Mortlach Saskatoon Berry Festival This Saturday

berryfestflag.jpg

Robert Thomas

Anyone looking for a down home, small town festival full of charming people, world class pies and a whole lot more than heading west down the Trans Canada Highway this Saturday July 7th, to the annual Mortlach Saskatoon Berry Festival, might be just what you're looking for.

"It's a very important event to showcase our community to others in the neighbourhood and to promote local businesses," said Rhonda Haukaas, Treasurer at the event.

 More than anything else, the Saskatoon Berry Fest is known for its pies.

More than anything else, the Saskatoon Berry Fest is known for its pies.

In its 11th year, the highly popular festival this year will have 500 pies up for sale, so there should be enough to go around. To make it easier for people to purchase, pies can be pre-ordered up until Friday night by emailing mortlachsaskatoonberryfest@gmail.com. The pies will be available at 9am for pickup.

The festival, though, is about more than just picking up and eating pies, it's about community and as such has many activities for everyone to see or participate in.

The festivities kick off with a pancake breakfast from 8-10 am. Put on by the local pre-school moms.

At 11am there is the parade followed by the annual Show & Shine.

Immediately following that, the children's events kick off at Vimy Memorial Park where there will be bouncy castles and face painting. There will also be a magic show with Magic By Jamie. Sid the Clown will be in attendance.

From 9am to 5pm there will be 50 vendors offering food as well as other wares.

Blair Bickford will be giving free wagon rides around the community in the afternoon. As well, People Mover Rides from Besant Park will be helping out.

The highly talented Kelly Sapergia will be performing in the museum.

This year, for $2, anyone can enter for the opportunity to participate in the pie eating contest. The lucky contestants will get to eat an entire pie.

Although the event is a major festival and fundraiser by various groups within the community, people from surrounding communities will also be there doing the same thing.

Shailynn Taylor from Moose Jaw will be there selling hot dogs to help pay for medical needs. She is suffering from Spinal Muscular Atrophy. It is part of her Go Fund Me Campaign. Check it out here: Hope for Shailynn.

Also, the nearby community of Caron will be selling pork on a bun sandwiches.

"It's all about helping our neighbours," Haukaas said.

 Megan Nash will be performing on the Main Stage

Megan Nash will be performing on the Main Stage

There will be music played in the community hall with Moose Jaw's own Megan Nash performing as well as others and Saskatchewan Roughrider Defensive Tackle Eddie Steele is the Parade Marshall. See the schedule of events:

Join us on Saturday July 7th the Mortlach Saskatoon Berry Festival includes:
Pancake Breakfast 8am to 10am
Pie Sales 9am
Live music 9am to 5pm
Artisian Market 9am to 5pm
Food Vendors 9am to 5pm
English and Western Equestrian Events 9am to3pm
Parade 11am
Show and Shine immediately after parade
Special appearance Saskatchewan Rough Riders 11am to 1pm
Beer Garden 11am to 5pm
Children' Activities at Vimy Park noon to 3pm
Model Air Display 1pm
Pie Eating Contest 2pm
Blair Bickford Wagon Rides throughout afternoon
Buskers throughout afternoon

Main Stage Live Music:
Chris and Marianne Webber
Megan Nash
Random Honesty
Tilted Kilts

Mortlach Museum & Drop in Centre:
Enjoy old-time music by Kelly Sapergia
and an Aboriginal Storyteller.

Volunteers are not a problem, as the event has an organizing committee and then once the event is planned they ask community members who pitch in, she said. For the third year in a row two volunteers from Victoria, with roots in the area, are traveling to help out.

Cost to attend the event is $5 per person with children under 12 free to attend. The event usually attracts 2,000-3,000 people.