Kick the end-of-summer blues at the 2015 Marshall County Blueberry Festival
The Marshall County Blueberry Festival returns to Plymouth over Labor Day weekend, throwing one last hurrah for Michiana blueberries.
Blueberry picking season is actually over by early September in Michiana, but the festival is a nod to the fact that Marshall County, at one point, produced a third of the blueberries in Indiana, according to the event website.
Now, Michigan is the state that grows the most blueberries in the country, though Indiana still ranks in the top 10, according to the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council.
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Entry to the park is free, you just pay for your parking and food.
The local Elks Lodge kicks off Saturday and Sunday of the festival with a Blueberry Breakfast at 6:30 a.m., serving blueberry pancakes, biscuits and gravy, sausage and more in the nonprofit area. The Lion’s tent will also serve blueberry pancakes throughout the festival.
Centennial Park, 1660 N. Michigan St., Plymouth
5 to 9 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (some events start earlier) and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday
Without a doubt, the most popular and anticipated treats at the festival are the blueberry doughnuts made by a group of seven local churches.
Blueberry Festival co-chair Phil Martin said last year, they made more than 5,000 dozen doughnuts. This year, he said, they’ll start cooking at 4 a.m. to keep up with demand for the famous doughnuts.
You can find the blueberry doughnuts near the north entrance of the park, Gate 1, near the giant Redwood log exhibit. You can’t miss it, Martin said, because the line of folks waiting to get a taste will be unmistakable.
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There are plenty of other blueberry foods available at the fest as well, mostly in the nonprofit food area in Centennial Park’s main food court.
Blueberry ice cream is a staple of the festival, as well as blueberry pies and shortcakes, blueberry muffins and even deep fried blueberries. New this year are blueberry fried pies brought in by a local Amish group, Martin said.
Aside from the food, the festival includes plenty of family-friendly activities like a parade, carnival rides, Blueberry Stomp 5K, Little Miss and Mister Blueberry contests, athletic tournaments and more. For a full schedule, visit blueberryfestival.org.