Despite rain during the early part of the morning, both sides of Blue Hill’s Main Street became alive with people on Saturday, August 3, for the First Congregational Church of Blue Hill’s annual Blueberry Festival.
The fifth edition of this annual event began with a blueberry pancake breakfast on the ground floor of the Congregational Church and continued late into the afternoon. Booths housing blueberry themed food, fine arts vendors, a silent auction and a roasted pig were set up in the church’s parking lot and across the street in front of the Duffy-Wescott American Legion Hall.
Organizer Gayle Durnbaugh acknowledged that initially, “the rain did dampen things a little.” But, by mid-morning the event had a consistent stream of attendees investigating the various booths and enjoying the freshly prepared food.
In addition to the vendors and food, the event included a silent auction administered by the church’s deacons. Items—set at a base biding price—had been donated.
Blue Hill’s 66 Steak & Seafood Restaurant was on hand roasting a whole pig. Durnbaugh said the restaurant donated the labor and the food to the festival.
Specific groups of church volunteers filled particular functions for the event. Durnbaugh said that, for example, the church’s outreach committee had made blueberry granola available that day. The many church volunteers could be spotted around the event in their blueberry-patterned aprons.
Volunteers from the Sunday school had set up a play area for children on the church’s lawn with various games and a cakewalk.
Live music, including a performance by Jay Peterson and Leslie Anderson, took place inside on the ground floor of the church.
Peninsula Ambulance Corps was on hand, allowing people access to such devices as a blood pressure reader. Also, two antique cars were parked in front of the church providing rides to those interested.
Across Main Street, on the American Legion Hall lawn, vendors had booths selling jewelry, yarn, and textiles. Inside the hall, a used book sale took place.
The event is a fundraiser for the Congregational Church and is built into the church’s budget. The aggregate proceeds from the festival contribute directly to the church’s general operating fund.
Planning for the event began in February. Volunteers had arrived at the church the morning of the festival at 5:30 a.m. to begin setup.
Durnbaugh commented on the breadth of help provided by the church community for the event. She predicted that at Sunday church service the following morning when volunteers for the event would be asked to stand, many would answer the call.