Joseph F. Berenato
A REAL BLUEBERRY THRILL
Red, White & Blueberry Festival returns; draws huge crowds
HAMMONTON—Thousands of people from throughout the region came together on the grounds of Hammonton High School on June 27 to the 35th Annual Red, White and Blueberry Festival, hosted by the Greater Hammonton Chamber of Commerce.
The Chamber’s signature event, which was canceled in 2020 in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), offered a family-friendly atmosphere with live music, as well as 50 craft vendors and 20 food vendors—and hundreds of classic cars.
Chamber President Benjamin Ott said that everyone involved was “so happy to be back.”
“We had off last year, and this is amazing: perfect weather, perfect day, lots of people out. This is our brand; this is Hammonton, the Blueberry Capital of the World. We’ve got everything: cannoli, pies, muffins, turnovers, the whole shebang and, obviously, thousands and thousands of pints of blueberries thanks to a partnership with our generous farmers. It’s a great operation, and we’re happy for everybody’s help and assistance,” Ott said.
Ott said that one of the most popular offerings at the festival was the fresh blueberries. Nine pallets, equaling 1,296 crates—or 15,552 pints—were brought to the grounds. By the close of the Red, White and Blueberry Festival, they were all gone—as were all of the baked goods.
John Runfolo, the Chamber’s executive director, said that the size of the crowd had him “overwhelmed.”
“We figured it might be that way, because people were just dying to get out of the house. It’s a great family atmosphere. They love the blueberries, they love the atmosphere in Hammonton, the ‘Blueberry Capital of the World.’ What can I say? It all meshed together like a perfect storm. I’m very, very pleased,” Runfolo said.
THG/Joseph F. Berenato. To purchase photos in The Gazette, call (609) 704-1940.
Left: Ryley Ford, 11, of Galloway Twp., won the blueberry pie-eating contest in the 7-and-over category. Right: Sophia Giamporcaro, 6, of Hammonton, won the blueberry pie-eating contest in the 6-and-younger category.
See our huge Red, White & Blueberry Festival section, which begins on Page 33 in the Print Edition.