Franklin Countys First News

Mardi Gras coming to Wilton this weekend

The Wilton Blueberry Festival gets underway Friday morning.

The Wilton Blueberry Festival will begin this Friday at 9 a.m.

WILTON - With 14 Shriners, more than 100 float entries and numerous firetrucks taking part, Blueberry Festival organizer Shannon Smith said, as usual, she is most excited about the parade.

While this year's theme, Mardi Gras, has prompted an additional, strict no-toss policy for bead necklaces, it will otherwise be the same annual parade at 9 a.m. Saturday.  Registration is not required to participate, although anyone who would like to plan ahead can call Smith at 778-4726.

With events planned for both Friday and Saturday, Aug. 2 and 3, downtown and the surrounding area will be bustling with activity. Beginning at 9 a.m. on Friday, local businesses, organizations and vendors will be offering discounts, sales and exhibitions. A number of children's activities will be taking place and beginning in the morning at Kineowatha Park, Florida-based "Water Walkers" will be available for participants to partake in. The giant plastic bubbles allow people  to walk across a pool of water created for that purpose at Kineowatha.

In another noteworthy addition, a 40 foot-long bus full of candy will be set up downtown both Friday and Saturday.

"Back in the day it was penny candy, but in today's age it will probably be nickel candy," Smith said.

This is Smith's 29th year of organizing the event; a year-long task that she was recognized for with this year's Gary A. LaGrange Community Impact Award from the United Way of the Tri-Valley Area. A rotating theme keeps Smith's motivation up, she said; next year will be "Happy Birthday, Maine!" to celebrate the state's bicentennial.

"I have a team the week of, but until then I do it mostly myself. And it goes well," Smith said. "We're all working hard to make it happen."

The parade will take place at 9 a.m. on Saturday, with lineup between 7 a.m. and 8:30 a.m.

For more information and schedule details click here.

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2 Responses »

  1. We look forward to our local Blueberry Festival every year! Lots of family arrive to spend the weekend and enjoy the festivities! Previous parades and festivals are reflected upon as we make new memories together! Thank you, Shannon, for making it all possible!

  2. Shannon Smith, you are truly amazing! I know that you work on this all year long and I think that there would be very few people that would be willing to put the time into the Blueberry Festival like you do. You give it your all EVERY year. Wilton is so blessed to have you!