2020 Blueberry Festival boasts lineup of over 40 events
Jesse Bonello - Staff Writer
Despite restrictions, such as social distancing, due to COVID-19 this year’s 38th annual Sioux Lookout Blueberry Festival features more than 40 registered events.
“We have over 40 events registered, which is really exciting. We weren’t expecting to have so many events registered. We’re really glad we’ve had such good response from organizers,” said Jessica Darling, Sioux Lookout Blueberry Festival Coordinator.
Darling said this year’s festival, which will take place from July 31 to August 9, will feature a wide variety of events, whether it’s old favourites that people know and love or brand new events emerging out of creativity.
“As for the actual events, we have a pretty good mix of old events that people come to every year and love, but they’ve been modified. We also have some brand new events, which is also really exciting. The situation gave people some room for creativity and to think of new events that might go on in future Blueberry Festivals,” she said.
“We have some golf tournaments, some restaurants are having blueberry specials, float plane rides, the bike to Hudson, colouring contests, the Epic Car Scavenger Hunt… Events that have been modified this year are the fish fry, pancake breakfast, art lessons, the triathlon, and the Sioux Mountain Music Festival. Some brand new events that we have are an art contest, writing contest, a collective blueberry cookbook, and a geocaching event. We’ll be doing the opening ceremonies, Bert’s birthday party, and the community celebration of life.
“I think it’ll be really exciting to see how some of the organizers are planning to hold their events because it has been difficult to try and plan around physical distancing regulations. I’m really glad that people have gone out of their way to try and make it accessible for Sioux Lookout, and just have some fun during the Blueberry Festival… We’re really glad that we have such a good number of events considering everything that’s happened. We’re really excited to see how this all plays out,” Darling explained.
June 30 was the deadline for registered events to be featured in the festival program. Darling said they’re hoping to get the programs finalized and published shortly. The Blueberry Festival is still accepting event registrations at [email protected] or 737-3227.
The Blueberry Festival Committee said alterations to this year’s festival have hindered normal fundraising opportunities, making t-shirt sales crucial in supporting the future of the festival. Darling said they’ve received many positive responses and t-shirt pre-orders from the community so far.
“We’ve gotten a really good response from the community about t-shirt sales. We’ve gotten a lot of pre-orders… It’s our main fundraiser this year. I think it’s a good souvenir for the Blueberry Festival, even though it’s not going to be the same as it always is. Everyone will remember this year for sure,” she said.
Sizing charts and t-shirt pre-order forms are available online at www.blueberrybert.com/t-shirts.
Darling said residents can stay up to date on this year’s festival through their website and social media pages.
“Keep an eye on our Facebook page, Sioux Lookout Blueberry Festival, as well as our website on all of our social media accounts just in case there are any event cancellations or new events registered. We are very active on our Facebook page,” she concluded.
To stay up to date on this year’s festival, such as t-shirt availability and event announcements, check out their Facebook page @BlueberryBert or visit www.blueberrybert.com.