Orcas Island Cider and Mead Festival returns July 15

Orcas Senior Center will host the 2023 Orcas Island Cider and Mead Festival from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 15 at the Village Green in Eastsound. Early bird tickets are available online at the festival’s website, www.orcasislandciderfest.org.

Featuring craft beverages from 11 regional producers, the festival will offer aficionados an opportunity to compare this year’s vintages and also provide a chance for folks unfamiliar with ciders and meads to sample and learn more about these ancient libations.

Cider, an alcoholic drink made from the fermented juice of apples and other fruits, was a local favorite when the Romans arrived in England in 55 BC. Some archaeologists believe ciders were popular 600 years before that in China.

Mead, sometimes called “honey wine,” is an alcoholic beverage made by fermenting honey mixed with water, and sometimes with added ingredients such as fruits, spices, grains, or hops. Mead was produced in ancient times throughout Europe, Africa, and Asia. It is referenced most notably in Norse mythology.

The festival will be held alongside the regularly scheduled Farmers’ Market, and bands will provide music from the stage. Save the date on your calendars and make plans to invite your friends to visit for the weekend to attend this festive summer event!