Whidbey’s Loganberry is ripe with food, drink, music, art, poetry and pie

What it must be like to be stuck in flavor limbo between the ubiquitous finger-staining blackberry and the delicate and delightfully sweet raspberry.

Poet and performance artist AK Mimi Allin strikes a pose. She’ll be at Greenbank Farm’s Loganberry Festival

Poet and performance artist AK Mimi Allin strikes a pose. She’ll be at Greenbank Farm’s Loganberry Festival

What it must be like to be stuck in flavor limbo between the ubiquitous finger-staining blackberry and the delicate and delightfully sweet raspberry.

The poor, misunderstood loganberry may not be recognized by the French as worthy of even a croissant, but here on Whidbey Island, the cross between black and red raspberry fruit is cherished enough to throw it a weekend party.

The annual Loganberry Festival takes place at Greenbank Farm, which, back in the day, was known as the largest loganberry farm in the United States. Two days of non-stop festivities will be held from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, July 24 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, July 25.

The event offers fun and entertainment for all ages, from the children’s carnival area, the pie-eating contests, a storytelling stage, poetry, arts and crafts booths, demonstrations of artists in action and plenty of food and Northwest wine and beer, not to mention those famous loganberry pies that are available on site at the Whidbey Pies Café.

This year, entertainment includes LocoMotion, the Shifty Sailors, Dynamite Limbo, and Janie and Joe’s Mojo Medicine Show throughout the course of the day and evening on Saturday. On Sunday, festival audiences can hear Matt Schmiesing, Danny Ward & Reality, Weapons of Mass Destruction and local favorites, the Rural Characters.

Take in some fast-hand chainsaw action all weekend as artists demonstrate the fine art of wood-carved sculpture. Artists include Pat McVay, Tomas Vrba, Steve Backus and Lyn Backus, whose sculpted masterpieces will also be available for purchase.

In the tear-shaped garden next to Barn C, which houses the Rob Schouten, Artworks and Raven Rocks galleries, poet and performance artist AK Mimi Allin will give Loganberryites a poetic welcome.

Allin has created a mini-yurt made of bamboo which contains a small scriptorium with handmade poetry scrolls that draw from a variety of wandering poetry traditions. Visitors will be invited, Alice-like, to delve inside this intimate wonderland of poesy.

Meanwhile, inside the big red barn, visitors will find a variety of artists in action who will create art for the enjoyment of onlookers, as well as for sale. Among them, one might find a wandering poet or storyteller, who are expected to be in the barn for an occasional performance or two.

On Sunday, the Classic T-Bird Club will be on hand to display a number of its colorful Thunderbirds, along with a team of local firefighters who will show young festival-goers a close-up look at a working fire truck.

Tours of the organic farmer training center can be arranged with the students working at the farm, and hayrides will be offered, thanks to the M-Bar-C Ranch of Freeland.

For a complete list of festivities, visit www.greenbankfarm.com.

There will be a $5-per-car parking fee to help support the festival costs and to contribute to the maintenance of the farm. For more information, call 360-678-7700.

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