top of page
  • Popular Cider Festival will benefit local

The 4th Annual Cider Swig: The Great Peninsula Cider Festival

The 4th Annual Cider Swig: The Great Peninsula Cider Festival

The 4th Annual Cider Swig: The Great Peninsula Cider Festival – one of the largest cider-centered events in the Pacific Northwest – will be back in Gig Harbor this September. Nearly three-dozen regional cidermakers will share over 90 hard ciders with enthusiasts and the cider-curious alike at this year’s festival on Saturday, September 30 at Sehmel Homestead Park. It will be an exciting day for the whole family, with apple themed games and activities for kids, delicious food, including a Cidermakers Dinner on September 29th, and live music on the Cider Swig Stage.

But, the Cider Swig is about much more than cider. Since its inception, the Cider Swig has contributed over $20,000 to support environmental education in parks, natural areas and on trails around the Gig Harbor and Key Peninsula community. Annually, the largest donation has been contributed to the Lu Winsor Environmental Grant Program, administered by the Key Peninsula – Gig Harbor – Islands (KGI) Watershed Council.

Established in 2003, the Lu Winsor program helps local students experience classroom science workshops, carry out restoration projects, and attend local environmental education camps. Many of these programs benefit schools with a high number of students that are registered for the Free & Reduced Lunch program, and may have an increased need for supplemental education opportunities.

For the past 14 years, Pierce County Shellfish Partners and Peninsula Light Company have partnered to fund this grant program with a $5,000 contribution each. In Cider Swig’s first year, $2,500 was contributed to the grant program; high attendance at the 2015 Cider Swig allowed a doubling of support to $5,000. With an even bigger turn-out in year three, a $7,500 donation was made to the program. That contribution was met with an additional match of $2,500 from Pierce County – increasing the total funds available to $20,000 in 2016! Dr. Julie Gustanski is the Chair of the Cider Swig and hopes to continue to increase the contribution year after year. “We feel strongly that Gig Harbor and Key Peninsula residents value these programs for our children, and will spend a fun-filled day enjoying craft ciders and helping us meet our goal of a $10,000 donation to the Lu Winsor Environmental Grant Program in 2017.”

Proceeds from the 2016 Cider Swig focused on environmental education programs and supported the following projects:

  • Students from Vaughn Elementary were sent to YMCA Camp Seymour for three days of intensive environmental education courses

  • Production and installation of two interpretive educational signs by the Key Pen Parks at the new Gateway Park

  • Students from the Peninsula School District were brought to the annual Tacoma-Pierce County Children’s Water Festival hosted by Pierce Conservation District

  • Guided educational tours and beach etiquette lessons for the public on our local State Park beaches with Harbor WildWatch

  • Renovation of the rain garden surrounding the Volunteer Vern Pavilion at Sehmel Homestead Park by GGHF EnviroCorps

Although we were thrilled to support these amazing programs, there is still a great need. Grant requests were near $30,000 last year and we expect a similar interest in 2017. And that’s where you come in…

Help us support more Lu Winsor projects by purchasing your tickets to the 4th Annual Cider Swig today! Advance purchase tickets are $28 or at the gate for $35 (while supplies last). National Public Lands Day and Cider Swig volunteers receive tickets for $18 and designated driver tickets are only $10. Each ticket includes five drink tokens and a festival glass. Of course, extra tokens will be available for purchase at the event.

Get your tickets online at or from the Greater Gig Harbor Foundation. Interested volunteers should call (253) 514-6338 or email

Admission is FREE to all festival areas except the Cider Garden and cider sales tent, where entrants must be 21 to enter (ID required). Advance ticket purchase for the cider garden is recommended, as the event is expected to sell out. So don’t delay, get your Swig On and get your tickets today!

For more information, contact:

Julie Gustanski, Event Chair


About the Greater Gig Harbor Foundation

The Greater Gig Harbor Foundation (GGHF) is the only community foundation specifically working to meet the diverse needs of our greater Gig Harbor and Key Peninsula communities. The nonprofit organization has invested more than $4.6 million in grants, scholarships, land, equipment and volunteer labor over its 9-year history. At its core, the GGHF is an organization created with gifts from generous people committed to local causes. For donors, the Foundation serves as a philanthropic advisor. For the community, the Foundation serves as a grant maker and a civic leader. Through the support of its donors, volunteers and fundholders, the Foundation has been able to address some of the community’s most pressing needs. For more information, visit

68 views0 comments
bottom of page