WILMINGTON -- Organizers of Deerfield Valley's Blueberry Festival constantly look for ways to expand it.

For its seventh year, more events were added in towns throughout the entire valley.

"It's a great event for tourists and locals. It's a great way to spend time with your family doing blueberry fun things," said Mount Snow Valley Chamber of Commerce Office Manager Katie Nicgorski.

The Boyd Family Farm will kick off the festival with a "Field of Blue" on Friday, July 25. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., people are invited to celebrate the blueberry season there.

Janet Boyd has assisted with organizing the festival over the years. Over 40 valley businesses have joined the Blueberry Passport program, which gives holders access to discounts and deals.

Wahoo's Eatery owner Adam Grinold said his business began by serving blueberry shakes in the first days of the festival.

"It was so incredibly successful, it's now one of our most popular summer long shakes," he said.

This year, Wahoo's will serve a special duck dish with blueberry sauce. It also sells blueberry ice cream.

Also on Friday, the Stone Soldier Pottery's blueberry celebration will be held from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Jacksonville. There will be 10 percent off select blue pottery with the Blueberry Passport.

"The Race to Save the World" starts at 1 p.m. at Memorial Hall in Wilmington. It is presented by the Summer Encore Theater.

Opening ceremonies at the Sitzmark in Wilmington include its trademark blueberry Jell-O slide.


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Activities begin at 5 p.m.

The Blueberry Festival Parade starts at 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 26. The parade usually consists of 20 different floats and participants. There will be plenty of emergency service vehicles from New England. The line up starts at 10:30 a.m. at Central Appliance in Wilmington. It will travel along Route 100.

A barbecue will be held at Dover Forge, where the parade ends at noon. There will be a craft show, music, vintage cars and fire departments from all over the state.

Joe Arnold, the leader of the fourth annual Blueberry Fes­tival Parade in Dover, entertains the crowd gathered along Route 100 on Saturday. (Reformer file
Joe Arnold, the leader of the fourth annual Blueberry Fes­tival Parade in Dover, entertains the crowd gathered along Route 100 on Saturday. (Reformer file photo)

"The Wearin' of the Blue" contest asks parade attendees to submit photographs of blue-inspired spectators to events@visitvermont.com. The photographs will be shared on the chamber's website and awards will be given out at the Dover Forge.

Before the parade, there will be a blueberry pancake breakfast held at Layla's Riverside Lodge from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. It is sponsored by the Deerfield Valley Rotary. Also at Layla's, there will be a craft fair with green industry vendors and a variety of craftspeople.

The 7th Annual Deja Blue Car and Motorcycle Show will be held at Mount Snow Market Place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Mountainside Gifts will host a hand painting and pottery demo throughout the day.

The 28th Annual Time Line Event will go from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. There will be re-enactment camps in history set up on Dover Forge property. More information is available on livinghistoryassn.org.

On Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., there will be a "Blueberry Festival Special" at Readsboro Glassworks.

There will be a mid-day barbecue and blueberry polish buffet and entertainment at the Matterhorn Inn in West Dover.

A 2014 fundraiser and community concert for the Wilmington Fund will be held at Memorial Hall in Wilmington. Legendary folk rock musician Steve Forbert will perform. Tickets are $30 or $25 in advance at wilmington-fund-concert.eventbrite.com.

On Sunday, July 27, Wilmington Selectboard member and Trails Committee member Jake White will lead a hike up Haystack Mountain. Participants should meet at the trailhead at 9 a.m.

From 11 to 11:30 a.m., the Boyd Family Farm will host "Farm.o.l.o.g.y." Attendees can learn how to plant blueberry bushes.

At 2 p.m., Bartleby's Books in Wilmington will have a storybook hour called "If You Give a Mouse a Blueberry."

On Monday, July 28, a Blueberry Story Walk through Molly Stark State Park will begin at 10:30 a.m.

A blueberry river tube float will be held from 11 to 11:30 a.m.  This will be the first time the event is held. People are advised to park in Wilmington and take the Moover north to the Wheeler Farm, where tubes will enter the Deerfield River. Children must be accompanied by adults.

"People hop on their own tube and float down the water," said Nicgorski.

A teen dance will be hosted by the Deerfield Valley Community Partnership at the Sitzmark from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m.

On Tuesday, July 29, the Richards Group will hold a Blueberry Customer Appreciation Day at 27 East Main Street in Wilmington.

