They’re juicy, they’re sweet and nothing can beat them as filling for a pie. Blackberries are everywhere in August, and Sutherlin celebrates that with an annual festival.

This year, thousands are expected to attend the 31st Annual Sutherlin Blackberry Festival, which will be held Aug. 16, 17 and 18 and feature a blackberry cook-off and a blackberry pie eating contest.

Many of the weekend’s activities revolve around cars, as well. There’s a cruise-in and a raffle with a 1966 Ford Mustang as the grand prize.

The fun begins Friday with a poker run at 1 p.m., starting at Dakota Street Pizza Company. Players follow a map to pick up cards at different locations and the one with the best hand at the end wins.

A cruise-in will be held in the evening, with live music from the 1970s and ‘80s by Hat Trick beginning at 7 p.m. at the Lauren Young ball field on South Calapooia Street.

On Saturday, there’s a car show from 6 to 10 a.m. and a pancake breakfast from 7 to 10 a.m. at the Senior Center, 202 E. Central Ave. Mud volleyball and a BMX race will also be held in the morning.

Opening ceremonies will be held at 10 a.m., as will registration of goodies for the annual blackberry cook-off. There’s a $5 entry fee to enter the cook-off. Ten Quilts of Valor will be presented to veterans after the opening ceremony.

From 9 a.m. to noon there’s a Gambler 500 vehicle obstacle course competition, a new event this year with a $25 entrance fee.

Mystical Oasis Belly Dancing will be at noon.

Car show awards will be given out at 4 p.m. Then from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., there’s a classic car cruise for ‘75 models and older. And from 7 to 10 p.m. there’s a dance at Lauren Young Tire Center featuring Hat Trick.

On Sunday, similar events will take place.

Services will be offered in the park at 9 a.m. A motorcycle show will be held from 9 a.m. to noon. Opening ceremonies will be at 10 a.m., followed by a chili cook-off and pet blackberry pie eating contest.

Mud races start at 11 a.m., belly dancing at noon and a diaper derby and karaoke will be held in the afternoon. The raffle for the Mustang will be at 5 p.m. Additional prizes include a private encounter with elephants at Wildlife Safari, a stay at the Diamond Lake Resort, and a box of beef, among others.

For more information, see blackberry-festival.com

Reporter Carisa Cegavske can be reached at ccegavske@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4213.

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Senior Reporter

Carisa Cegavske is the senior reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at ccegavske@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4213. Follow her on Twitter @carisa_cegavske

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