Marshall County Blueberry Festival sparks economic benefits for community members
PLYMOUTH, Ind. --- The Marshall County Blueberry Festival wrapped up its five-day run earlier today. The annual event was cancelled last year due to the ongoing pandemic, but that didn’t stop festival organizers from bringing back the beloved hometown event this year.
"We didn’t come with any expectations. We had no idea, but it’s the people that go home and cook it and even come back the next day that’s the impressive part for us," said Crystal Garza, Owner and Operator of Harrington Noodles.
Garza and her husband are the Co-Owners of Harrington Noodles. Based out of Plymouth the couple sold their pasta for the first time at the Marshall County Blueberry Festival this year. With not much to compare it to since last years events were cancelled due the pandemic, the couple was able to sell over 950 units during the festival’s five day run.
“Last year was different. Quite different with no festival. We don’t have a gate. We don’t charge people to come to walk in. We would never do that. We would shut down before we did that," said Mayor Mark Senter, City of Plymouth.
Senter says the festivals cancellation last year had a big economic impact on the non-profit organizations that depend on this one weekend to raise the funds needed to operate for the entire year.
Although some decided they still didn’t feel safe to return in person just yet, the festival saw approximately 200,000 visitors this year.
“What’s the best thing about the blueberry festival? I always say it’s the people. Not only the people of the city of Plymouth, but the visitors. The people from Michigan City, Niles, or Fort Wayne," said Senter.
While this was only Garza’s first time selling at the festival she says she’ll be back again next year to continue putting a face to the recipes her customers share with her online.
“I hope we get all of the people that came and then some. I just hope to be able to outreach far, further then what we had already done," said Garza.
The festival is expected to return again next year in its usual run during Labor Day Weekend.