BURGAW – In keeping with the Governor’s Executive Order on Mass Gatherings, the NC Blueberry Festival Association announced today (Thursday) that the 2021 NC Blueberry Festival will be canceled.
“This decision is very difficult to make, but we do it to keep our vendors, volunteers and visitors safe,” said Pete Cowan, Blueberry Festival sponsorship chair. He continued, “The Blueberry Festival Board has looked at this from all sides; and we cannot get around the fact that the festival attracts over 40,000 people and current state mandates on outdoor gatherings just won’t allow us to hold the festival.”
This is the second year in a row that the Coronavirus pandemic has impacted plans for the annual festival. Festival organizers say that the hardest part about canceling the festival is knowing that so many local folks won’t have an opportunity to share their talents, sell their homemade goods and participate in a beloved Burgaw tradition. The Blueberry Festival has been a summertime staple for over 17 years.
To support local blueberry farmers, the festival organizers have invited several farmers to sell blueberries at the Burgaw Courthouse Square on Saturday, June 19, 2021. “These sponsor-farms have been with us from the very beginning, and we want to help them get their berries to the public,” said Cowan. The details will be announced as they become available and will include all state mandated coronavirus safety precautions.
The NC Blueberry Festival Association plans to hold community events this fall that will include festival-themed activities, blueberry pancakes and other tasty treats. They will also participate in the Town of Burgaw Blueberry Drop on New Year’s Eve. “Look for us to return next year with the biggest, grandest Blueberry Festival we have ever held. We will celebrate on June 18, 2022. Mark your calendar because you will not want to miss it,” said Cowan.
The mission of the Blueberry Festival Association is to help local farmers and residents by promoting blueberries and tourism. The NC Blueberry Festival is held annually on the third Saturday in June.