Brief History: After the forests were cleared and lumber shipped to ports like Milwaukee and Chicago to build their cities, another industry took over in South Haven– agriculture. Due to the temperate lake breezes, it was discovered by world-renowned horticulturists like Liberty Hyde Bailey, a South Haven native, that this area was perfect for growing fruit, particularly blueberries, peaches and grapes. South Haven is proud to be known as the “Blueberry Capital of the World” because Michigan, and particularly Van Buren County, ranks as the nation’s leading producer of the crop.
The 50th Anniversary Celebration of the National Blueberry Festival will be August 8-11, 2013. This four- day festival will be held in various locations in and out of doors in the Lake Michigan Beachtown community of South Haven, Michigan. Many events take place overlooking South Haven’s picturesque harbor, our 110 year old Lighthouse and Lake Michigan.
This is a very family-friendly event with activities for all ages to enjoy! Plus, most all events are free and open to the public.
Top events are a Kids’ blueberry pie eating contest on Friday, top-tier free evening entertainment throughout the festival, Blueberry pancake breakfasts, Saturday and Sunday, Blueberry Festival Parade on Saturday, Arts and Crafts Fair on Saturday and Sunday, Downtown Sidewalk Sales, Blueberry Festival Cook Off, 5k Run/Walk on Saturday and Rotary club fly-in, Classic Car Show and Pancake breakfast at South Haven Regional Airport.
A Sampling of Sunday's Events:
MBG Blueberry Central at the Huron Street Pavilion
Fresh blueberries, blueberry plants, fresh baked pies, etc. 10am-2pm
Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast, 8am-12pm
Riverfront Park on Water Street
Life Worship Team, 12:30-1:30pm
"Jared Knox" a favorite local country singer! 3pm
50th Birthday Party-contests, prizes, & cake! 4pm
"Last Mangos" Jimmy Buffet Tribute, 4-5:30pm
Lawn Tractor Pull on Water Street, 10am
Blueberry Festival Craft Fair at Stanley Johnston Park, 10am-4pm
The 41st Annual Rotary Club Fly-In, Classic Car Show, & Pancake Breakfast at South Haven Regional Airport, 7am
Sand Sculpture Contest at North Beach, 9am
Bobby Walker Basketball Tournament at Elkenburg Park, 10am