and natural areas around the Gig Harbor and Key Peninsula community. In the first year, $4,000 was distributed to the Lu Winsor Environmental Grant Program to help local students experience Camp Seymour. Cider Swig organizers hope to double that gift this year, as well as expanding support to other organizations.

And that’s where you come in. Help support environmental education and your community by purchasing your tickets to the 2nd Annual Cider Swig today! Advance purchase tickets are $28 or at the gate for $35 (while supplies last). Cider Swig volunteers receive tickets for $18 and designated driver tickets are only $10. Each ticket includes five drink tokens and a festival glass. Of course, extra tokens will be available for purchase at the event.



Contact: Christina Hallock