Berlin Museum Will Host Peach Festival Next Saturday

Berlin Museum Will Host Peach Festival Next Saturday
On July 31, 1913, the first “Great Peach Fest” was held in Berlin. Hosted by J. G. Harrison & Sons, the meeting of 2,000 horticulturalists was described by the Philadelphia Public Ledger as a “Great Gathering of Fruit-Growers,” who came to inspect the orchards of Harrisons’ Nurseries and learn about the innovative spraying method used to save the year’s peach crop. This meeting was the inspiration for the first, modern-day peach festival. Submitted Photo

BERLIN – A popular Berlin tradition will return the first Saturday in August as the Calvin B. Taylor House Museum hosts its annual Peach Festival.

After offering a scaled down event last year, organizers are welcoming the public to the museum lawn for this year’s festival on Sat. Aug. 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“This is a major fundraiser for the museum,” said Melissa Reid, president of the Taylor House Museum. “We are fortunate to have an amazing location—a beautiful lawn with shade trees. When you come and buy peaches for yourself you’re really helping the museum.”

As its name suggests, the Berlin Peach Festival will highlight the fruit that played such a big part of the town’s history. Peaches will be available for purchase on the lawn—by the bag and half-bushel—as attendees enjoy music performed by the Bilenki Duo. Peach preserves, slushies and items from the Taylor House Museum’s gift shop will also be set up for sale.

Area residents who think they’ve perfected their peach pie recipes are invited to enter this year’s peach pie baking contest. Interested bakers should drop their pies off at the museum Aug. 7 between 11 a.m. and noon. Pies must be accompanied by a list of ingredients and per health department rules, pies with perishable ingredients such as custard, ice cream or whipped cream cannot be accepted. First, second and third place prizes will be awarded from 3:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.

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In addition to raising funds for the museum, the Peach Festival will give attendees a chance to get a glimpse of its interior, as the first floor of the 1832 house will be open throughout the day.

“It provides a taste of what the museum is like,” Reid said.

Visitors can also peruse tables set up by local nonprofit organizations. Reid said the museum made an effort to invite local groups to the lawn rather than artisans so that people interested in shopping would walk through the array of shops downtown.

“Instead of craft vendors we’re encouraging people to come to town and then visit the stores,” Reid said.

To further entice visitors to browse though local businesses, the festival this year includes a scavenger hunt with clues in shop windows. Those who have filled in the answers to the hunt questions after visiting participating shops will be entered in a drawing to win a tote bag full of items from the museum’s gift shop.

“One thing we realized, while the festival has been amazing for the museum, the event was so popular it outgrew the lawn,” Reid said. “We’re hoping people will walk all the way through town.”

Embracing the concept, several shops and local churches will have peach themed items for sale throughout the day. Jack Orris, a town councilman as well as a member of the museum’s board, is hopeful this year’s festival will expand on the success of last year’s event.

“The Peach Festival was always a great community event; however, due to COVID restrictions last year, we were able to safely expand the festival all the way down Main Street,” he said. “This helped folks who visited the museum and attended the event also get to see more of our town and patronize the restaurants and businesses, all while enjoying a staple of Berlin history — the peach. I’m looking forward to another successful year.”

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.