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September 30, 2010 (Julian) -- As part of Julian’s Apple Days Centennial Celebration, a two-day Apple Days Festival will be held October 2nd and 3rd.  Festivities take place at Menghini Winery in the historic gold rush town of Julian, located on Highway 79 in East County's mountain region.


Festivities include 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 event runs from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., both Saturday and Sunday. The admission is $5 for adults with children 12 and under free of charge.


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—and they called it Apple Day. On October 9, 1909, colorful displays of apples were set up in Town Hall, there was an all-night dance, free food, some speeches and a baseball game with Ramona. Other original activities included 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.”

The coronation for Mr. and Mrs. Apple Days will be held on Sunday at 1:00 p.m..


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.


There will also be a variety of other events throughout the town and surrounding areas this weekend, including an Oktoberfest at the Rabobank Parking lot on Main Street, the 13th Annual Laguna Mountain Rendezvous in Santa Ysabel, the OId Time Melodrama & Olio performance at Town Hall, wine tours, a Country Market at Wynola Junction Antiques, and entertainment by Julian’s Doves & Desperadoes.


The Apple Days celebration is planned by The Julian Merchants Association, a community group representing more than 70 merchants in the greater Julian area -- Julian, Wynola and Santa Ysabel in San Diego County's eastern mountains.


For a full two-month schedule of events and more information, please visit www.julianevents.org.

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