Years and years ago, developers created what was called the "Apple Boom" in the Bitterroot Valley, promising ultimate riches for those who planted apple orchards. The boom didn't last long, but the boom's McIntosh apples became a prized variety that continues to impress taste buds today.

In celebration of the history and continuing harvests of McIntosh apples, the Ravalli County Museum will have McIntosh Apple Day Saturday, October 2. The museum will have free admission during the day, but the main fun will be on the lawn and the streets of Bedford and South 2nd and South 3rd in Hamilton. You'll be able to buy apple cider, apple butter, apple pies (or pie slices), caramel apples, and boxes and boxes of this year's apple harvest. Swanson's Mountain View Orchards will bring apples from its orchards near Corvallis. There are kids' activities planned, too.

apples for sale
Apples and apple cider. (Steve Fullerton, Townsquare Media)

This is the 42nd year of Apple Day, so Director Michelle Nowling and the museum staff and volunteers know what is expected, including hundreds of freshly baked apple pies. The day's profits benefit the museum's budget. The weekly Hamilton Farmers Market turns into "The Biggest Bake Sale Under the Big Sky" and is extended from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Free admission, of course. Live music during the day will be by Barnaby Wild.

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Then, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., a more recent addition to the festivities is "Liquid Apple Night," where varieties of hard apple cider are sampled, along with a few non-cider adult beverages. Admission to Apple Night on the museum grounds is $30 and you need to be over age 21. Food will be available, along with propane heaters in case the temperature drops down too much. The evening performers - Night Blooming Jasmine. People who experience a McIntosh Apple Day on a beautiful fall day almost always come back the following year.

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