|A note from Jeffrey Harris, President, Austerlitz Historical Society:|
On behalf of the Society, I wish to thank the wonderful volunteers, musicians and entertainers, demonstrators, and vendors who participated in the successful return of the Blueberry Festival 2022! We weren’t sure if anyone would show up and boy were we surprised! Including volunteers, vendors, etc., we estimate that over 2,500 people attended and participated. Over 1,750 adult tickets were sold (children enter for free). We were certainly overwhelmed with cars and had to scramble for parking spaces. We even parked folks on the front lawn (a first). The scramble meant that a number of visitors entered the grounds from various points, and we lost some ticket sales — we’ll work to improve that at the next festival.
|There was a small group of people who worked so diligently on the prep work, I hardly know how to thank them. First, and foremost, was Margaret Hover, our AHS Secretary and Manager of Operations. Margaret did everything from recruit volunteers and vendors, put up tents, travelled all over the area picking up supplies, lifted heavy equipment — you name it, she did it! Please, if you get a moment, send Margaret a thank you note. She is truly an amazing person.|
Margaret’s husband, Kevin Johnson, worked like a dog (to put it bluntly). Cutting grass, planting flowers, putting up tents, picking-up benches, filling gas canisters, moving chairs and tables, etc., it was rare to not see him covered in sweat!
Donna Peterson, came all the way from her new home in Florida to take over the kitchen (and a whole host of other things). Many of you know Donna, and quite frankly the festival would not have occurred without her.Her institutional knowledge saved us many times and she even helped me put up fencing! If that wasn’t enough, she then cleaned and brought needed order to our supply basement.
|Michael Rebic was determined that we would have blueberry pies this festival and personally made 35 of them! He was joined by Dodie Wheeler (who also ran around picking up needed supplies and managed the blueberry tent), Wendy Diskin (who helped despite having a family wedding that weekend!), Margy Quinn, and Emma Jensen. We also want to especially thank all those who baked many other items for the bake sale — we sold out!|
|Jim Newberry and Maureen Wilson went well beyond the call of duty and put together our new griddles and cleaned the old ones. I can picture Jim now in the hot summer sun, sweating, but determined — it was hard work (those griddles are heavy). Jim also flipped pancakes and Maureen helped with the bake sale.|
|Vivian and Gary Cunningham were absolutely amazing! They showed up whenever help was needed which meant that they moved supplies, helped put up tents, moved furniture, cleaned, etc. Gary took on the new lemonade booth (ever clean hundreds of lemons?) and we discovered that Vivian had spectacular organizational skills. She was also rather a wiz in the kitchen!|
|Jeff O’Donnell never stopped working. We asked him to do so many things, I am amazed that he came back to help with clean-up! And he cooked in the pancake tent. Thank you, Jeff.|
The very successful tag sale was managed and set-up by Barbara Perlmutter. She worked a lot of hours collecting and arranging the many donated items. After the festival, I walked into the barn and it was magically cleaned-up. Thank you also to intern Lucy Sanchez for all her help with the tag sale and so many other tasks.
Gale Stockman and Brenda Tamez worked in the office making sure we all got tickets, sales boxes, ipads, etc. And of course, the bookkeeping before and after the festival. Gale also made sure the advertising signs got out into the community (and were collected after).
Thank you to Mary Neufeld who did an amazing job setting up and working the pancake tent and even convinced her nephew to help set up those tables and hundreds of chairs!
And Roy Carney who came in and adjusted our fencing, put out parking signs and guides and helped us get more cars into that field than we ever thought possible.
|And to all those who volunteered for the day of the festival, we give you our sincere thanks — what a wonderful job you did (and thanks for stepping up when issues presented themselves). A special thank you to the extended Dunne and Ferrone and Murphy families (Denise, Tim, Hilary, Chris, Fiona, Joanne, and Eryl) who came en masse to take on the pancake breakfast, the Mugler family and friends (Shirar, Nicola, Jack, Wil, and Ellis), the Palmer family (Bill, Ruth and Joy), and the Avenia family (Margaret, John, and Emma).|
Thank you to Karen Carney, Tim Hawley, Larry Massimo, Connie Mondel, Jane Magee, Charlotte & Rupert Fennell, Ginny Nightingale, Ansi Vallens, Dan Perlmutter (photogapher), Gale Page & Frank Smith, Carole Reamer, Bill Case, Elizabeth Diggs, Emily McCully, Greg Vogler (the best blueberry dropper in town), Lynne O’Connell, Shari Tassitore, Kristen Dalton, Isabel Buckbee, Zinnia Pappas, Sue Diskin, Madaline Sparks, Keith Galluzo, Pam Renwick, Eve Zatt, Joe Herwick, Phil Palladino, Barbara Smith, Mary Gerhardt, Liz Tyski, Dorothy O’Donnell, Bruce Stockman, Julie Foehrenbach, Vicky Jensen, Lisa Meaney, Mark Diskin, Debbie Coolidge, Dorothy Muller, Libby & Tim O’Neil (They took over the shop and helped tremendously with clean-up.), Erlyn Madonia and her granddaughter Lilly, Mitzi Lobdell, Joan Gampert, and the man who became my right-hand-man, Scotty Quinn.
No doubt, we have missed some names (please let us know). But a sincere and heart felt thank you to all those who helped make the festival such a success. It was so wonderful to see everyone in person!
Let’s allow the pictures to do the talking (and if you have more great photos, please send them our way.):
|This year a number of companies helped to sponsor the festival with donations. Please, when doing business, let those companies know that we truly appreciate their support. And a special Thank You to Stewart’s for the delicious ice-cream! See photo below:|