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April 22 • 06:44 AM
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Go blue!


Imlay City's 29th annual Blueberry Festival runs this Friday, Saturday


July 29, 2009
IMLAY CITY — Whether it's a high school reunion, favorite band, lively parade or pickle- and pie-eating contests the city will be abuzz with all things blue this weekend.

The 29th annual Blueberry Festival kicks off on Friday with a variety of activities for young and old alike.

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Youngsters dive into sweet treats during Blueberry Pie Eating contest at last year’s festival. As always, the festival includes events and activities for visitors of all ages.

Right up through Saturday night, residents and visitors alike will gather around town to celebrate the traditional festival.

Highlights include a lineup of top notch local entertainment including crowd pleasers R & R Double Take, Mariah Raquel and performers offering a variety of musical styles. Especially for kids, family friendly movies 'Bolt' and 'Bedtime Stories' will be shown at dusk on Friday and Saturday respectively.

Committee co-chairs Walt Bargen and Julie Salsido say new attractions like the Farmers Market, Antique Flea Market and youth activities provided by the St. Paul's Lutheran Youth Group are welcome additions to the festival.

"The festival committee once again invites you down to partake in some wholesome fun and activities for the whole family," the co-chairs say.

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Along with pie, pickle and crazy bread eating contests, youngsters can once again enjoy Lego, hula hoop and chalk drawing challenges slated for Friday and Saturday. Pony rides will also be available from 10 a.m.-dusk on Saturday.

New this year is a ride-in bicycle show sponsored by the Tri-City Times. Children ages 5 and up are invited to participate in the Best Decorated Bicycle Contest as part of the Blueberry Festival Parade at 6 p.m. on Saturday. Contestants ages 5-8 must be accompanied by an adult during the parade. Cash prizes will be awarded for first, second and third place. There is no fee to enter, and participants are asked to check in at the high school parade lineup area by 5 p.m.

As always, culinary artists are invited to show off their skills in the Blueberry Dessert Contest sponsored by Steve Teets of Focus Studio downtown.

Three prizes will be awarded in each of two age categories: youth 17 and under and adults ages 18 and up. Professional bakers are prohibited from entering the contest. Recipes must be included with entries, which should arrive at Focus Studio, 150 E. Third St., between 3-6 p.m. tomorrow (Thursday, July 30.) A list of winners will be posted on Friday at the studio, which is located at 150 E. Third St.

Throughout the festival, street vendors offering arts, crafts and other wares will be on tap, and plenty of festival food and refreshments will be available as well.

The ever popular Pet Parade sponsored by Imlay City Veterinary Clinic begins at 6 p.m. on Friday at the Bancroft Stage area, and the crowd pleasing Blueberry Parade runs through town beginning at 6 p.m. on Saturday.

For those who like to get physical, the Blueberry Stomp 5K Run/Walk begins at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday at City Hall, and the Bed and Outhouse Races hit Third Street later that day at 7:30 p.m.

The Eagles Club offers a Pancake Breakfast from 8 a.m.-noon on Saturday, the Historical Museum will serve up ice cream and blueberry pie both days, and as always fresh blueberries and fresh blueberry pies will be available at the Information Barn on Third Street. While you're there, pick up Imlay City's own Vlasic pickles and souvenir t-shirts to commemorate this year's festival.

For a complete schedule of events and detailed information on all of the weekend's activities see the special Blueberry Festival supplement in this week's issue.

Editor's note: Popular local entertainer Ray Champion will not appear on the small stage at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday as indicated in the schedule inside the tab. Champion will appear at 5 p.m. on Saturday as listed. We apologize for the error.

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