August 16 - 18, 2024

Paradise, Michigan

Wild Blueberry Capital of Michigan

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Each year during the third weekend in August we celebrate a part of our local heritage, wild blueberries. Established in 1984, the Wild Blueberry Festival is a celebration that includes an art fair, entertainment, and wonderful local foods. The celebration showcases informative programs of music, nature, and local history lore. Here is how it all started.

Wild Blueberries

Once forested in stands of huge white pine, the Paradise area was logged from the 1880's to the 1920's. The cut-over land, swept by fires, provided a natural environment for wild blueberries, one of nature's "pioneer" plants. Blueberry bushes flourished in the sandy, acidic soil. Fields of "blue gold" covered vast areas and gave rise to a new industry.

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At a time when cultivated blueberries were unknown, our wild berries were in great demand. Up to 1500 laborers moved into the area during the summers of the 1920's and 1930's to pick berries. Shoreline steamers transported the blueberry cargo to Detroit, Chicago, and Buffalo.

Strolling Entertainment

The local blueberry industry peaked during the great Depression, but declined with the advent of World War II when labor for picking was scarce, and the natural secession of vegetation and forest reduced the number of blueberry bushes.

Wild blueberries still thrive in the area, and some commercial picking continues south and west of Paradise. The low bush varieties, found in open, sunny areas ripen from late July through August. Highbush berries may be found in shade and ripen from late August through September.

WILD BLUEBERRY FESTIVAL BRUNCH The brunch is held in the Whitefish Township Community Center. The brunch menu includes scrambled eggs, sausage links, Wild blueberry Pancakes, coffee, milk and orange juice. Along with both regular and sugar free Wild Blueberry syrup and maple syrup! Tickets for the brunch are available at the door and held each morning of the festival from 9 AM until Noon. Festival Schedule Details are available at this link!

WILD BLUEBERRY FESTIVAL BAKE SALE Inside the Whitefish Township Community Centre you will find the Wild Blueberry Festival Bake Sale. The Bake sale offers Wild blueberry pancakes, pies, muffins, and buckles are some favorites offered at the Festival. Don't miss tasting our wonderful homemade wild blueberry pie! Festival Schedule Details including Bake Sale hours are available at this link!

Family Friendly

ENTERTAINMENT Throughout the time frame of the festival you will find entertainment on stage and strolling through the arts & crafts fair. For a list of entertainers check this page and for scheduled times you'll find a listing on our Schedule page.

WBF SOUVENIR TENT Official Wild Blueberry Festival Souvenirs are available at the large tent just west of the Whitefish Township Community Center.

FISH BOWL Wild Blueberry Festival profits are donated back to the community. A part of raising those funds and having fun is the Fish Bowl. When playing your turn, green is a winner, purple is not a winner and red gets another turn. Easy Rules. A green chip holder gets to choose from KIDS Draw or ADULT Draw. Festival Schedule Details including Fish Bowl hours are available at this link!

Fish Bowl

Wild Blueberry Festival profits are donated back to the community of Paradise.

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We sincerely thank all of you who have volunteered your time to support this event. You have made these donations possible.

Past Donations Have Been Made To

  • Community Christmas Lighting
  • Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society Lighthouse Keepers Quarters
  • Music on the Bay
  • Paradise Area Community Foundation
  • Paradise Athletic Boosters
  • Whitefish Township
  • Whitefish Township Community School
  • Whitefish Township EMS & Fire Dept.
  • Whitefish Township Library
  • Youth Advisory Council