The annual Huckleberry Festival in Bingen -- now in its 47th year -- kicks off on Friday, Sept. 10. The first scheduled event on the Daubenspeck Park stage will be the popular talent contest, which begins at 6 p.m.
The grand parade through downtown Bingen will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday. This year's grand marshals are Paul and Tammi Beneventi, owners of Bingen's Beneventi's Pizza.
This year's festival theme is:
"Huck Fest 2010; Let's do it again!"
Among the many festival highlights are the huckleberry pie booth in the park (the huckleberries are fresh from the slopes of Mount Adams); the Saturday morning huckleberry pancake breakfast at the White Salmon Fire Hall from 6 a.m.-10 a.m.; a sawdust coin hunt for the kids; sales of bratwurst made specifically for the festival by the Eidelweiss Sausage Co. in Portland; the beer garden, featuring several regional brewers; the Sunday morning worship service; "Ritchie the Reptile Man" showing reptiles on the stage (Sunday at 2 p.m.); a martial arts demonstration by Scott Dinger (Saturday at 2:30 p.m.); the Dezadera Belly Dancers (Saturday, 7 p.m.); and much more.
There will be a wide variety of musical entertainment as well over the weekend, with performances by the Bond Street Blues Band (blues); It Takes Four (harmony vocalists); Harmony of the Gorge (barbershop harmony); the White Salmon Jazz Band (jazz and pop); Chic Preson, Rick Hulett & John Bunzow (country); Four on the Floor (punk and rockabilly); Tilly Jam (rock and blues); Dan Crothers (R&B, jazz, rock); and, closing the festival, Buck Smith & the Connollys (country). See the Olallie for the full schedule.
One unique booth featured at this year's festival will be that of the city of Bingen. Bingen is raising funds for the new skateboard park, with "phase one" of the project now under construction in Daubenspeck Park. During the Huckleberry Festival, the city will be selling raffle tickets for a variety of items donated from local businesses. Raffle tickets sell for $1, while donations of any amount will be welcomed as the city tries to fund "phase two" and complete the skatepark this year.
The festival runs until about 5 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 12.