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Wild Blueberry Festival returning to cap off the summer

Once again, the town of St. Walburg is hosting its annual festival promising to be berry fun. The 31st annual Wild Blueberry Festival is returning once again on the weekend of August 24. The annual festival is no small feat. Amber Gervais, organizer this year, says the festival is the result of many hands’ work.

“I think in whole, the community should be proud, and (is) proud of all the volunteers it takes to put on an event like this,” says Gervais. “I’ve got to give kudos to them, and a huge thumbs up, that’s for sure.”

The festival kicks off Friday night with an Ethnic Supper at 5 p.m. and Old Time Dance at 6:15, at the St. Walburg Parish Centre. The supper features dishes from various cultures that call the town their home and the dance serves as a social get together and meeting place for old friends.

Saturday is when the festival officially gets underway with a pancake breakfast at the St. Walburg School at 8 a.m. The street festival runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a variety of fun activities to enjoy and vendors to purchase from. A kids zone is being run by Castro’s Retreat Horse Rescue and Rehabilitation, and Gervais says the local fire department will be dunking prominent community members in a tank.

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“Like George Prudat, who’s our mayor. I believe I have seen that the fire chief is in the lineup as well. Usually some business owners kind of get in on the fun with that.”

The festivities continue throughout the day with a music stage featuring local artists. A blueberry tea is held with blueberry pies, desserts and teas available. Freshly picked blueberries are ready to enjoy throughout the day, while supplies last. The longstanding tradition brings together the whole community with a variety of fundraising opportunities for local groups. Gervais first attended years ago, and can’t imagine a St. Walburg without it.

“When I attended and saw what everybody did and how full the streets were, it just took me by surprises and I was absolutely in awe at how this was a community organized event, and was all done by volunteers. It really impressed me that the community would get together for such a big event, and pull it off year after year after year. That’s one thing that stuck out in my mind about St. Walburg.”

Gervais admits she always looks forward to the entertainment available on the street and that there’s “quite the lineup” of musical talent. An evening dinner is also planned to finish the festival at 5 p.m.

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