The First Cider of the Year is the most important espicha or traditional cider meeting there is, as much for attendance, as for number of participant cider mills , and with which the Asturian cider season is inaugurated.
This celebration, declared of social roots by the City Council of Xixón, gives a good example of how alive the cider culture is in our country and how important it is for the Asturians.
It will take place from March 29 to April 1 in the Museum of the Asturian Village, Xixón and will offer the possibility to the participants to enjoy the cider of more than 70 cider mills for only € 6, in a relaxed way, without haste, and in the idyllic setting offered by the Museum of the Asturian Village.
With this event we began to claim the cider over the yeast, without blending, a variety of cider that had fallen into oblivion by the process of industrialization of cider mills, and that today already there are several cider mills that market it. In this sense we consider fundamental the contest that we made of the Best First Cider of the Year, one of the most important contests in the country, with 45 cider mills participating. This year the winner was Sidra Riestra, and that will be the Official Cider of this edition of the FCOY.
The FCOY has an extensive program in which it is important to highlight the following:
Presentation by the legendary Tino El Roxu, with the intervention of the Councilor of Tourism and celebrations of Xixón’s City Council, Jesús Martínez Salvador and a representation of the main Asturian confraternities that in some way sponsor the event. After the presentation there will be an exhibition of artistic cider pouring.
- Sidracrucis’18.- Friday 30th. The cider procession that takes the cider lovers from cider bar to cider bar and to cider mill to cider mill and the FCOY as a cornerstone of the route.
IX Asturian Song and Cider. It will be held on Friday and Saturday, and will feature the performance of new tune interpreters from the Traditional Music Schools of La Quintana, Manolo Quirós and Colunga.
- VII Homemade in Wood Cider Contest. The only one of its kind and intended to enhance the traditional use of wooden barrels in the production of cider, with important prizes, the main one, a cider barrel for the winner.
Of course, children will be the main protagonists in the event and we have a wide range of children’s programming based on traditional sports, apple smashing and cider pouring contest.
On the other hand, if there is something that we have always had in mind since the beginning of the celebration of the FCOY, it is the need to renew and innovate continuously, in such a way that the event is reinvented each year with new contributions.
Last year we incorporated as a novelty the space for pets, apple juice and alcohol-free cider, and free access for those who come by bicycle on Sunday, April 1st, in collaboration with the Xixón bicycle association and its 30-day in bike campaign . This year we go much further, improving past initiatives and proposing new ones such as:
- Multilingual information. Each year the number of foreign visitors is bigger, both general people and media; for this reason we will have a support team that, in addition to the Asturian language and Spanish language, will be able to provide information in English, French, Italian and German.
Vegetarian menu. Our magnificent grill will count this year for the first time with a vegetarian menu, thus responding to an increasingly widespread demand among those attending our event.
- Children’s tent. The activities for the youngest are a priority part of the FCOY, and although many of the planned activities take place outdoors, this year we will have a sheltered space for them.
- Tastings, tastings and harmonizations. In this ninth edition we will have a daily and continuous program of this type of experience that allows attendees to know and enjoy cider in its different forms and varieties.
- Cardioprotected space. This year we will have the necessary equipment (defibrillator), and the medical staff with the necessary training, to effectively attend a cardiac arrest until the arrival of emergency medical services. With this measure we advance to the existing provisions for this type of events at European level, and provide security to all our visitors.
- ¡Bebi con xacíu!. Although Spanish legislation does not yet require it, we have adopted the European principles in which the announcement of activities related to alcoholic beverages have an appeal to their responsible and moderate consumption, in such a way that the slogan “Bebi con xacíu. Ye la nuesa cultura. Ye la to responsabilidá” (Drink sensibly. Is our culture. Is your responsibility) will be present throughout the event, remembering that the Asturian culture of cider is not a culture of” drunkenness “, but of social relations.
Likewise, we would like to emphasize that this year a map of cider bars of Xixón will be given to each assistant to the FCOY, where the cider bars of the city are indicated.
The aim of the FCOY is to spread and enhance the Asturian cider culture, and a fundamental part of it are cider bars, so this map is an indispensable tool so that, after passing through the festival, people can continue to know and enjoy the Asturian cider cultures in the cider bars of Xixón.