From 10 a.m. to noon, the Boyd Family Farm is inviting people to make "fascinators" or masks to wear to the block party scheduled for Saturday. The farm will also host a blueberry pajama party and story time starting at 7 p.m.

From 4 to 9 p.m., North Star Bowl will have a blue ball mini golf party.

On Wednesday, July 30, there will be a Blueberry Mountain Scavenger Hunt at Hogback Mountain Conservation Area. Everyone will meet at the old Alpenglo ski lodge at 1 p.m.

From 5 to 8 p.m. at the Sitzmark, there will be a Blue Hawaiian Beach Party.

At 6 p.m., Blueberry Bingo will be held at the Masonic Temple in Wilmington.

On Thursday, July 31, balloons and goodies will be given out during Blueberry Day at Merchant's Bank.

The "Blueberry Splash Parade of the Boats" will be held at Lake Whitingham starting at 4 p.m. The line-up will start at High Country.

The Jacksonville Blues Band and the Dusty Pilgrims will perform at the "Blueberry Splash" at Lake Whitingham starting at 5 p.m.

On Friday, Aug. 1, there will be a blueberry celebration at the Stone Soldier Pottery in Jacksonville from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Hand Knits will host a custom fit sweater party from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. More information is available on handknits.net.

Blueberry sundaes can be made at North Star Bowl from 4 to 9 p.m.

From 4 to 7 p.m., there will be "Berrylicious Treats" at the Whitingham Farmers Market at the Whitingham Municipal Center Parking Lot.

On Saturday, Aug. 2, there will be a blueberry pancake breakfast at the Jacksonville Community Church from 7 to 10 a.m.

Grace Cottage Hospital Fair Day will be held from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Townshend.

Starting at 10 a.m., there will be blueberry-themed stories and activities at Readsboro Central School.

Deerfield Valley Sportsmen's Club will host "Blue Trap Day" at 641 Fowler Road.

From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., on that Saturday and Sunday, the Vermont Bowl Company will offer free jars of jam and a surprise gift with any purchase of $50 or more. The store is located on Route 9 in Wilmington.

The Readsboro Community Library will host a free children's event with stories and activities starting at 10 a.m.

From 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., artists will display exhibits out on the Crafts Inn lawn in Wilmington.

At 10:30 a.m., the Shearer Hill Farm Bed and Breakfast in Jacksonville will have a blue eye contest. No contacts are allowed. All ages are encouraged.

Honora Winery in Jacksonville will host a blueberry cheddar and wine pairing at 11 a.m.

Spoonwood Cabin Hand Crafted Cheese in Jacksonville will be giving tours and demos throughout the day.

The "Discover Wilmington Village Blueberry Scavenger Hunt" from 2 to 6 p.m. will test how well participants know the village. Teams of two to six people will leave the chamber in hopes of finding items on a list and winning a cash prize. It costs $2 per person.

"Feel the Blues" at Jim McGrath Studio in Wilmington from 3 to 9 p.m. will offer customers 10 percent off all paintings except for miniatures and notecards.

Otha Day and "Drum to the Beat" will perform at annual book sale from 5 to 6 p.m. at the Pettee Memorial Library in Wilmington.

The Blueberry Block Party will begin at 5 p.m. It is a drug and alcohol free event sponsored by the Deerfield Valley Community Partnership, the town of Wilmington and Wilmington Works. There will be over 15 vendors with live entertainment from the band Groove Prophet. It is a drug and alcohol free event.

There will be lobster rolls and pizza from Pizzapalooza. Hermitage Club will have artisan sandwiches and the rotary will sell cotton candy and popcorn.

The main attraction, Grinold says, is the Blueberry pie eating contest. Whoever eats the most pie in three minutes wins a prize. There are divisions for juniors and adults.

"You do not come up with a clean face," said Grinold.

Throughout the festival, Ratu's Liquor and Market in Wilmington will be sampling blueberry liquor and craft beer. All growler fills will be $2 off.

On Sunday, Aug. 3, there will be "Blue Dayz" in Readsboro, where a variety show will be held followed by ice cream sundae-making.

Also in Readsboro, there will be the Readsboro Blueberry Corner located at 7066 Main Street. It will be presented by Catamount Carpet Cleaning and Magic Earth Retreat Free Fun with watercolor artist Jane May Jones. There will be free blueberry lemonade and blueberry stamping art for children.

More information is available at vermontbluebery.com.

Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or cmays@reformer.com. Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.