K-Town Street Beat is a summertime segment, featuring KRBD news intern Marco Torres talking with community members. For his final Street Beat of the summer, Marco attended the 38th annual Blueberry Arts Festival on Saturday, and spoke to vendors and festival attendees.
The Blueberry Arts Festival is a popular weekend-long event organized by the Ketchikan Area Arts and Humanities Council.
“My favorite part is watching and seeing all the people walking around in old Blueberry T-shirts from past years,” said Britta Pihl. She commented on the famous shirts sold and worn each year at the festival. This year’s T-shirt design, “A Berry Night” by Cindi Lagoudakis, was chosen. The logo is a nod to Van Gogh’s “Starry Night”.
Gracie Brandt-Erichsen was with Pihl. She said, “My favorite part is that local artists get a chance to sell their stuff to everybody else.”
Middle-schooler Sydney Nichols is one such purchaser.
“I like going, looking around, and buying stuff. I bought some magnets that can go into my locker,” she explained.
The festival is always filled with local artists who show off their wares to people such as Nichols.
One such booth was run by Jeff Fitzwater, a local photographer. He’s helped First City Players and the Arts Council for many years before at the festival, but says this year was only his second with his own booth.
“It’s great to see everyone coming in. People have spent almost the whole year making things to show and to sell. It’s a lot of fun,” he said.
Fitzwater loves the arts at the festival. But he also loves something “tastier” than art.
He said his favorite part of the festival is “a tie between just seeing the creativity of all the artisans here in Ketchikan, and the food.”
He pointed especially to the famous blueberry crepes, saying, “You just got to have them”.
Cathy Gucker helped to provide those delicious crepes. She said she loves the sense of community that the event fosters.
“I think just being around all the people that come out from everywhere on one day. That, and working the blueberry crepe booth for Big Brothers and Big Sisters. The line is never ending; you always have to wait in line to get one. They’re worth it.”
Michelle Gadbois also was on the lookout for a yummy takeaway. She told us her go-to plan for the festival.
“I go straight to Faith Duncan’s booth, and I ask her what she’s most excited about harvesting over the year, and about how she’s canned things. I’ve gotten apricot preserves, peach preserves, and these really spicy pickles. Then I go down and get a piece of blueberry pie downstairs,” she said.
Heidi Poet clearly shows her devotion to the Blueberry Arts Festival when she explains her favorite part of the event.
“My favorite part is how it kicks Fourth of July’s butt in the booths department. I really enjoy walking around and exploring everything. Also, the Battle of the Bands,” she added.
Poet was one of the performers in that popular annual music competition.
In all, the Blueberry Arts Festival seemed to be a great Ketchikan mix of art, food, and fun.
That’s all for this summer’s Ketchikan Street Beats.
For more information on Ketchikan arts events, visit ketchikanarts.org. Also, tune in to Morning Edition on KRBD every Thursday at 8:20 a.m. to hear the Ketchikan arts report.