NC Blackberry Festival
Fairs and festivals are always a great way to experience some local color. When said fairs and festivals involve food, we know immediately we’ll have an extra good time. This past weekend we spent the day at the North Carolina Blackberry Festival in Lenoir, NC. Main Street was converted into block upon block of food and craft vendors, displays, blackberry-themed items, a wine tasting, and children’s play area. There was live music (Chad Triplett, Zephyr Lightning Bolts, High Grass) from the main stage, where winners of contests like the Blackberry Princess Pageant were also announced. Of course, there was a mascot “Blackberry” roaming the festival. The young lady in the suit told me she had been playing the role for three years. The suit must have covered her feet when she started!
World’s Largest Patchwork of Blackberry Cobbler
The community came together to attempt to create the World’s Largest Patchwork of Blackberry Cobbler. Participants were provided with supplies (blackberries, flour, sugar, butter, a recipe, and even the pan!) Bakers provided one cup of milk and, of course, their skills! The cobblers came rolling in at about 11 am. All were placed on tables set up on the street in front of the main stage. It was an impressive sight. Unfortunately we were too slow to get a bite, as the cobbler was eaten as samples for the public. It completely vanished in what seemed like minutes!
Berries the Size of Your Thumb!
In the Berry Market, local farmers faced the challenge of rough spring weather resulting in a somewhat smaller harvest than usual. The good folks from Lineberger and Avery Farms ended up taking orders when the blackberries ran low, and one even returned to the farm for more stock. The blackberries at the festival were HUGE, with great flavor and sweetness. We’ve been eating them non-stop. We can’t keep out of that jar either. Maybe we should have participated in the blackberry eating contest. Before the festival we’d heard the berries would be the size of a man’s thumb, and that was no exaggeration! Having family nearby was an additional boon, as Donny’s Aunt Chris gave us a jar of homemade blackberry preserves. Let me be the first to recommend putting it on vanilla ice cream.
More to come, as we’ll be at the Peach Festival in Gaffney, SC this coming weekend!
Do you have a favorite local festival where you live? Have you discovered one on your travels?