MASON CITY | Quickly turning the crank on an apple press, Geneva Benson, 8, Mason City, learned what it's like to make apple cider during Kinney Pioneer Museum's annual Apple Cider and Donut Day on Sunday.

"It's really hard," she said, "especially when they pour it in."

Geneva was there with her mother, Alyssa, sisters, Madelyn, 10, and Jersey, 5, and two friends.

"We try to come to the main events and then one or two other times during the season," Alyssa said. "We usually try to bring some of their friends who don't usually get to experience it."

Madelyn has been coming to the museum since she was 1.

"I think it's fun, and I think it's a good chance for kids to have fun but learn something, too," she said.

Rockwell siblings Andrew Baker, 6, and Lily, 4½, were newcomers to the museum. They were there with their grandparents, Gene and Nancy Baker, Clear Lake.

"It's our pleasure to have Andy and Lily for the weekend because Mom and Dad went to a wedding," Nancy said. "We thought it would be great fun."

They said some highlights were the covered wagon, old telephone and, of course, doughnuts and apple cider.

"I think it's great," said Gene, who had never been to the museum before either. "I guess I'm getting so old I can relate to a lot of it."

The couple joked that they had stories for most everything they saw in the museum.

Other activities included bobbing for apples, a bake sale and demonstrations on making brooms, blacksmith work and rug weaving.

Ann Thomsen, Clear Lake, ran the loom to weave rugs and ran a sewing machine. It was about her 10th year leading the demonstrations.

"I'm in awe anyone could make a lot on these," she said.

Apple Cider and Donut Day was the last special day of the season at the museum, which will close for the year on Oct. 1.


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