Cider and Mead Festival set for Saturday, July 28

Cider and mead sippin’ time is here! For the eighth year in a row, Orcas Island will host the Orcas Island Cider and Mead Festival on Saturday, July 28, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Village Green in Eastsound.

At last count, 16 new and returning producers will be offering a wide variety of ciders and meads: 2 Towns Ciderhouse, Beehaven Beverage, BoatHouse Ciderworks, Channel Marker Cider, Chaucer’s Mead, Finnriver Farm & Cidery, Girl Meets Dirt, Incline Cider, Locust Cider, PearUP, Portland Cider, Rev. Nat’s Hard Cider, Louis Raison French Cidre, Sky River Mead, Tieton Cider Works, Westcott Bay Traditional Cider. And visitors to the big white tasting tent and cider garden will be able to purchase and take home their favorite brews.

Adults 21 and over may enter the tasting tent for as little as $15 that includes admission, tastes and a commemorative tasting glass. And by popular demand, tickets may be ordered in advance via Brown Paper Tickets – just go to the website and click on the link.

All proceeds from the festival benefit Orcas Island Children’s House, a non-profit early learning center that provides a dynamic play-based curriculum to prepare children for kindergarten and life.

Judging of the hotly contested Orcas Island Home Brew competition will begin at 2 p.m. To enter, bring your best brew to the tent by 1 p.m. Coveted prizes again this year are beautiful hand-crafted Cider Festival growlers created by Philip Shane, Drink Rinse Repeat (formerly Orcas Island Growlers). Your $20 entry fee includes your ticket to the festival.

And as for music, Hot Damn Scandal will put thunder in your cider! They’ll perform “Northwest Devil Swing” from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., featuring outlaw ballads, dirty jazz, circus freakouts, shanty-rags, string band funk, lonesome heart-breakers, and whiskey bottle love songs, blended together in a sweet song syrup somewhere between a ramble and a roar. Orcas Island’s own Tow-Away Zone will play from 2 to 4 p.m.

The big white tasting tent will be pitched alongside the Farmers Market, which will be in full swing offering produce, flowers, food and crafts.

A huge thank you to our generous sponsors: T Williams Realty, Island Market, Girl Meets Dirt, Permit Resources, Sircely Marketing & Design, Gudgell Properties & Seastar Lodging, Drink Rinse Repeat Growlers, Ray’s Pharmacy & General Store, Roses Bakery Café, Islands Sounder, Orcas Issues, Kevin Colomby, Mount Baker Farm and Rosario Resort.

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Cider and Mead Festival set for Saturday, July 28