Cider Fest to return to McHenry County Historical Society and Museum with crafts, barn-raising demonstration

The McHenry County Historical Society will hold its annual Cider Fest from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, October 2, 2022 at the McHenry County Historical Museum in Union.

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 vintage items for sale.

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, while Civil War re-enactor Chris Dosch will conduct demonstrations throughout the day.

Children’s hands-on crafts are planned from 10 a.m. to noon. Make ice cream in a bag, pinwheel and button-and-string “humdingers.” Alternating sack races and cakewalks will follow between 12:15 and 1:50 p.m. on the museum’s south side.

There will be a barn-raising demonstration at 11:30 a.m., and a performance from the Kishwaukee Ramblers at 1 p.m. Mums, asters and decorative kale will be for sale; the museum will also host a fabric sale, white elephant sale, silent auction and food booths, including hot cider and doughnuts.

Registration for the eighth annual Apple Bake-off begins at 9:30 a.m. with judging to follow at 10:30 a.m. Bake-off categories are apple pies, apple cakes and apple squares or bars. There is a $2 fee per item and a one entry limit per category. First, second and third place contestants in each category will receive ribbons, while a special price will go to the grand champion.

Cider Fest will also offer a final chance to visit the featured exhibit “Art of the Past: Viewing History Through McHenry County Artists” and bid on the paintings, drawings and portraits done by local artists. This year’s juried art show is titled “This Place Matters: Historic Structures and Landscapes of McHenry County.” Half the proceeds will go to the artist and the other half will benefit the museum.

For more information, go to or call 815-923-2267.