by Madison V. Fisler
July 9, 2014. If you’re a fan of all things blackberry, then the 13th annual North Carolina Blackberry Festival is right up your alley. This year, the annual event takes place Friday, July 11 and Saturday, July 12 in downtown Lenoir and promises competitions, contests, parades and of course, the World’s Largest Blackberry Patchwork Cobbler.
Last year, the Blackberry Festival drew more than 13,000 visitors and included more than 150 vendors. This year’s event is expected to be even bigger and better, according to the Caldwell Chamber of Commerce.
The Blackberry Shuffle Run will benefit the Shelter Home of Caldwell County and will start at 8 a.m. on Saturday. Registration for the 5K is $30 and the one mile fun run is $20. For more information about the running events, please contact the Shelter Home of Caldwell County at 828-758-0888.
At 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 12, the Blackberry Princess Pageant will be open to rising kindergarteners to rising third graders who will compete for the crown in two divisions. Contestants are judged in multiple categories including appearance, personality and an interview. For more information about the pageant call 828-758-2617.
There will also be many different competitions within the festival including a blackberry recipe competition and a blackberry eating contest. These special categories are sponsored by the Caldwell County Farmers’ Market.
The festival will also include vendors, skilled craft persons and demonstrating artisans for guests to enjoy.
The official schedule of events is as follows:
Friday, July 11
- 6 p.m. – Parking Lot Picking on the Main Stage
- 7 p.m. – Blackberry Recipe Competition
- 7 p.m. – Beer Garden
- 7 p.m. – Concert by Jonathan Dale
- 7 p.m. – Downtown restaurants open and food options available
Saturday, July 12
- 8 a.m. – Blackberry Shuffle 5K and Fun Run
- 10 a.m. – Blackberry Princess Pageant
- 10:30 a.m. – American Red Cross Blackberry Blood Drive
- 11:15 a.m. – Blackberry Eating Contest
- 12 p.m. – Presentation of Colors Ceremony
- 12:15 p.m. – Colossal Cobbler Parade Brigade
- 12:30 p.m. – World’s Largest Blackberry Patchwork Cobbler
- 1 p.m. – Music by Chad Triplett, Zephyr Lighting Bolts and High Grass