Ely Hosts Annual Blueberry Festival

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This weekend Ely is expected to grow about 40,000 people as locals and tourists are making their way into town for something blue, round and juicy.

Blueberry brats, pie and lots more to color your tongue blue are on offer.

“We heard that they have good pie, good ice cream and good food,” said Aden Kirchert of Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota.

Nearly 300 vendors are selling hand crafted creations, food and experiences.

“Its wonderful shopping,” said Ellen Cashman with the Ely Chamber of Commerce. “I mean we have some really outstanding artists that are showing here.”

The Blueberry Art Festival started 35-years-ago and today it’s a signature event.

“We’re taking a vacation up here,” said Kirchert. “We just came up here this time of year to get the Blueberry Festival, check it out for the first time.”

New for Kirchert but Mary Arnston has been driving here from Fergus Falls, Minnesota for the last ten years to enjoy the festival.

“We love the area, it’s God’s country,” said Arnston.

For Arnston, along with many others, the blueberry pie is a big draw.

“Oh it’s delicious with ice cream, blueberry ice cream,” said Arnston. “Everybody has to try it.”

The Kiwanis Club of Ely expects to sell 500 of the sweet delights.

“You can see it’s pretty full in here and the line keeps coming,” Kiwanis Club president Betty Joe “BJ” Kobierski said.

They’ll raise about $15,000 dollars to help out area youth.

“To make that amount of money is really impossible,” said Kobierski. “So it’s something that you wouldn’t want to let go by.”

The festival will run through this Sunday until 4 p.m. at the Whiteside Park.

The festival is put on by the Ely Chamber of Commerce to raise money for future events and advertising for local businesses.

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