MCLOUD, Okla. (KFOR) – Although many major festivals and events have decided to cancel their plans for 2020, organizers with the McLoud Blackberry Festival say they are modifying this year’s event to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The McLoud Blackberry Festival is an annual event that draws over 40,000 people to the small town of McLoud, Oklahoma.
Since the early 1940s, the McLoud Blackberry Festival was a way for the town to celebrate the end of harvest season for blackberries. A community picnic that has been held since the town was founded in 1895 was combined with the end of harvest celebration, creating the blackberry festival.
This year’s festival, which is set for Saturday, July 11, is celebrating the town’s 125th anniversary.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, organizers say they were forced to make some changes to this year’s event.
A drive-thru will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday where visitors can buy fresh blackberries, blackberry jam, blackberry BBQ sauce, and festival t-shirts. The drive-thru will begin at Park St. and McLoud Rd. and then travel west toward S. 6th St.
The 78th Annual Blackberry Pageant judging will still take place, but it will be closed to the public.
The festival will conclude with a huge fireworks display at 10 p.m. on Saturday at McLoud’s Veteran’s Park.
The McLoud Blackberry Festival has been a tradition since the 1940s as a way to celebrate the end of harvest season for blackberries. In 1949, the McLoud Chamber of Commerce sent a crate full of fresh blackberries to President Truman. The town made the news when President Truman declared McLoud as the “Blackberry Capital of the World.”
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