The Annual Blueberry Arts Festival presented by the Ketchikan Area Arts and Humanities Council began in 1975 and has been growing ever since. The Blueberry Arts Festival is always the first weekend of August, with over 8,000 community members and summer visitors attending. A few of the community’s favorite activities of the 3-day Festival include the Pet and Doll Parade, the Slug Weigh in and Race, music on the Mainstage, the Blueberry Arts Festival Art Exhibit, the Best Blueberry Dish Contest, Fun Runs, the Blueberry Pie-Eating contest, the Blueberry Beard Contest, the Great Blueberry Ball Roll, PLUS over 130 artist and vendor booths. The Blueberry Arts Festival wraps up Sunday with the Festival’s newest event, the Handmade Human Powered Blueberry Boat Race which includes a grueling almost 100 foot race course filled with tide changes, rapids, bananas, eye patches, sinking boats, drama, and fun!!! The final activities of the weekend are the Annual Richard Brautigan, Dick Whitaker, & Lillian Ference Memorial Trout Fishing in America Poetry Slam and the Gigglefeet Dance Festival! Come to down town Ketchikan and see art, make art, admire art, be inspired by art, maybe give an artist a thank you hug, eat good food, and appreciate the community of Ketchikan for all its quirky gloriousness.
48th Annual Blueberry Arts Festival Schedule!!!
Friday, August 4th, 2023
2pm - Blueberry Pet and Doll Parade! - sponsored by Community Connection Early Learning Program!
This, the cutest parade in the universe, starts at the intersection of Main and Grant streets! No pre-registration needed - just bring your kids, their dolls, and your pets and have fun! The parade ends at the downtown Ketchikan Fire Station with snacks provided by the Fire Station and fun surprises by Community Connections Early Learning Program!
3pm - Submission DUE! - Best Blueberry Dish Contest
Submissions for the Best Blueberry Dish Contest are due at the Main Street Gallery, 330 Main Street, between noon and 3pm to be entered in the contest! Doors are locked at 3pm! The winner of the contest will have their recipe featured at the New York Cafe for the month of August!
5pm to 7pm - Opening of the Blueberry Arts Festival Judged Art Exhibit
Join us for the opening of the Blueberry Arts Festival Judged Art Exhibit! This is an Open Call for all artists, any age, in all mediums. Prizes will be awarded for Adult 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place, Young adult (16 -23 yrs) and Youth (0-15 yrs) 1st Prize, and People's Choice!
Saturday, August 5th, 2023
9am - Blueberry Fun Run - 1 mile children's run
9:30am - Blueberry Fun Run - 5K
9:45am Blueberry Fun Run - 10K
Fun Runs will start at Bawden Street Brewing and are a program of the Ketchikan Running Club
9:30am - Big Slug Weigh In
Bring those giant slugs you have been training to the Blueberry Mainstage for their weigh in! Prizes to be awarded!
10am to 5pm - Blueberry Booths Open!
Over 140 artist, food and informational booths will be open downtown from 10am to 5pm! ADA parking will be available in Whale Park, and ADA drop off and pick is also available at Mission and Bawden. Wheelchair and walker loaners will be available at the booth in the Episcopal Church. Booths will be open on Dock Street from Bawden to Main Street, on Mission Street From Bawden to Front Street and on Main street from Pioneer Alley to Mission!!!
10am to 5pm - The Main Street Gallery is Open!
While enjoying the Blueberry Arts Festival don't forget to visit the Main Street Gallery, 330 Main Street, to see the Blueberry Arts Festival Art Exhibit! This is an Open Call exhibit for all artists, any age, in all mediums. Place your vote for People Choice Award!
10:30am - SLUG RACES!!!
This is it! The moment your slug has been waiting for!!! Bring those slugs to the Blueberry Mainstage for their defining event. The grueling, two-heat event finds the fastest slug in the land! Prizes to be awarded!
11:30am - Pie Eating Contest for all ages
Yep! Pie eating - that's BLUEBERRY Pie eating - for all ages at the Blueberry Mainstage! We start heats at 11:30 with ages "can reach the table" to 8yrs - 9 to 12yrs - 13 to 18 yrs - and adult! Prizes awarded!
12pm to 5pm - Live music on the Blueberry Mainstage - Sponsored by KPU Telecommunications
Listen to live music, dance performances, magic tricks?, and more on the Blueberry Mainstage, hosted by Diane Slagle
2pm - Blueberry Beard and Mustache Contest
Whether real or not, living or constructed, au naturale or ...altered, bring those beards and mustaches to the Blueberry Mainstage to be judged by a jury of judgy people! Prize, jeers, and cheers to be awarded!!!
3pm - Great Blueberry Ball Roll
Presented by the Ketchikan Youth Court - and one of their major fundraisers - the Great Blueberry Ball Roll will begin at Pioneer Alley and Main Street promptly at 3pm.
5pm - Blueberry Arts Festival Booths Close
Blueberry Arts Festival booths close at 5pm, go home, get some rest, and get ready for Sunday's line up of fun events!
Sunday, August 6th, 2022
1pm to 1:45pm - Check in for the 7th Annual Handmade Human Powered Blueberry Boat Race
Make your way (and bring your handmade boat) to the Bayside Float in Thomas Basin to register. You must have a life jacket and whistle on all contestants in your vessel to compete! Prizes are awarded for Fastest Youth vessel, Fastest Adult Vessel, Most Artistic, and yes folks, my favorite category, Voted Most Likely to Sink!!!
2pm - 7th Annual Handmade Human Powered Blueberry Boat Race - Sponsored by KPU Telecommunications
You can watch this race from Stedman Street, from other Floats in Thomas Basin, and from the Federal Building parking lot. Cheer on the contestants as they jockey for position, wobble into each other, meander off course, lose parts of their vessel, and eventually make it to finish line!!!
3:30pm - The Richard Brautigan, Dick Whittaker, and Lillian Ference Memorial Trout Fishing in America Poetry Slam and Flounder Free Form Poetry Contest! Sponsored by the New York Cafe, Soho Coho, Chinook and Company, and Parnassus Books!
Join us at the New York Cafe for this amazing Poetry Slam. We have so many poets in Ketchikan, and they only get a few chances to share their work in a large setting and this event is one of them!
7pm - Doors Open for the Gigglefeet Dance Festival
The Gigglefeet Dance Festival is a collaborative effort by First City Players, the Ketchikan Area Arts and Humanities Council, and the Ketchikan Theatre Ballet to showcase choreographers and dancers in our community. The performance will take place at the Kayhi Auditorium, tickets available soon at ketchikanarts.org!!!
The Blueberry Arts Festival is an enormous undertaking! If you are interested in volunteering - we would love your help! Please call us at 907-225-2211 to sign up!
Sunday, August 7th, 2023
Happy Founder's Day to the Metlakatla Community!!!!!