Julian Apple Days Centennial Celebration

By Gina Petrone

   Julian Apple Days Centennial celebration, a historic community tradition, started in September and continues through Nov 15.

   As part of the Apple Days celebration, Julian Woman’s Club will sponsor its 2nd Annual Apple Pie Baking Contest on Friday, Oct. 2, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and invites entries of homemade apple pies, baked from scratch, along with the recipe and list of ingredients. Cash prizes will be awarded in several categories and judged by local bakers. The winners will be announced at the Apple Days Festival the next day.

   The traditional Apple Days Festival will be held  Oct. 3 and 4 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. See article on next page for detail.

   In addition to the Apple Days Festival, there will be a comprehensive calendar of events is taking place in town and in surrounding areas during the two-month celebration. A weekly calendar and informative map of event locations is produced and distributed free of charge to the public at Julian Town Hall and most local lodgings.

   On Friday, Oct. 9, the Pine Hills Lodge will host the official Julian Apple Days Centennial Gala, an elegant fundraising event with a 1909 theme to benefit the Julian Pioneer Museum and the Julian Children’s Coalition.

   Costumes are encouraged at this historic “Victorian mining feed” that will feature a gourmet dinner inspired by the food provided at the first Apple Day,  live music, entertainment, a silent auction, historic displays, local wine tasting, and more. Tickets are $55 per person or $95 per couple with overnight packages available by calling 760-765-1100.

   In historic tradition, Julian has challenged Ramona to a softball game that will take place on Sunday, Oct. 11, in Jess Martin Park. There will be three divisions, including 7/8-year-olds, 9/10-year-olds and 11/12year-olds along with adult softball.  

    Among other special events being planned throughout the community are an Oktoberfest, a scarecrow contest, pumpkin patch, book signings, gold panning demonstrations, storytelling, old-time melodrama, historic skits, historic town tours and living history exhibits.

   In 1907, five boxes of Julian apples won eight gold medals at the Jamestown Exposition in Virginia. The same apples were then forwarded to Norfolk to the International Pomolical Apple Show, where they won the Wilson medal, the highest award given for apples in competition with fruit from all over the U.S. and Canada.

   Hard-working ranchers wanted to celebrate and town leaders wanted to interest outsiders in Julian’s future, so preparations got under way for a great event, a harvest home, a fall festival—and they called it Apple Day. They picked Oct. 9, 1909, and a committee was chosen that included C.W. Potter, Arthur Juch, Joseph Marks, Horace Wilcox, C.R. Wellington, Frank DeLuca, and F.L. Blanc.

   Folks were invited from all over the state, and attendance was estimated from 200 to 2,000. The first Apple Day was a great success. Colorful displays of various varieties of apples were set up in Julian Town Hall and culminated with a big party including an all-night dance and free banquet at midnight.

   The people of Julian believed their point was proven—that they could really throw a party when they wanted to.

   In 2007, the Julian Merchants Association decided to revive this historic event, and an Apple Days Festival was once more held, this time at Menghini Winery. Thousands of people now attend the two-day festival.

   
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