How do you like them apples? Spicy, fermented, in a pie, on a stick with caramel? Head to Fortuna this weekend and chances are you'll find the fall fruit available any way you like it at Fortuna's Apple Harvest Festival, Oct 7-8 (free admission). While searching for that perfect, crisp orb of deliciousness, you can hitch a free hayride from Clendenen's Cider Works, where there will be tours of the orchard and cider tasting, to the city's core, with stops here and there at activities throughout town. It's an old-fashioned harvest festival with something for the whole family. There's an orchard barbecue, live music, a vendor and merchant street fair, an apple pie contest, bocce ball tournament, activities for the kids and a hard cider tasting event for the grown ups. Check out www.fortunaappleharvest.org for a schedule of events.
New to hard cider? The Taste of the Harvest Hard Cider Festival kicks off the weekend fun on Friday, Oct. 6 from 6 to 10 p.m. in Rohner Park ($35, $10 non-drinkers). It's the perfect opportunity to see what the fermented fuss is all about. Try an unlimited sampling of the sweet and tart stuff from locally grown ciders to some of the nation's top hard cider brands. Too much sloshing and not enough noshing? Don't worry, food vendors are on hand to help keep you steady. And you can sip and nibble happily knowing that all proceeds from the event go toward Wild Souls Ranch, Humboldt County's equine assisted growth and learning center for at-risk youth.