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Falling hard for apples at CiderDays

Clare Barboza
Roxbury Russet.
Roxbury Russet. Clare Barboza

Western Mass. in full of fall color, the scent of ripe apples, and the tang of hard cider. Franklin County is holding its 20th CiderDays celebration from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2, the largest and oldest hard cider festival in the East. Held in Greenfield, Shelburne, Ashfield, Colrain, Deerfield, Gill, Hawley, and New Salem, events include visiting local orchards and outdoor markets. You can see cider mills in action and take workshops on making your own. Test your apple expertise at the all-day tastings: can you tell a Roxbury Russet from a Westfield Seek-No-Further? A bourbon-brewed cider from one brewed with hops? Child-friendly activities include orchard rides and an apple pancake breakfast. The festival is free but selected events and workshops require advance tickets ($20 to $85). An apple-themed harvest supper ($40 in advance, $50 at the door) on Nov. 1, at Shelburne Buckland Community Center in Shelburne Falls, is the event centerpiece. CiderDays 2014, www.ciderdays.org