The Historic Julian Apple Days Festival Set to Welcome in Autumn October 6th & 7th

September 30, 2012

Fall is in the air, maybe not in San Diego proper, but venture northeast for Julian’s historic Apple Days Celebration on October 6th and 7th at Menghini Winery, and you'll see proof that there are seasons in San Diego.  This autumnal event features apple displays, music and dancing, an antique tractor display, children’s games and activities, gold panning demonstrations, a beer and wine garden, food and merchandise vendors, contests, and, of course, apple pie.  The festival runs from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., both Saturday and Sunday.

In 1907, Julian apples won the prestigious Wilder Medal, the highest award given by the American Pomological Society. Hard-working ranchers wanted to celebrate, town leaders wanted to interest outsiders in Julian’s future so preparations got underway for a great event, a harvest home, a fall festival undefined and they called it Apple Day.   On October 9, 1909, colorful displays of various varieties of apples were set up in Town Hall, there was an all-night dance, free food, some speeches and a baseball game with Ramona. There was foot racing, rooster-pulling on horseback, and fancy riding tricks by individual horsemen. Newspaper accounts estimated the crowd from 200 to 2,000. Subsequent annual celebrations would attract upwards of 45,000 people.

“Today, Julian Apple Days is no longer a single day event but a full two month celebration with a variety of daily activities,” according to Tracy Turner, president of Julian’s Merchants Association. “The Festival gives you a special weekend of fun.”

Admission to the Apple Days Festival is $5 per day for adults with children 12 and under free of charge. The first 250 people through the gate (paid admission only) each day receive a FREE pie server.  There’s plenty of free parking for the Apple Days Festival available at Menghini Winery, located at the end of Farmer Road, about 2 miles out of downtown Julian. Last year’s festival attracted over 3,000 visitors.  The action won't be limited to the Winery as there will be plenty of apple admiration along Julian's main drag, too, where patrons will line up outside bakeries like the famous Mom's Pies, as people wait for a slice of the good stuff.

The Apple Days celebration is planned by The Julian Merchants Association, a community group representing more than 90 merchants in the greater Julian area -- Julian, Wynola and Santa Ysabel in San Diego County's eastern mountains.  But the action'll be along Julian's main drag, too, where lines'll queue up outside bakeries as people wait for a slice of the good stuff.

Menghini Winery is located at 1150 Julian Orchards Dr. in Julian.