PENINSULA — Most came out of curiosity about the cranberry industry, others simply wanted a piece of the famous pie. In total, more than 600 people attended the 91st annual Cranberrian Fair during a drippy weekend on the coast.
“People are fascinated with how cranberries are grown and produced,” executive director of the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum Betsy Millard said. “And we’re the cradle of it.” A celebration of all things cranberry, the festival featured bog tours, live demonstrations, presentations and craft vendors during the two-day event.
In one corner, Janet Herring, 85, of Ocean Park, sat diligently weaving cranberry vines, something she’s done for more than 20 years. Herring started weaving as a way to curb a smoking habit.
“They said spend your money on something you’ve always wanted to do,” Herring said. Herring has been a mainstay at the fair ever since selling small baskets, wreaths and coasters. Across the room, a line was forming for another fair staple: cranberry peach pie.
“We made about 200 pies,” Marci Bennett, owner of Simpli Edibles, said in between plating slices and pouring coffee along with Karen Bobo.
Indoor demonstrations including pottery, book making, fiber spinning and quilt making kept the atmosphere bustling. Meanwhile, smoke swirled around blacksmith Gary Lewis as he forged nails next to the railcar Nahcotta. The railcar, which operated from 1889 until 1930, was open for tours allowing attendees an inside look into the past on the Peninsula.
The live demonstrations were complimented by oral historical stories told by James A. Tweedie, Michael Lemeshko, Sydney Stevens provided in lecture hall. On Sunday, anthropologist Julia Harrison capped the festival with a presentation covering all the juicy details of the Washington fruit industry history from packaging to pesticides.
“It went really well,” Millard said.