Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Plans for Callahan Blueberry Festival Just Peachy

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Plans for Callahan Blueberry Festival Just Peachy

Article excerpt

Byline: Amelia A. Hart, Nassau Neighbors staff writer

Callahan's first-ever Blueberry Festival is coming up June 21 to 23, but there's still time for more Nassau County residents to get involved, said David McVey, the Callahan man who organized it.

McVey has garnered more than 20 vendors, crafters and artisans to participate in the festival at the Northeast Florida Fairgrounds.

From a man who handcrafts barbecue grills to a pony ride for youngsters to vendors selling festival food such as corn dogs and snow cones, McVey said the inaugural festival is coming together.

"Things are coming along great," McVey said. "I get more vendors every day."

McVey also has gotten enough sponsorships to have entertainment lined up for each day of the festival, something he hadn't originally planned on.

Leading off the entertainment will be Gary Harvey, a former guitarist for The Platters Featuring the Legendary Monroe Powell, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 21. Jacksonville folksingers-storytellers Aunt Peggy and Jay will follow from 2 to 4 p.m.

The June 22 lineup includes 13-year-old country and western singer Sara K from noon to 2 p.m. and the Sunnyside Gospel Singers from 3 to 5 p.m.

On June 23, gospel group Purified Image will perform from 1 to 3 p.m., Callahan folksinger Kate Carpenter will perform from 3 to 5 p.m., and the Jacksonville City Stompers, a clogging group, will perform from 3:30 to 5 p.m.

There also will be Nassau County blueberries available for sale, thanks to Mary Fesender, owner of Mary's Berries U-Pick Blueberries.

The small berry farms in Nassau County are you-pick farms, meaning people pick the berries themselves. The local blueberries aren't commercially collected and sold, McVey said.

When he started organizing the festival, McVey thought he might have to go outside the county for the festival's namesake food. …

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