Loganberry Festival scrubbed due to conflicting fair dates

The fate of one of Whidbey Island’s long-standing festivals is up in the air.

The winner of a pie-eating contest raises his hand in victory. The annual Loganberry Festival has been cancelled this year due to a scheduling conflict.

The fate of one of Whidbey Island’s long-standing festivals is up in the air.

Whidbey Island Area Fair’s date change to the end of July conflicts with Greenbank Farm’s annual Loganberry Festival and prompted Greenbank Farm and Port of Coupeville officials to cancel this year’s event.

“We’ve suspended Loganberry because the world has changed around us,” said Greenbank Farm Executive Director Judy Feldman. “We’re simply responding to a change. This is a sad day for us.”

The conflicts from the fair’s date change were various, Feldman said. It wasn’t one exact thing that caused the cancellation. A big factor was both events showcased 4-H groups; the members would have to choose between events.

Other considerations were vendors, sponsors and volunteer time.

“This will be a chance for us to find out how important the festival is to people,” Feldman said.

Before making the decision to suspend the event, Feldman said farm and port officials looked at every possibility, including moving the date, but could not find one that would work.

Greenbank Farm is run by a management group, and the contract for that group is coming up for review next year.

Feldman said while the festival is suspended this year, she’s not sure what the future will hold because she doesn’t know if the same management group will still be operating the farm.

“We can’t really make bold promises without knowing the future,” she said.

Coupeville Chamber Director Lynda Eccles, who serves on Island County’s tourism board, said she was sad to hear of the festival’s cancellation.

“It’s no easy decision to make,” she said. “It could not be an easy decision for them.”

The impacts on tourism remain unclear, said Eccles, but the community will likely feel the greatest loss.

“There will be some disappointed people,” she said. “It’s always been a popular event.”

“It’s part of Central Whidbey tradition,” she added.

That said, Eccles said there are a lot of events throughout the summer and the people who come to the island will still stop at Greenbank Farm.

“It’s a huge draw,” she said.

The Loganberry Festival was started by Chateau Ste. Michelle prior to the Port of Coupeville’s purchase of the farm in 1997. Greenbank Farm was established as a dairy farm in 1904 and the first loganberries were planted in 1943. At one time the farm was the largest loganberry farm in the United States.

It’s not a major fundraiser, but gives the opportunity to gather the community together and celebrate the farm, Feldman said.

The management group is working with tenants at the farm to discuss ideas for other ways to bring the community together and celebrate the farm. Several ideas are in discussion, but Feldman said the farm isn’t ready to release them.

 

More in News

Settlement reached with former police chief

Marks to receive $80,000, agrees to resign

Musical tributes to honor DjangoFest founder

‘Forever and ever, this will be Nick Lehr’s festival’

Booze thieves facing felonies

A man and a woman are accused of stealing expensive liquor in… Continue reading

Transit giving groups a lift

The inaugural van in Island Transit’s new RideLink program left the lot… Continue reading

Training slated at mussel rafts

Penn Cove Shellfish employees will participate in oil spill training Friday near… Continue reading

Voters forum is set for Sept. 24

Individuals vying for county and state positions in the upcoming November election… Continue reading

Stranger found sleeping in rental house

An employee at a property management company found a stranger sleeping in… Continue reading

Photo by Maria Matson / Whidbey News Group
                                <em>Whidbey Island resident Dick Evans will be signing and selling copies of his book, Fazkils, at the Clinton Community Hall.</em><em></em>
Hollywood actor, author reflects on his life, career in new book

Richard “Dick” Evans is an actor, writer and director with a long… Continue reading

Bird in the Hand Festival slated for Sept. 22

Audubon’s preserved birds to be displayed at Bayview

Most Read