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Week-long Berlin peach extravaganza

8/2/12 | By Nathan Brunet, Staff Writer

BERLIN – The lawn of the Calvin B. Taylor House Museum on North Main Street will be loaded with peaches, peaches and more peaches on Saturday, Aug. 4, during the Berlin Peach Festival.

In recognition of Berlin’s past as a prominent peach grower and distributor, the fourth annual event will bring thousands to participate in numerous activities on the museum’s lawn.

“Every year seems to get bigger,” said Debbie Speier, member of the museum’s board of directors and an organizer of the event. “The first year, we didn’t know what to expect and we have been amazed at how many people come.”

An opening ceremony featuring a bagpipe introduction played by Joel Todd and a ribbon cutting by Matthew Holland and Trista Harner, Little Miss and Mister Berlin Peach 2011, will officially get the festival started at 11 a.m.

Popular activities such as a peach pie-baking contest, a pie eating contest and performances by local musicians will take place on the museum lawn, where there will also be numerous vendors selling peaches, peach-inspired products and general gift items.

Local fiddler Frank Nanna and a band called 3 Sheeps are scheduled to perform on the museum’s side stage where its monthly Concert on the Lawn series is held.

Demonstrations of specialized skills like basket weaving and wooden decoy carving will be performed by local artists.

For the children, some activities will include face pairing, walnut shell boat races, a performance from juggling expert Cascading Carlos and many others.

According to Speier, many children look forward to “shake their booties,” an activity in which they will be able to make and take home homemade ice cream.

As it is expected every year, the Taylor House Museum will purchase copious amounts of peaches from local growers and resell them at the festival.

This year’s peach suppliers are Bennett Orchards and T.S. Smith from Delaware and Garden of Eden from Salisbury.

“[The peaches] are ripe and juicy, and everyone loves them,” said Susan Taylor, curator of the Taylor House Museum.

All peach vendors suggested scheduling the event this weekend specifically so attendees could get the ripest peaches possible.

Museum tours will also be available at a suggested donation price of $2. Children will be allowed in for free.

The museum, which is a restored nineteenth century house, offers an opportunity to experience what life was like when Berlin was in its infancy.

Last year, the festival operated while rain continuously poured down on the lower than usual amount of attendees, so organizers have set a rain date on the following day, Sunday, Aug. 5, in preparation of a worst-case scenario. The times will stay the same if the rain date is used.

The fourth annual Berlin Peach Festival is funded by state and county grants, along with aid from several local businesses.

All activities on the lawn will end at 5 p.m.

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