By Nancy Covert
Anyone who keeps an eye on the weather just knew that once the fog lifted this past Sunday morning that the annual Apple Squeeze was going to be perfect.
And it was…
According to Squeeze coordinator Marianne Bull, there were about 3,000 folks who strolled through town to enjoy all the offerings, from the Bouncy House on the tennis court to apple pie ala mode at Town Hall. She’s coordinated the last 15 or more events.
About two hours before the event began George Rybolt was kneeling beside one of the presses, attaching engraved brass plaques to the frame. Vendors were setting up their tents and getting ready to display their merchandise.
The plaque tradition began with the first Squeeze held 40 years ago when locals Lynn Scholes, Don Rehburg and Harold Hellyer decided it was a good idea to revive the custom of a harvest festival first celebrated in 1915. According to historical records, that very first year, funds were raised to purchase audio-visual equipment for Steilacoom School—ah, those were the days long before iPads and all that expensive, technical stuff.
Marianne estimated that about 400 gallons of cider were pressed at one of the dozens of presses being operated that afternoon.
The event, staffed by volunteers, included yellow-shirted Microsoft employees, while Boeing and State Farm employees also operated presses throughout the day.
Microsoft matches their employees’ contributions to the event, Marianne said, as do Boeing and State Farm. Steilacoom Scouts from Troop 71, including boys from the “No Name” patrol, kept the presses running. Key Clubbers from Steilacoom High School also were busy operating Tennis Court activities.
The balmy autumn afternoon was perfect just for promenading, Marianne continued. Likely folks were taking advantage of the good weather—that had disappeared by later that evening when rain again returned to the area.
The new vendors, she added, were impressed by the setting—by how clean the town is—and everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Only a few folks were disappointed they’d waited so long to enjoy the pie ala mode—by about 3:30 p.m. all the pies had been sold.
Well, there’s always next year.
Marianne asks that anyone who took photos on Oct. 6 and who would like to share them with the Museum should contact her at 584-4133. The Museum welcomes the photos for its archives.