This year the Berkshire Blueberry & Book Festival is back in full force. If you are looking for a good time on July 23, Berkshire is the place to be. The festival is located on Route 38 at the corner of Jewett Hill Road in the Town of Berkshire.
The main festival events will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine. But if you are an early bird, library volunteers will be cooking a blueberry pancake breakfast featuring locally grown blueberries and locally produced maple syrup starting at 7 a.m. and ending at 10 a.m. in the Fire Station dining hall.
After breakfast, browse around the grounds of the Library, Community Hall and Fire Station, and check out the wares from the many artisans and vendors, including those selling fresh blueberries.
Be sure to stop in the Community Hall’s top floor and view the work of local artists and vote for the People’s Choice Award. After viewing the art, sit and rest a while and enjoy listening to a variety of musicians who will be entertaining people throughout the day in the Community Hall.
Since this is also a Book Festival, stop and chat with the local authors who will be scattered throughout the festival grounds. Many of the authors will be doing a short book talk beginning at ten minutes before each hour throughout the day. There will be plenty of opportunities to learn about their books, their lives, and to get your questions answered. Most authors will also have their books for sales. Take home an autographed copy. You can read more about the authors here.
Speaking of books, save a little time to browse the used book sale that will be going on in the ground floor of the Community Hall. There will be great books at bargain prices, so stock up for your summer reading.
Next make a stop at the Fire Station truck bay and look over the many raffle baskets and gift certificates. Buy a few tickets and try your luck at winning the basket of your choice.
While you are there, look over the entries in the Blueberry Bake Off, sponsored by the Berkshire Congregational Church. Don’t leave without checking out the bake sale, courtesy of the Richford Congregational Church. Take some delicious treats home with you. There will also be live entertainment here for you to enjoy.
At about 11:30 a.m., watch for the 14th Annual Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway of Valor Tribute Ride to be passing through. This ride begins in Owego and ends 100 miles north in Hannibal. The ride is dedicated to the designation of Route 38 as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway of Valor, and honors two Medal of Honor recipients who grew up along the route, and to all those who served our country in the military. It is an amazing sight.
When you are ready for lunch, consider the chicken BBQ prepared by Berkshire Fire Department volunteers; it begins at noon until all is gone. If you would like something lighter, Lambert’s food truck will offer many choices.
Additionally, there will be a kids’ area featuring games and activities. An antique car show will be held behind the Fire Station. And the Berkshire History Museum on the second floor of the library will also be open. There should be something for everyone.
This event provides funding for the Berkshire Free Library, which serves both the Berkshire and Richford communities. Besides the generosity of the program advertisers, the Town of Berkshire, Visions Federal Credit Union, and the Northern Tioga Chamber of Commerce sponsor the festival.