The countdown has begun, and the 26th ANNUAL WHITESBOG BLUEBERRY FESTIVAL returns to Historic Whitesbog Village on Saturday, June 27, 2008. This annual celebration of all things blueberry the official state fruit of New Jersey is considered to be one of the top “old-fashioned” festivals in the region. Pinelands-centric music, arts and crafts, food, tours, and children’s activities will be featured at the fest. But the real star of the show is, of course, the blueberries.
Each year, approximately 5,000 visitors travel to Whitesbog’s Blueberry Festival to glimpse at the former working town as it was at the turn of the 20th century, and its ongoing restoration. Located in the heart of the Pinelands, Historic Whitesbog is the birthplace of the cultivated blueberry. Whitesbog contributed to New Jersey’s and the country’s agricultural and food heritage through creating the domesticated huckleberry that we now love and enjoy.
Top attractions at the day-long festival include a Pinelands crafters and artists “alley” featuring art, handicrafts, and photography. The Pinelands Antique Engine Association’
s displays, as well as walking and wagon tours, are interactive experiences festival goers can enjoy throughout the day. For the children, activities such as the outrageously messy blueberry pie-eating contest will keep the young ones entertained. Live bluegrass music lends the perfect soundtrack to the festival, which the Burlington County Times has described as “a reminder that good old country life is alive and well” in the region.
Pinelands, New Jersey and blueberry/cranberry industry history intersect in delicious ways in this corner of the state. History buffs can tour through the agricultural museum and a cottage that depicts what life was like for Whitesbog’s workers in the 1920s. Meanwhile, foodies will delight in picking their own blueberries at the celebration. Whitesbog is home to the world’s oldest test fields for domesticated blueberries, which will be open at the Blueberry Festival to give people an opportunity to experience firsthand a bit of food history.
One of the claims to fame only at Whitesbog is Elizabeth Coleman White; daughter of J. J. White, former owner of Whitesbog Village. The feisty Miss White cultivated the first commercially viable blueberry at Whitesbog in 1916. Suningive, Elizabeth White’s home, will be open to the public during this day.
The 25th Annual Blueberry Festival is scheduled on Saturday, June 27 from 10AM to 4PM. Parking is $8.00 per car. $3 per person arriving via bus/tour. All proceeds benefit the Whitesbog Preservation Trust in their tireless efforts to restore and protect Historic Whitesbog Village and its surrounding lands. Parking is set on the airstrip ï¿½ a 2 minute drive from the festival grounds. Shuttle buses bring visitors from remote parking to the village.
For the fifth year in a row, “funding is made possible in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/ Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts through a grant to the Burlington County Board of Chosen Freeholders”. This important grant pays musicians’ fees and promotional expenses. The Whitesbog Preservation Trust is proud to receive this special project grant from the Burlington County Board of Chosen Freeholders.
Whitesbog is located at mile marker 13 on County Route 530 in Browns Mills, (Pemberton Township) NJ. Four ways to find out information and directions: telephone (609) 893-4646, Email [email protected] , Website www.whitesbog.org or visit Historic Whitesbog.