The 36th Annual Topeka’s Cider Days Fall Festival, one of Northeast Kansas’ biggest community events, occurred Sept. 23 and 24 at the Kansas Expocentre.
Cider Days began outside of the Expocentre with food vendors, live music, a petting zoo and historical re-enactors. At the front gate was a large tent that featured a family who has handed out cups of spiced apple cider for the past five years. Their antique cider press from the late 1800s was on display as they freshly prepared cider for the crowds.
The event boasted numerous food trucks with anything from BBQ to kettle corn to hot dogs. Homemade dips, soups, fudge and candied pecans were all sold by vendors inside the Expocentre.
Over 200 assorted vendors filled the room with handmade goods. Bi Billie, of Silverware Crafts, displayed jewelry made entirely from silverware. Billie has been a vendor at the Cider Days Fall Festival for the past five years and enjoys being able to connect with returning customers.
A vendor specializing in hand-crafted wooden cooking spoons and cutting boards said it was their first year at Cider Days and had every intention of returning next year.
Ann Myers of Olde Westport Spice and Trading Co. had a table and shelves full of soups, spices and dip mixes. Myers said that she had been a vendor at the event for the past 26 years in a row.
Many from the community came out to enjoy the festivities. Courtney Crypes, kinesiology graduate, brought her two-year-old daughter to take part in the festivities. She said that it was their first year experiencing the festival and that she enjoyed the fun, family-friendly environment which Cider Days created for the community.