Blueberry Harvest Festival begins Friday
© Darrell Cole – The Amherst News
Blueberry Harvest Festival organizing committee members: (front, from left) Donna White, Michele LeBlanc, Trina Clarke, (back, from left) Bob Estabrooks, Sharon LeBlanc, Adam Small, Tamara Porter and Marcie Lewis look over final plans for the festival that begins today in downtown Amherst. Missing from photo are committee members Mike LeBlanc and Kendra LeBlanc.
AMHERST – Let’s get this party started.
Downtown Amherst will be abuzz with activity beginning Friday as the community hosts its first Blueberry Harvest Festival in more than 25 years.
“We’re ready to go. There are just a few loose ends we have to tie up before the festival begins, but we’re looking forward to three days of fun and festivities,” festival organizing committee chairwoman Michele LeBlanc said.
A full schedule of events is planned today, Saturday and Sunday with Victoria Square, Victoria and King streets and the Amherst Stadium as the event locations.
The Bluewave Energy Kids Zone will be held on King Street as well as at the Atlantic Lottery Main Stage in Victoria Square. Some of the family-oriented events include horseback rides, games, a reptile zoo, a magic show and the Finding Nemo interactive inflatable and Arctic Expedition Maze along with the Eurobungy on Victoria Street.
The main stage will host the YMCA youth talent show today at 3 p.m., the Dayle’s Fashion Show and opening gala tonight as well as the Maritime Review on Saturday at 6 p.m.
One of the highlights will be the almost sold out Archway Insurance beer garden on Saturday at the Amherst Stadium featuring Hal Bruce and the Big Bad Marty Band.
LeBlanc said members of the Downtown Amherst Business Advisory Committee have been meeting almost non-stop since last fall when the idea of resurrecting the blueberry harvest festival was first brought forward.
“Over the last few days there have been a number of words expressed about how we feel as we get ready to begin, including happy, confident and optimistic,” LeBlanc said. “But I think the best way to sum it up is how pleased we are at how things have come together and the response we have from sponsors and the Town of Amherst and the Municipality of Cumberland.”
The festival will see the closure of Victoria, King and Church Street in the downtown core. LeBlanc thanked businesses in the area for their support and said there’ll be plenty of vendors of food and other items.
There will also be lots of parking with a short walking distance of most festival events.
10 a.m. Official Opening (Victoria Square)
11 a.m. Ramblers Bingo (Victoria Square)
12 p.m. Pie-Eating Competition (Victoria Square)
1 p.m. Finding Nemo Inflatable
2 p.m. Entertainment – Cody Little
2 p.m. Kids Zone Opens (King Street)
3 p.m. Youth Talent Show (Victoria Square)
5 p.m. Car Show on Victoria Street
5 p.m. Entertainment – Taken By Surprise
6:30 p.m. Dayle’s Fashion Show
8 p.m. Blueberry Gala (Victoria Square)
8 a.m. Blueberry Breakfast (Knight of Columbus Hall)
10 a.m. 10K Run (LaPlanche Street)
10 a.m. Inflatable Jurassic Adventure (King Street)
10 a.m. Eurobungey (Victoria Street)
11 a.m. Kids Zone Opens (King Street)
12 p.m. Entertainment – Blake Smith
1 p.m. Entertainment – Michele LeBlanc
2 p.m. Entertainment – Julie Brooks
4 p.m. Entertainemnt – Harry Haynes and Steve Ridgeway
4 p.m. Corn Boil (Victoria Square)5
5 p.m. Entertainment – Susan and Tony Robichaud
6 p.m. Maritime Review (Victoria Square)
9 p.m. Beer Garden (Amherst Stadium)
12 p.m. Entertainment in Victoria Square
2 p.m. Festival Closing