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MACHIAS, Maine — Machias is once again gearing up for the Machias Wild Blueberry Festival, three days of festivities that annually draw thousands of people to the tiny Washington County seat nestled along the Machias River and the Middle River.
This year’s festival — to be held Aug. 15-17 — will be the 39th annual edition of the event, which is sponsored by Centre Street Congregational Church.
The festival kicks off Friday with a flea market, blueberry farm tour, fish fry dinner and children’s parade and entertainment. It gets into full swing on Saturday, launching two days of exhibits and displays by more than 250 artists, craftsmen and vendors.
The weekend of activities includes a fun run, blueberry pie-eating contest and other contests, raffles, live music and food. A fireworks display will be held at 9 p.m. on the U.S. 1 causeway across the Middle River.
In addition, the Blackfly Ball, sponsored by the Beehive Design Collective, will be held from 6 to 11:30 p.m. at Bad Little Falls Park and will feature about a dozen bands performing on four stages.
The children’s parade Friday begins at 6 p.m., and children of all ages are welcome to to participate. There will be entertainment, including a puppet show, for children following the parade at the University of Maine-Machias performing arts center. Admission is free.
Another event coinciding with the festival is a musical production that will be staged at the church evenings Aug. 13-16. This year’s production is titled “In Lieu of Flowers, Send Blueberries” and features a mixture of Broadway show tunes and popular music that follow a humorous story line.
The festival also is put on in conjunction with the Machias Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, the town of Machias and the Penobscot Valley Craft Association. It draws an estimated 12,000 to 15,000 people, according to organizers.
More information and a complete schedule of activities is available at the festival website.
For more information, call the church at 255-6665 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.