Saturday will be berry beautiful on the bluffPublished 12:03am Wednesday, June 12, 2013
When 50 pounds of berries make their way to the Natchez bluff Saturday, things could get, well, a little blue.
In the literal sense, that is, since the Natchez Blueberry Festival’s organizers hope the event puts more than a few smiles on local faces.
The one-day festival will not only celebrate the fruit, but also serve as a fundraiser for the Natchez Stewpot, festival organizer Guy Bass said.
The festival begins at 10 a.m. Saturday in front of The Grand Hotel and continues until nightfall.
The festival grounds will offer a myriad of blueberry-laden foods, including sandwiches, ice cream, lemonade and pie. Food vendors will pay $45 to take part in the one-day festival and artists will pay $25 to set up a booth of their wares, Bass said.
Five food vendors and 12 art vendors are scheduled to participate.
The festival — the first of its kind — is also hosting a canned goods drive at The Markets to benefit the Natchez Stewpot.
Admission to the festival is free, but organizers hope those who come are ready to purchase the goodies on hand and enjoy the berry-blue atmosphere.
“One cool thing we will have is a pie-eating contest,” Bass said. “We are hoping to get some aldermen and maybe even the mayor to get some pie on their face.”
Local artist and musician Brandon McCranie organized musical and artistic entertainment and said most of the performers are local bands and acts.
Performers include Burnley Cook and dancers from the Natchez Ballet Academy. McCranie’s band will also perform.
Bass said he is preparing for a crowd of 200 or more to attend.
“One of our vendors sold 200 catfish dinners,” he said. “So we will at least have that many.”
The blueberries — including the 50 pounds volunteers picked Sunday — came from Second Creek Blueberry Farm.
Bass and McCranie hope to continue the festival next year, adding events to it — including pageants — in years to come.