2019 Blueberry Festival preparations well on their way
Jesse Bonello - Staff Writer
The 37th Annual Sioux Lookout Blueberry Festival is just under 100 days away, and festival president Dori Hopko shared that preparations have been well under way.
“We have our previous coordinators coming back. Maddie Mesich and Hannah Wilms are coming back again. This will be their second year, and they’re going to be co-coordinators this year, which is going to be really great. They work great together as a team,” she said.
“To kick-off the Blueberry Festival this year we are hosting our ladies night out purse auction, which is May 10. That’s our beginning fundraiser to start the ball rolling so we can get our t-shirts and that. We’re hoping to have our generic t-shirts in by May long-weekend, and they’re white. We will have V-neck and crew neck options,” she continued.
This year’s festival dates are August 2 to August 11.
The Blueberry Festival, for the seventh time, received Top 100 honours from Festivals and Events Ontario.
“It’s a collaboration of all the different festivals and events that register to be in that grouping, which is really great. Every year they do different categories that you can apply to be in, and we applied for the top 100…It’s really cool that we made the top 100 again. I was so excited,” said Hopko.
“They’ve now created a new municipal category, so I would like to see the town apply for the municipal award because they do support the festival a lot. It would be nice to have a feather in their cap too,” she added.
Past Blueberry Festivals have seen the theme changed from year to year but, this year, the festival is taking a bit of a different route.
“We kind of got away from the theme because it’s hard to find words that rhyme with 2019, so we’re just going with vibrant colours this year. The primary colours that are in Bert himself; the red, green, yellow, and blue,” Hopko explained.
This year’s festival will see some of the usual favourites like the opening ceremonies collaboration with the farmers market, traditional Rotary pancake breakfast, bocce tournament, firemen’s social, and Blueberry Bert’s birthday party. There are some new events in the works for this year that people will have to stay tuned for when the program gets released, which is usually in July.
“It’s always good to see new organizers coming forward. We’re here to assist in any way we possibly can. We’ll do the advertising for them in our program. The sooner the events are registered, and then the program can be produced. Usually the program is available by around July 15… As events are registered we put them up on our website,” said Hopko.
“We’re a small group of volunteers who’s committed to see the community encompass all different walks and genders of society, which is really important because we try and have things for every age group and category,” she concluded.
Hopko also shared that, this year, the festival won’t have access to the town beach. She received notification that there will be construction there.
To stay up to date on all things Blueberry Festival related, check out www.blueberrybert.com.