South Haven celebrates 55th annual National Blueberry Festival with blueberry eating contest


SOUTH HAVEN, MI — The annual celebration of Southwest Michigan’s proud blueberry-growing tradition returned to South Haven this weekend with music, food, crafts, fun and, of course, lots of blueberry pie.

Now in its 55th year, the National Blueberry Festival is the lakeside city’s signature summer event. This year’s festival runs from Aug. 9-12.

Festivities on Saturday, Aug. 11, began with a 5K run/walk and a blueberry pancake breakfast. The day’s events also included a basketball tournament, blueberry-themed market, craft fair, a parade, live music and plenty of food and drink.

Things got a little messy in the afternoon when kids and adults alike took their seats for back-to-back blueberry-pie-eating contests.

On Sunday, the last day of the four-day festival, the South Haven Rotary Club and Kiwanis both plan to host blueberry pancake breakfasts starting at 7 a.m. and 8 a.m., respectively.

Sunday’s events also include a fly-in at the South Haven Regional Airport, a sand sculpture contest at North Beach, continuation of the basketball tournament, live music and a “lawn tractor pull” down Water Street. The Blueberry Central Market is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the festival’s craft fair from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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