MACHIAS — Just as wild blueberries hit their peak for the season, area residents will venture to Machias to celebrate the fruit that is synonymous with Maine.
Now in its 44th year, the Machias Wild Blueberry Festival began as the brainchild of then 19-year-old Dwight Whitney Jr., who wanted to celebrate the annual harvest. Now the event, sponsored by the Centre Street Congregational Church, spans several days.
The biggest and busiest days are Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 17-18, with food, contests and vendors, but the event actually kicks off Sunday, Aug. 11, when a large blueberry will be dropped from the church steeple. The drop takes place after church services, and visitors can enjoy blueberry muffins, coffee and fellowship afterward.
The annual blueberry musical comedy will be shown Tuesday-Friday, Aug. 13-17. The Tuesday performance begins at 6:30 p.m. and the full musical is shown at 7 the other days. This year’s musical, titled “Blueberries on the Roof,” is a tale of how the fruity residents of the area’s blueberry fields find themselves faced with rising sea levels.
The activity schedule heats up Friday, Aug. 16, with crafters, a blueberry farm tour, blueberry cooking contest judging, music, food, a children’s parade and the start of the book sale at Porter Memorial Library.
Saturday kicks off with a blueberry pancake breakfast beginning at 6:30 a.m. The Blueberry Run 5K race starts at 8 a.m. Throughout the day, visitors can take part in a blueberry pie eating contest and enjoy music, exhibits, crafts and vendors, tours of the historic Burnham Tavern, a battle re-enactment and a magic show. A free shuttle service will operate during the day Saturday, taking visitors into town from the Hannaford parking lot.
Food, crafts and music continue Sunday, along with Sunday worship at the church.
For more information, visit www.machiasblueberry.com.