Berkshire’s annual Blueberry and Book Festival, held on July 23, gathered the community together for a bursting-with-blueberries town-wide event.
The day started early with a blueberry pancake breakfast, held at the fire station.
Throughout the day, fest-goers enjoyed a chicken barbeque, baked goods, multiple vendors and artisans, basket raffles, live music at two locations, an art show and book sale, along with displays of classic cars, a wood carver demonstration, and more.
The Richford Historical Society was on-hand, too, and fest-goers were welcome to visit the Berkshire Library’s second floor where the Berkshire History Museum is located.
Children were able to take home free books, and enjoyed fun activities like arts and crafts, outdoor games and face painting.
Boy Scout Troop 30 out of Newark Valley scooped blueberry ice cream, and several vendors sold fresh blueberries.
Works by several artists were on display inside the Community Hall for visitors to view. The Juried Award winner was Andy Rosenberger, and People’s Choice award went to Christine Pelton.
Bake-Off winners were Lisa Grant, Grand Champion first place for breads and muffins, second place was awarded to Holly Ruppert, and third place to Donna Cheresnowski.
In the Blueberry Dessert category, Cecelia Whitney was awarded first, second place went to Cloey Eadie Armstrong, and Myah Whitney took home third.
In the Gluten Free category, Hadley Merrill was awarded first place, and Ava Leonard received second.
Local book authors chatted with fest-goers and several participated in “Author’s Talks” sessions including Carol Henry, Lenora Riegel, M.L. Stoughton, Pamela Morris, Aniiyah Klock, Gary Price, and Linda Crowley.
Owego resident and author, Lenora Riegel, read to guests gathered in the gazebo her book, “Pepper the Salt Potato.” Another of Riegel’s books, “Boo Boo the Choo Choo” is set in Owego, and her book, “Quaver Has a Feeling” features a QR code that plays music by the Binghamton Philharmonic. Riegel’s books are featured at Confection Connection in Owego.
Local musicians staged the fire station and community hall for live entertainment. A wide array of sounds featured flute to guitar, saxophone to harp, along with a cappella and Indie rock.
Miss Blueberry, Abigail Escalante, handed out American Flags just prior to the 14th Annual Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway of Valor Tribute Ride, which cruised through Berkshire at 11:30 a.m. en route to Hannibal, N.Y., and with two stops to honor Purple Heart and Medal of Honor recipients.
The community gathered along the sidewalks near the Berkshire fire station and library as the riders rolled by and waved flags, clapped, and cheered, while some placed their hand over their heart and saluted. You can view those photos here!