Grand Dillmeister, pickle fling all in the works for return of Pickle Festival

BERRIEN SPRINGS, Mich. -- A community tradition returns after 16 years.

The Berrien Springs Pickle Festival is set to make a comeback this Fourth of July weekend.

“In 1995, Pickle Packers International announced that Berrien Springs was the Christmas pickle capital of the world, so the village was like, ‘We’re going to lean into this, create a festival around this title,’” said Rhiannon Cizon, Executive Director of the Berrien County Historical Association. “We’re not really sure why Christmas pickle versus regular pickle, but we ran with it.”

On July 4, the village will relish the return of the festival it hasn’t hosted since 2005, but its revival has been in the works for some time. 

“We’ve been working on this for two years now, during COVID-19 we felt like this would be something great after lockdown ended and we could have the first festival of the year,” said Jesse Hibler, Village President.

Organizers also hope it’ll bring visitors into Berrien Springs, as Southwest Michigan reaches its tourist season.

“We decided it was time to bring something back to town to bring the communities together, especially after being in a pandemic, it’s nice to have an event families can participate in,” said Kelly Ewalt, Community Development Coordinator.

Plus, celebrating the industry that makes this region unique.

“We are still known for agriculture and pickling cucumbers are part of that, we’ve got peaches in the north county, cherries over in Eau Claire, so it’s something that sets us apart,” said Cizon.

The day will be full of activities starting at 8 a.m. and ending that night with fireworks.

The list of events can be found here.

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