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Updated Wednesday, August 27, 2014 at 3 PM EST
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You are Viewing an Archived IssuePosted: 07/31/13
2013 Little Miss Blueberry Liliana Czapiewski.
(Photo courtesy of Andrea J. Czapiewski)
Two full days of family
fun at Blueberry Festival
by MARIANNE WEISS
Observer Special Writer
Imlay City will celebrate its 33rd Annual Blueberry Festival Aug. 2 and 3.
Beginning at noon Friday, Little Miss Blueberry, Liliana Czapiewski, will get things started with Co-chairs Julie Salsido and Mayor Walt Bargen for the official kick-off.
A dove release is scheduled for 12:30 p.m., and live music starts at 1:15 on the main stage at the corner of 3rd and Main streets.
"We have fun new items this year," said Bargen, a 25-year resident of Imlay City. "We'll have a children's activity tent with a Lego-building, hula-hoop and chalk drawing contests - all with prizes. Also we will have our new `Your Hometown Idol' talent contest."
"Another thing that is new is we have added a trolley shuttle from 3-11 p.m. downtown," he added.
Imlay City Chamber of Commerce Director Dana Walker said this is the third festival she has worked on.
"We have a variety of family-friendly entertainment," said Walker. "The kids love the pie-eating contests."
Blueberry recipe cooking demonstrations will be new this year along Bancroft and 3rd streets from 2-4:30 p.m. each day.
"The sidewalk sales will be open for business," said Walker. "All events run until 9 p.m. each day with blueberry pie-eating contests, games, a moonwalk, crafters, animals, great food and fun."
Little Miss Blueberry won her crown by dancing into the hearts of the judges.
"We held the competition at the Imlay City High School and over 400 people attended," said Walker, adding that the girls' ages ranged from 5 to 9 years old.
Liliana's mother, Andrea Czapiewski, said her daughter loves to dance.
"She takes ballet, tap, jazz and Hawaiian dance lessons and she loves gymnastics too."
Her grandparents, Don and Debbie Dahn from Bruce Township are very proud.
"She was very good, we're just thrilled that she won," said Debbie. "Liliana will also be in Romeo's Peach Festival parade on her birthday."
Debbie has been going to the Peach Festival since her own grandmother brought her as a child.
The Imlay City's "Citizen of the Year" is retired Judge Clayton Preisel. He is a member of the Lapeer County Bar, served for the Lapeer County Probate Court and volunteered with 4-H groups. During World War II he served as a United States Marine and is currently a Lions Club member.
Friday will include everything from live music to pet parades, a pickle eating contest, and fireworks at dusk. Saturday will start off with the Eagle's Pancake Breakfast at 8 a.m., then there will be a Blueberry Stomp 5K Run/Walk, camel and pony rides, swim races, a classic car show and Oopsy Daisy the Clown.
Saturday's Blueberry Baby and Toddler Contest Winners will be announced at 3:45 p.m., and the Blueberry Parade starts at 6 p.m.
The Outhouse/Bed Races start at 7:30, then more live music will play until 1 a.m.
The Imlay City Blueberry Festival website is: http://www.imlaycityblueberry.com or see the complete schedule of events at: imlaycitymich.com. The Imlay City Area Chamber of Commerce office phone is (810) 724-1361 for more information.