Thousands celebrate cranberries at annual festival
Tart, red and small, the versatile cranberry has big fans all around the world.
More than 10,000 people, including some from Russia, Italy, China and Ireland, arrived for the annual Cranberry Harvest Celebration on Saturday.
Now its 13th year, the festival is held over two days at A.D. Makepeace headquarters on Tihonet Road where visitors enjoy food, music and learn how the state’s official berry travels from bogs to supermarket shelves.
The Cape Cod Cranberry Growers’ Association and the A.D. Makepeace Company hosted the event.
Warmer than usual weather brought a big crowd to the event where workers harvested cranberries during the festivities.
Vivian Messina and Olivia Dance drove from Pennsylvania for the event. Both had visited the area this summer, which is when they learned about the festival.
“The bogs looked beautiful even then and we decided to come back for the harvest for a family trip,” said Messina. “We’re not disappointed.”
New this year, visitors (for a fee) donned waders and entered a flooded bog for a photograph.
A.D. Makepeace Vice President of Marketing and Communication Linda Burke said the company was inspired to offer the opportunity following a popular Ocean Spray advertising campaign.
The television ads feature two cranberry workers, named Justin and Henry, standing waist deep in a bog.
“People were telling us they wanted to meet Justin and Henry, and we thought: ‘No, people should be able to become Justin and Henry,’” said Burke.
While many aspects of the cranberry industry were showcased, including ancient equipment and dry and wet harvesting methods, there were plenty of activities for families.
Swan boat rides, a magic show, live music and an arts and crafts tent were all on hand.
Rain in the forecast threatened to dampen attendance for Sunday, but Burke said the event will go on, regardless of cloudy skies.
“We’ve had wet days in the past and people come dressed for the weather,” said Burke. “People will enjoy the festival whether it rains or not.”