Free COVID-19 vaccines will be among the latest additions to the Texas Blueberry Festival, returning to downtown Saturday after a pandemic-related absence.

Canceled for 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, the festival sponsored by Tipton Ford and organized by the Chamber of Commerce returns with the usual favorites: Pancakes served by the Kiwanis Club at 8 a.m., a car show in Festival Park, cooking demonstrations inside Commercial Bank of Texas, a 10 a.m. pet parade down Main Street and a children’s bounce and splash park with $10 wristbands.

“We have over 200 vendors scheduled and over 250 booths,” said C. Wayne Mitchell, president and CEO of the local chamber. “There’s going to be all sorts of exciting things going on.”

After weeks of nearly steady rain, organizers have worried about storms disrupting the festival. But the latest forecast from the National Weather Service calls for mostly sunny skies with a high around 92 for Saturday’s festival.

COVID-19 vaccines will be given from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the downtown Fire Station, 212 E. Pilar St. The shots will be given at no cost. No residency restrictions apply, and no appointments are needed.

Three stages of entertainment begin at 8 a.m. and include the Plaza Principal Stage behind the Bright Visitor’s Center, where Mr. and Miss Blueberry winners will be crowned at 3 p.m. The Main Street Stage will be on the east end of Main Street near the Mound Street intersection, and the CBTx Stage will be inside the lobby of the bank at 215 E. Main St.

Also downtown, the Fredonia Brewery will host its Brewberry Fest from noon to 10 p.m. featuring Brewberry, a cream ale made with a pound of blueberries per gallon. Velvet Funk will perform at the brewery from 6 to 9 p.m.

At Main and Pearl streets, the Nacogdoches Farmers Market will be hosting its annual Blueberry Wine Down, with at least five area wineries offering wine by the glass and bottle from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Some, such as Naca Valley based in Nacogdoches, will be serving blueberry wine, says market manager Lynn Jones.

Merci’s World Cuisine will offer samples highlighting local produce, and some vendors are expected to have peaches and blueberries.

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