Lyman Orchards in Middlefield hosts American Lantern Festival 

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MIDDLEFIELD — With winter officially here, Lyman Orchards is welcoming back its 1741 Hard Apple Cider and for the first time hosting the American Lantern Festival. 

The 1741 Connecticut Crisp Hard Apple Cider was originally launched in 2018. It is made in small batches from Connecticut-grown apples, is gluten-free, unfiltered and contains no added sugar. The cider is available on-site and at package stores and restaurants. 

“We’ve been out for a couple years, but now we’re back and we’re gradually building up production,” said John Lyman, executive vice president. “So right now it’s available in pretty much the southern part of the state … As we build up production over the next couple months, we’ll also get into the other parts of the state.

“We’ll also have it available on tap at the 1741 Pub and Grill,” Lyman added.

The restaurant is located at Lyman Orchards Golf Club.  

On Dec. 15, the American Lantern Festival opened at Lyman Orchards, adjacent to the golf course. It is open 5 to 9 p.m. every day until the end of next month. Tickets are sold online. 

The festival features over 1,000 handcrafted lanterns arranged in 30 different scenes.

“We actually heard that (the American Lantern Festival was) looking for a venue location in Connecticut and so I reached out to them,” said Becky Critchley, director of events and catering for Lyman Orchards. “... They came out and did the site tour.

“We have a private road at the orchard so it’s set up on a private road,” Critchley added. “So it's a great view of the golf course area. It’s a nice gradual walk, wide pathway, so plenty of room for social distancing. We just found the demand for outdoor attractions in general is at a peak so we thought this would be a good fit for the property in our off season.”

Lyman said people can park at the golf course and restaurant parking lot and walk up the hill toward the lighted displays. 

“It’s a lot of fun,” Lyman said. “... The designs range from dinosaurs to wild animals, lions, tigers, sea animals. It’s just amazing.” 


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