CIDER FESTIVAL: Musicians Tina Mortensen, right, from Lemongrass, and solo artist Tegen Fisher, at Founders Heritage Park, who will be hosting New Zealand's first ever Cider Festival on November 12.

Nelson’s first Cider Festival

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Nelson cider lovers will be able to sample over 75 varieties of the popular drink at this weekends inaugural New Zealand Cider Festival.

Founders Heritage Park is set to host the family-friendly event this Saturday afternoon, which will also include food, music, and kids activities.

There will be a range of talks thoughout the afternoon in The Granary from different cider makers, as well as cooking demonstrations using cider and tips on how to make the perfect homemade cider.

Musical headliner Greg Johnson will be playing the Village Green Mainstage, and will be joined by local singer songwriter, Tegen Fisher, and Motueka band, Lemongrass.

Festival organiser Ali Lawley says that the event has been a long time coming, and she’s excited to see it all come together on Saturday.

“People have waned to have a festival for many years, but just haven’t had the facilities to do it,” she says.

“We were invited to do it here in Nelson, and thought it was a fabulous idea – so we said ‘lets do it’.”

Ali says that sixty-percent of cider in New Zealand is made right here in Nelson, so it “just made sense” to hold the event here.

“Cider is big – the growth market is absolutely huge – it’s growing faster than craft beer at the moment.”

Ali also says the focus of the festival is very much on “family-friendly” and is encouraging families to come and make a day of it.

Ministry of Inspiration, who run science projects for kids, will be there offering activities for young apple lovers – such as apple art, pressing apple juice, creating apple-powered clocks and bobbing for apples.

For the cider connoisseurs, prices will be standardized across all sellers with drinks ranging from $3 – $7.

Also on offer will be craft beer from Founders Brewery, wine from Aronui Wines and non-alcoholic beverages.

Streat Kitchen, Founders Cafe and the Cod & Lobster Brasserie will have food available.

The New Zealand Cider Festival, Saturday 12th November, 12 – 6pm at Founders Heritage Park. Tickets: Presales $25 from www.ticketdirect.co.nz or gate sales are $30. Free Entry for Under 18s.