March 25 06:34 AM

Blue skies, berries abound

Fair weather, family events draw crowds to Imlay City's Blueberry Fest

Crowds wander the downtown streets of Imlay City on Saturday to take in the variety of activities offered during the Blueberry Festival. photo by Catherine Minolli.

August 05, 2009
IMLAY CITY — Whether or not your favorite berry is of the blue variety, there was enough good food, music and fun to satisfy nearly every taste and interest at the 2009 Blueberry Festival, held July 31-Aug. 1.

From start to finish, great weather and good crowds melded perfectly for an event that offered a little something for everyone.

"We are very pleased with the way things went," said Blueberry Festival Committee Co-chair Walt Bargen Monday morning. "It's hard to judge the attendance, because the events are spread out. But it seemed there were lots of people downtown."

Among the obvious hits, said Bargen, were the pony rides, the first-ever Guitar Hero contest, hula hoop contest and the perennially popular pie-eating and pickle-eating contests.

"I was excited about the Guitar Hero event (sponsored by CC's Cyber Cafe) which was very busy on Saturday night," Bargen noted. "It was a lot of fun to watch and a lot of participation.

"The parade went well and without a hitch; and Ronald McDonald was back for a well-received show right after the parade at our Bancroft Street stage. We've already reserved him for next year."

There were also sizable crowds on hand to hear the many bands, singers and dancers that entertained at the festival's main stage; some of whom, including the Paisley Fogg sixties band; were making their first Blueberry Festival appearance.

Others, such as Wayward Wind, R&R Double Take, Scruffy Dog, VooDoo Doctors, Mariah Raquel and John Jacques; made return visits.

Nashville/local songstress Ginger Younge and her band, Kickback, used the Blueberry Festival to videotape some live footage for an upcoming promotion.

Also back again were the Shane Gang Cloggers and Imlay City High Steppers, who featured a special appearance by Elvis and a "one-eyed, one horned, flying purple people eater."

Bargen noted that the food vendors appeared to have done well and non-food vendors were pleased with their new locations along Main and Third streets.

"We'll be looking to add even more things, including a juried arts show next year," said Bargen. He added that the 2010 Blueberry Festival will be the thirtieth in the event's history.

"The Blueberry Festival Committee is very appreciative for the support we've received from community," said Bargen; "particularly from the city employees and DPW workers.

"Thanks also to the Eastern Michigan Fair for the second stage and the bleachers," Bargen added; "and to the Boy Scouts for keeping up with the cleanup at the event."

Bargen said the committee is always seeking input, suggestions and ideas from the community. Additional committee members are also being sought to help out with the 30th Annual Blueberry Festival next year.

If you wish to assist with the 2010 event, contact the Imlay City Hall at 810-724-2135.

For more photos of this year's festival visit our Web site at

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