This annual celebration of all things blueberry – the official state fruit of New Jersey – is considered to be one of the finest old-fashioned festivals in the tri-state region. The Burlington County Times described the Whitesbog Blueberry Festival as “a reminder that good old country life is alive and well” in the region.
Browns Mills, New Jersey, June 3rd, 2014 – The 31st Annual Whitesbog Blueberry Festival will be held Saturday, June 28th, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Historic Whitesbog Village, Browns Mills, NJ. This annual celebration of all things blueberry – the official state fruit of New Jersey – is considered to be one of the finest old-fashioned festivals in the tri-state region. The Festival features the pioneering work of Whitesbog’s own Elizabeth C. White and Dr. Fredrick Coville to domesticate the very first high bush blueberry, traditional Pinelands musicians, artists and crafters, great festival food, wagon and walking tours, lectures, living history actors, demonstrations and dozens of children’s activities will all be offered at the day-long festival. But the real star of the show is, of course, the blueberries!
This year, Whitesbog is celebrating New Jersey’s 350th Anniversary with a special Women’s History Trail exhibit that features many of New Jersey’s legendary women and the historic sites that celebrate their work. This new exciting venue will include exhibits and interpreters from the Alice Paul Institute, the Roebling Museum, Smithville Mansion, Peachfield, White Hill, Bordentown, West Hill, and others.
Other top attractions at the festival include fifty of the Pinelands best crafters and an “artists row” featuring fine art and photography, thirty non-profit organizations and authors, an expanded Pinelands Antique Engine exhibit, and interactive experiences that festival goers can enjoy throughout the day. For the children, activities such as the outrageously fun blueberry pie-eating contest, a hunt for the Jersey Devil, face painting, hands-on crafts, traditional games and blueberry picking, will keep the young ones entertained all day. Live country music by Home Cookin’, the Basement Musicians, the Bad Dogz, Clan Suibhne, Warm Hearted Country, Ladies Night Out, and others will provide the perfect atmosphere for the festival, which the Burlington County Times has described as “a reminder that good old country life is alive and well” in the region.
The Pinelands, New Jersey’s blueberry and cranberry industries and the region’s rich cultural history intersect in delicious ways in this corner of the state. History buffs can tour and explore Whitesbog’s Ice House, Suningive, Elizabeth Coleman White’s historic home and office, visit Rutgers’ first Cranberry Research Substation, tour a cottage that depicts what life was like for Whitesbog’s workers in the 1920s and shop in Whitesbog’s authentic General Store. Fresh fruit enthusiasts 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 our State’s agricultural history.
Parking is $10.00 per car. $5 per person arriving by foot, bike or charter bus. All proceeds benefit the Whitesbog Preservation Trust in their continuing efforts to restore and interpret Historic Whitesbog Village and the surrounding Pinelands. A new streamlined traffic pattern has been designed to eliminate traffic congestion, with expanded parking available in the village and on the Whitesbog airstrip – a two-minute drive from the festival grounds. Shuttle buses bring visitors from this remote parking area to the village throughout the day.
Visit www.whitesbog.org or call 609-893-4646 for more information.
The Annual Blueberry Festival’s 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 and the Festival’s generous sponsors: the Aspen Hills Healthcare Center & Buttonwood Behavioral Health Hospital, Pine Island Cranberry Company, Pine Barrens Native Fruits and the Joseph J. White Co., New Jersey Conservation Foundation, Fall Creek Farm & Nursery, US High Bush Blueberry Council, Red Lion Diner, Joe Smolarski & Son Plumbing & heating, and Renewal by Anderson. Every year the generosity of the sponsors ensures the success of the Blueberry Festival and the continued restoration of an important piece of New Jersey history.
The Whitesbog Preservation Trust also thanks the New Jersey Historical Commission for their general operating support of the operations and special projects. All festival proceeds benefit the Whitesbog Preservation Trust’s on-going efforts to restore, protect and interpret Historic Whitesbog Village. Whitesbog is administered by the State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Parks and Forestry as part of Brendan T. Byrne State Forest.
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