The Deerfield Valley Blueberry Festival is a fun event, a series of events really, that shows what can be done when a community comes together and compiles a number of events big and small into a 10-day celebration.
The festival proves year in and year out that the sum of the parts is greater than the whole. A wide variety of activities comprise the festival. The anchor events include the parade in Dover on Saturday, the block party in Wilmington a week later, a street fair in Jacksonville, a floating party on Harriman Reservoir, blueberry bingo, music galore, and lots of other fun things to do. For a complete listing see the schedule on page B10 or visit vermontblueberry.com.
But the festival is more than just events. In so many ways the blueberry festival is about the volunteers who come together to bring the festival to life. A quick count shows more than 30 events slated for the 10-day festival. That sheer volume of activity doesn’t happen without a Herculean effort by scores of planners, organizers, and expediters. Most of the behind-the-scenes organizing is done by volunteers, as there are precious few paid positions for event planners here in the valley. Even where there might be some paid staff, most of the event-day operations are carried off by cadres of volunteers.
Volunteerism is one of the many great things about life in the valley. Regardless of the time of year, state of the economy, or nature of the task, there are always people who are ready to roll up their sleeves, pitch in, and help out. In so many ways volunteers are the heartbeat of the community, and their contributions can never be lauded too often. Volunteers can never be told “thank you” too many times. To paraphrase that heroic talking badger, Tummeler, volunteers are one of the great forces o’good in the valley.
Getting back to the blueberry festivities, we hope readers can find the time to attend at least one of the events. There’s so much good fun planned, and so much good food, all brought out by the goodness of blueberries.
Let’s face it, given all the uncertainty over the pale tuber, especially the toxic wild roadside variety, a parsnip festival just wouldn’t have the same appeal. Somehow the idea of a “Parsnip Festival” is a little deflating, if not downright evil.
It’s blueberry festival week. Time to have some fun and enjoy the goodness.