5 things to do in McHenry County: Woodstock Ale Fest, Storytelling Festival in Spring Grove and Cider Fest

Cary Winter Farmers Market also kicks off its season this Sunday

Jordan Kohut pours a beer Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018, at McHenry Brewing Company. The craft brewery is one of the vendors at the Woodstock Ale Fest.

1. The Clayworkers’ Guild Annual Members Show kicks off Friday, running through Oct. 30, with an awards reception Monday evening.

The work will be on display at The Artisans on Main, the guild’s new home at 220 Main St. in Woodstock, and the exhibition provides the community an opportunity to see a creative collection of pottery from guild members — who make work using clay, glass, and painting – in addition to artwork for sale by 30-plus local artists.

This year’s judge will be Trevor Power, the art gallery curator at McHenry County College. The awards will be presented during the reception, which will take place 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at The Artisans on Main.

For information, go to facebook.com/clayworkersguildofillinois/.

2. The Woodstock Ale Fest will serve up 60 brews from 30 local breweries as part of a fundraiser for the Independence Health & Therapy nonprofit.

The event, which will take place 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday at the corner of Clay and Newell streets, also will include a 50/50 raffle, music and food trucks.

General admission tickets cost $60 while deluxe general admission tickets are $75 and VIP tickets for tables for four- and eight-person tables are $80 a person. A designated driver ticket is $15. Part of the ticket costs are tax deductible.

Admission includes an official Woodstock Ale Fest tasting glass.

Proceeds from ticket sales benefit Independence Health & Therapy, a nonprofit that provides adult day care; memory care; physical, occupational and speech therapy; and behavioral health and psychiatry care to those who may not be able to receive those services elsewhere.

For information or to buy tickets, go to woodstockalefest.org.

3. The Spring Grove Storytelling Festival will return this Saturday.

The event, which features professional storytellers and provides opportunities for local participants to share their stories, had been a staple in Spring Grove for two decades until it ended in 2006.

It returns renamed this Saturday in Spring Grove Park on Main Street.

Local Emmy Award-winning storyteller and author Jim May will be featured along with Kevin Kling and Donna Washington. Special “Stories of Remembrance” will be shared at the Lisa Derman Holocaust Memorial during the dinner hour and ghost stories will follow at 7 p.m.

The festival also will have a children’s stage running from 1 to 5:00 p.m. and a family tent. A master class will be from 9 to 11 a.m. for those who want to hone their own storytelling skills.

Food and drink will be available for purchase, but visitors also are welcome to bring their own.

The master class is $35 a person and must be purchased in advance.

Pre-purchased tickets to the entire festival – which runs from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. – cost $20 for those 17 and older and $15 for children 6 to 16. Tickets sold the day of the event are $24 for those 17 and older and $19 for children 6 to 16. Children 5 and younger are admitted free.

For the ghost stories portion only, the cost is $10 for those 17 and older and $7 for children 6 to 16. At the door, tickets are $14 for those 17 and older and $11 for those 6 to 16.

For information and to buy tickets, go to springgrovestorytelling.org.

4. The Cary Winter Farmers Market kicks off its season this Sunday.

The market runs 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the first and third Sunday of each month through April at Algonquin Township’s Building B, 3702 Route 14 in Crystal Lake.

It will feature eggs, beef, poultry, pork, baked goods and seasonal produce.

For information, go to facebook.com/Caryilfarmersmarket/.

The Huntley Farmers Market, which is in its final stretch of the season and will wrap up Oct. 8, will feature a Fall Fun Day on Saturday with free pumpkin decorating for kids and other activities.

The market runs 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Saturday on Coral and Church streets and in the Town Square.

For information about the Huntley market, go to the Huntley village website at huntley.il.us and click the Special Events tab.

5. The 45th annual Cider Fest will return to the McHenry County Historical Society and Museum with demonstrations from skilled artisans, a turn-of-the-century cider press, children’s activities, music and a barn-raising.

The event will take place 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the museum, 6422 Main St. in Union.

Blacksmith Sam Johnson, flint-knapper Richard Hamilton and broom maker Bob McCann will anchor the festival, according to a news release from the historical society. Civil War re-enactor Chris Dosch will conduct demonstrations throughout the day.

The festival also will feature crafts for children, including learning how to make ice cream in a bag, sack races and cakewalks, a barn-raising demonstration and a performance from the Kishwaukee Ramblers.

Mums, asters and decorative kale will be for sale; the museum also will host a fabric sale, white elephant sale, silent auction and food booths, including hot cider and doughnuts.

For a full list of activities, go to gothistory.org or call 815-923-2267.

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