Originally published in The Weekly Packet, August 9, 2012
“Best turnout” for Blueberry Festival’s fourth year
The face painting table at the Congregational Church’s 4th annual Blueberry Festival last Saturday, August 4.
by Gigi DeJoy
The First Congregational Church of Blue Hill’s fourth annual Blueberry Festival overflowed with activities, entertainment, and opportunities to eat blueberries in most of their forms.
The berry’s culinary celebration began with a pancake breakfast inside the church and continued outdoors until 3 p.m. with a blueberry pie bake-off, blueberry smoothies, shortcake, ice cream, jam, and almost every incarnation of baked good imaginable. This was alongside live music by several local musicians, a silent auction, bounce house, and other games and vendors.
The festival, which took place Saturday, August 4, corresponded with several other events around town celebrating Blue Hill’s 250th anniversary. 66 Steak & Seafood Restaurant honored the town’s sestercentennial with a pig roast (also involving a bounce house) while the Blue Hill Memorial Hospital put on its annual 5K Fun Run. All this contributed to roads and sidewalks throughout town being clogged with a profusion of tourists and locals alike.
Tina Allen, the Congregational Church’s youth group leader, said the synchronicity was a happy coincidence. Of the 5K Fun Run happening on the same day as the festival, she said, “It worked out that way several years ago, and it worked out really well.” With the 250th celebration added to the mix, Allen said, “I think this is probably the best turnout we’ve ever had.”
This record turnout was mostly composed of families with children, since such a portion of the festival was geared toward the younger set. After purchasing tickets at one entrance to the church’s lot, children could get their faces painted, cool their feet in a kiddy pool or their whole bodies in a dunk tank, take their chances at the cake walk, or play such creative games as the “bubble cream pie” in which contestants had to find a piece of bubble gum in a cream pie and try to be the first to blow a bubble with it.
For Alex Horowitz, however, it was the pancake breakfast that was the highlight. Horowitz, age 6, from Washington, D.C. had run the 5K with his parents before going to the Blueberry Festival. He also enjoyed the ring toss game and was averse to the idea of leaving it.
There were also ample diversions for adults. Besides enjoying the food and music, one could browse vendors selling pottery and stained glass products, booths that looked like condensed yard sales, or the silent auction. These attractions spilled across the street and onto the yard of the Legion Hall, which volunteered the space.
The Blueberry Festival serves as an annual fund-raiser for the church. This year, while the town celebrates its 250th anniversary, the Blue Hill Congregational Church is observing its 240th birthday.