The Cider Days Fall Market has a 38 year tradition as Topeka's Premier Fall Celebration. The two day event draws over 10,000 thousand visitors every year who come for its over 250+ exhibits, unique demonstrations, delicious food, live entertainment, kids rides, animal attractions and of course fresh pressed apple cider.
Stay tuned for the 2019 entertainment schedule.
Did you know that Cider Days is a local family owned event? That’s right, our family and many amazing friends help make the experience of Cider Days something truly memorable.
Most of the staff you'll see at Cider Days are our family and friends—we certainly couldn't do this without them!
Our 43rd annual fall market promises to be extremely special, as we're working hard putting together all of the details just for you! Trust us, it's an experience you don't want to miss!
Learn more about the Cider Days Fall Market history below.
Our humble beginnings
In the early 1980's, a small arts and crafts fair was started at Apple Valley Farm at Lake Perry (approximately 30 miles northeast of Topeka). In the intervening years, Cider Days has moved and matured, growing into the premier fall festival in Northeast Kansas and the “must-see” annual destination for thousands of area residents.
Cider Days first move was to Lake Shawnee on the eastern edge of Topeka and, in 1987, it came to its current home, the Kansas Expocentre in central Topeka. Even here the festival has been on the move, making use of different spaces and areas as the Expocentre has evolved over the years from a fairground into an entertainment and convention center.
The two-day event, in September, attracts thousands of visitors each year to its arts and crafts exhibits, pioneer demonstrations, food and entertainment. Crafters sell their various wares inside the Exhibition Hall of the Stormont Vail Event Center, as well as outdoor vendors displays as well. It's a fun filled weekend of shopping, live entertainment, and food.
In the beginning of Cider Days, Ms. Connie Kimble could be found with her 1865 Buckeye Cider Press. Using hundreds of bushels of apples, Connie would produce fresh, natural cider for sale on site with the help of many family and friends. The process took about 300 bushels of apples to make the 600 gallons of cider that Connie would press each year at the festival, about 20 to 25 bushels at a time. She would use a combination of tart (Jonathan or Winesap) and sweet (Red or Yellow Delicious) apples. Visitors could purchase the cider by cup or the quart. Connie's team would press the Cider for all to watch and enjoy. The process was a lengthy one but fun to take part in. Though the 1865 Buckeye Cider Press has been retired, it is still on display for everyone to enjoy.
While the festival would open to the public on Saturday morning, Kimble, like most participants, begins setup no later than Friday. The event takes place both outdoors and inside of the Exhibition Hall. The event has grown through the years. There are now 250+ vendors that currently take part in the event each year. There is such a great variety of exhibitors who bring clothing, jewelry, wooden projects, candles, pottery, ceramics, wreaths, toys and so much more. For many visitors, Cider Days is the official start of the Christmas shopping season, with so many creative ideas to be found in each booth.
Kettle Corn, Fresh Squeezed Lemonade, Specialty Brittles, Homemade Fudge, Roasted Nuts, Homemade Cinnamon Rolls, Cookies, Pies, Specialty Coffees, are just a few of the fun delicious food items you can obtain at Cider Days. Don't forget to stop by the Cider Booths and grab a wonderful Fresh Cider Slush. Take some Cider home with you too.
Some of our vendors share their skill with our visitors, for example; Glass Blowing; Caricature Artist; Face Painters; Balloon Artists; Henna Artist; etc. We have live bands; dance demonstrations by children's dance studios; Native American dance demonstrations; karate demonstrations; Blacksmith Demonstration, and so much more. We have a great set up for kids, they can enjoy our Exotic Petting Zoo, Inflatables for them to play on while mom shops.
Cider Days also has an Apple Pie Contest for the public to take part in. The information is listed on our webpage along with the registration form. There is a monetary reward for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. We have volunteers from different organizations to judge the contest, and then Cider Days makes a donation to that organization.
A variety of community businesses and organizations have served as sponsors through the years. They provide both direct and indirect financial support, including broadcast and print media exposure.