Man working on a cider press
Paul Sutton works the cider press. Credit: Deb Hurley Brobst

While there were plenty of activities for young and old alike, it was really all about the cider press and the free tastings as juice came out of the machine at the Sept. 30 event.

Apple Annie, aka Jamee Chambers, has been using her apple press at Ciderfest since the first event 34 years ago. Chambers and other volunteers put apples into the press and operated a wheel to grind them into small pieces that were pressed into juice. 

Chambers said because of the hail earlier this summer, she had to buy apples rather than using local apples for the cider press. No matter where the apples come from, the cider press must go on.

Chambers owns two cider presses but brings the newer one — the older one is 150 years old — because it’s more efficient.

Volunteers served gallons and gallons of the free pressed cider to hundreds of attendees who you might say were enjoying the fruits of the volunteers’ labors.

While some children played on an antique fire truck, others painted pumpkins. Adults had food trucks, beer tents and hard cider to keep them occupied, along with checking out artists and artisans selling items. 

Families took hayrides around the grounds in a horse-drawn wagon and listened to live music.

And who doesn’t like dinosaurs? Families gathered at the Morrison Natural History Museum tent to look at a replica of an Allosaurus, an ancestor to the Tyrannosaurus Rex. Lucas Todd, a paleontological interpreter at the museum, explained that the allosaurus roamed the Morrison area 175 million years ago. 

Gina Barry, a longtime volunteer at Ciderfest, said she remembered the first events when volunteers lined up tractors for the residents of Bear Creek Nursing Home to check out, since some had come from farming areas in Colorado.

Ciderfest has grown into a multifaceted event with fun for everyone. Families and friends gathered, many seeking shade from the nearly 90-degree temperatures, to enjoy the final day of September, the end of the summer festival season. 

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