WILMINGTON >> Berries, parades, blue eye and pie eating contests, live music, Blue Jell-O Slip and Slides, encampments, food and displays; if it's blue, it's probably happening in the Mount Snow area towns of Wilmington, Dover, Jacksonville, Whitingham, Searsburg and Marlboro.
Vermont's 9th Annual Deerfield Valley Blueberry Festival starts Friday, July 29, and is packed with activities through Aug. 7. Visitors to the valley will find children's activities, jam making, blueberry-themed specials in the local eateries, blue music events, a blue car auto show and rally, blueberry bake sales, blue beer and much more
The Blueberry Festival was the brainchild of Janet Boyd and the Boyd Family Farms in Wilmington.
"It's fun, it's silly and something everyone can take part in," is the slogan, penned by Janet Boyd. Now one of the top 10 events in the state according to the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, the festival also led to the designation of the Deerfield Valley by the Vermont General Assembly as the Blueberry Capital of Vermont.
Festival highlights include the opening ceremonies on July 29 from 5 to 8 p.m.. with activities such as gallons of blueberry Jell-O to slide on, swim in, and play in. Location to be announced. On July 30, the blueberry pancake breakfast, sponsored by the Deerfield Valley Rotary, is from 8 to 11 a.m. at the Matterhorn. By donation. On July 30 and 31, the 30th Annual Time Line Event, starting at 10 a.m., features walk-through re-enactor camps from 3rd Century Rome to modern day on Route 100 at the Dover Forge in West Dover. The event generally hosts as many as 20 different camps and over 100 re-enactors for a fun-filled day or two of educational displays, talks and demonstrations. Admission is $5. For more information call the Living History Association at 802-368-7913 or visit www.livinghistoryassn.org.
Also on July 30, at 11 a.m., is the 9th Annual Blueberry Festival Parade featuring local floats and marching bands. There will be a craft fair, barbecue, contest for blue-inspired spectators, demonstrations, music, bouncy houses, vintage cars, and after parade festivities.
On July 31, hike to the top of Haystack with Jake White. Water bottles and proper shoes required. Meet at the trailhead. Also on July 31, from 1 to 6 p.m., is the "Blueberry Splash" at Lake Whitingham. Listen to floating musical groups. Decorate your boat blue, and at 2 p.m. meet at High County Marina for the parade of boats.
On Aug. 2, from 7 to 7:30 p.m., there will be a blueberry pajama party and story time. Great for kids under age 8. Free at the Boyd Family Farm. On Aug. 3, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., tie dye your very own blueberry shirt, also at the Boyd Family Farm. Aug. 3 there is bingo in the Masonic Hall in Wilmington. On Aug. 5, from 4 to 8 p.m., there is the Jacksonville Village Chalk Walk and an antique car show, starting at Honora Winery. Aug. 5 features a blue eye contest at 7 p.m. All ages encouraged, at the Shearer Farm Bed And Breakfast in Jacksonville. Aug. 6, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., sees the "rolling start" of the country roads ride and rally. Meet at 104 Route 100, West Dover. There will be a block party in Wilmington on Aug. 6, starting at 5 p.m. The pie eating contest is also on Aug. 6 at 6 p.m. in the front of the Cady and Dugan Building. Ages 4-12, limited to 30 children, first come-first signed up. The farm to table barbecue is on Aug. 6 at 5:30 p.m. and there will also be a bonfire wagon ride. Reservations required at 802-464- 3762 or by visiting www.adamsfamilyfarm.com.
On the final day, Aug. 7, learn about all the different varieties of blueberry bushes and how to plant them at the Boyd Family Farm.
For more information, visit vermontblueberry.com.