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Greater Sudbury catches blueberry fever

BY BILL BRADLEY Communities around the world will turn green with envy as Greater Sudbury celebrates all things blue during the 20th anniversary of the Blueberry Festival.
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Blue Belles Haley Moskal (left), 8, and Olesia Babiak, 7, dress up in blueberry suits at the Ukrainian Seniors Centre in honour of the blue jewels of the north.

BY BILL BRADLEY

Communities around the world will turn green with envy as Greater Sudbury celebrates all things blue during the 20th anniversary of the Blueberry Festival.


Events officially kick off this weekend on Sunday at 7 pm at the William Bell Park Gazebo with a performance by the Sudbury Blues Brothers.

This year, Voice Print Canada is the lead agency for organizing the popular series of events held across Greater Sudbury.

"Our big days are next Friday at Memorial Park from 8:30 am and Saturday at Market Square from 8 am but as always, there are many related events taking place all over Greater Sudbury," says festival co-ordinator Mikki Garofolo.

"We have contests too. Our mascot, the Sud-Berry Bear, decided he was in need of a girlfriend, but the girl bear he found has amnesia from a nasty fall. We are asking for name suggestions for his new date throughout the festival."

Next Tuesday, the One Eleven Senior Citizen's Centre at 111 Larch St. hosts a Blueberry Social at 1:30 pm.

There are some new participants this year for the Blueberry Festival.

The Sudbury Real Estate Board is hosting its first annual garden tour of nine beautiful gardens, Wednesday, July 19, from 1 pm to 7 pm.

Catherine Bernier, a real estate agent and director of the organization, says the garden tour will be fun and a learning experience for those who want ideas to spruce up their yards.

"I went on a garden tour at Lake Wanapitae a while ago and had so much fun I thought I would suggest it for the Blueberry Festival. It is educational because if you plan on selling your home first impressions are everything in real estate sales," Bernier said.

Tickets for the self-guided garden tour are $10, which includes a map. Proceeds are for the next Habitat For Humanity house building project. Call 673-3388.

On Wednesday afternoon there will be a blueberry tea with blueberry treats at Red Oak Villa at 20 St Anne Rd. from 1:30 to 3:30 pm.

"We just opened our doors June 1. We are a retirement residence and already we are half full. So we thought we'd invite the community out for blueberry iced tea and blueberry pastries like our delicious muffins," said Valerie Zuliani, community relations person for Autumnwood, owners of the residence.

On Thursday, the Southwind Retirement Residence, 1645 Paris St., hosts prizes, tours, entertainment and refreshments from 2 to 4 pm.

The Ukrainian Senior's Centre hosts their 20th annual Blueberry Family Garden Party from 10 am to 2 pm at 30 Notre Dame Ave.

A big crowd always is present for the Celebrity Pie Eating Contest outside the Rainbow Centre at 11:45 pm.

The big Friday event is the Blueberry Bash in Memorial Park starting at 8:30 am with the Better Beginnings Better Futures all-day breakfast. Many organizations have booths onsite including All Nations Church, Junction Creek Stewardship Committee, Multiple Sclerosis Society, Greater Sudbury Children's Services, Foodshed Project and others.

Two events highlight Saturday, July 22 starting with the Blueberry Blast at Market Square beginning at 8:30 am with a pancake breakfast and continuing to 4 pm. Later at 11 am, the Northern Ontario Railroad Museum and Heritage Centre hosts a Blueberry Garden Party in Capreol. Phone 858-5050.

The Blueberry Festival winds down next Sunday with a blueberry breakfast and bake sale hosted by the Skead Recreation Committee. Phone 969-4633.

Musician Kevin Closs closes the festival with a performance at 7 pm at the William Bell Park Gazebo. At that time, the Sud-Berry bear will find out the name of his new girlfriend.




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