Festival organizer Susan Jack stands among dozens of blueberry pies baked by volunteers for the Blueberry Festival in Kennebunk on Saturday. RYDER SCHUMACHER/Journal Tribune

Festival organizer Susan Jack stands among dozens of blueberry pies baked by volunteers for the Blueberry Festival in Kennebunk on Saturday. RYDER SCHUMACHER/Journal Tribune

KENNEBUNK — Mainers love their blueberries, and Saturday backed that up as hundreds of locals flocked to the ground of the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church for the church’s annual Blueberry Festival.

The festival — the biggest annual community event put on by the church — featured upward of 40 vendors selling everything from jewelry and clothing to paintings and other crafts, live music and, of course, an abundance of blueberry goods.

Guests browse through vendor crafts at the 41st Blueberry Festival in Kennebunk on Saturday. RYDER SCHUMACHER/Journal Tribune

Guests browse through vendor crafts at the 41st Blueberry Festival in Kennebunk on Saturday. RYDER SCHUMACHER/Journal Tribune

Saturday marked the 41st year of the festival, and according to Co-Chairperson Herve Lavoie, organizers plan to carry the tradition on for many more years.

“It’s been 41 years and we hope to make it another 41,” Lavoie said.

Inside the church, dozens of blueberry pies were laid out in the dining area, where guests were able to purchase a slice as part of the church’s luncheon which featured crab rolls, chowder and other dishes of Maine cuisine.

In total, about 60 pies were baked for the event, in addition to multiple batches of blueberry buckle and blueberry muffins.

Lavoie said blueberries were amassed from volunteers who would either buy them from supermarkets or gather what they could from local farms, despite it being a bit early for blueberry season.

Outside in the church parking lot organizers were raffling off a refurbished touring kayak and paddle, hand-crafted by Lavoie who works in a boat shop.

In the church grass facing Main Street, festival participants perused the vendors’ goods. Many families treated themselves and their children to blueberry buckle, which by midday appeared to have sold out. Nonetheless, the event promoted community togetherness.

“It’s one of our major fundraisers, but also our major community event,” First Parish Rev. Lara Campbell said. “Our doors are open, we’re serving food to people, we have a ton of vendors and we’re working with the library, which is offering a book sale. It’s quite the collaborative community event and we love putting it on.”

Historically, the festival has always been a cherished community event within Kennebunk, but the event has evolved in many ways over the past 41 years, said George Livermore, who was present at the first Blueberry Festival.

“Initially this was far less expansive, and there were no outside vendors, just people from the church selling food or trinkets,” said Livermore.

Chowder was the only food served back then said Livermore, but as the festival grew so did its offerings. Still, some things have always remained the same.

 “The festival has grown, but blueberries and blueberry pie have always been here from the beginning,” he added.

— Staff Writer Ryder Schumacher can be reached at 282-1535, or via email at [email protected] 


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