Blueberry lovers to flocked to Burgaw Saturday for the North Carolina Blueberry Festival. "I’ve never been to it before and I wanted to see what it was all about,” said Pamela Jones, blueberry fest first timer. It's bigger, better and bluer than ever before. Thousands showed up for the 6th Annual North Carolina Blueberry Festival, which was in full swing Saturday. "It's just a local thing, everybody is all about blueberries,” said Beth Grover. "I was born and raised here, and we all grew picking blueberries and all of that, so it has always been a really big thing for the Pender County people,” added Diane McDuffie. There were so many blueberry concoctions, it could make your head spin. "They got muffins they got pies, they got cakes, bread, the blueberry ice tea is the next thing I’m going to try,” said Ed Weihs. Blueberries are a major money making business for Pender County, especially for Ivanhoe Farms who makes a killing over these baby blues. "We are a great supporter of the blueberry festival because it involves our livelihood and we enjoy doing it, we meet so many good people and it does a lot for Pender County and Burgaw,” said Lorraine Moore of Ivanhoe. Blueberries also benefit area groups like the ladies from Burgaw Baptist Church who spent all night baking 77 pies. "Every year we get the berries and the milk, the flour and the sugar, and that's how it comes together but it does take a lot of work,” said Priscilla Tyree. The blueberry has the spotlight for the day, but many flock to Burgaw for its spirit. “I like the home kind of round the town square atmosphere,” said Sandra Jordan. Before the blueberry hype, dozens gathered to kick it off with a 5K run. One runner in particular used the event to step up to another challenge. After two hip replacements, two knee replacements and two babies in less than three years, all while battling rheumatoid arthritis, Anne Hulls had plenty to be proud of when she crossed the finish line. "It was just fitting that this fill six months after the final joint replacement and it was just kind of a victory race over what all we have been through,” Anne said.
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