published Friday, June 22nd, 2012

Chattanooga Market features blueberries

IF YOU GO

What: Blueberry Festival at Chattanooga Market.

When: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.

Where: First Tennessee Pavilion, 1826 Reggie White Blvd.

Admission: Free.

Phone: 402-9960.

Website: www.chattanoogamarket.com.

Don't worry about Blueberry Hill.

This Sunday, berry lovers can find their thrill at the Chattanooga Market, where the inaugural Blueberry Festival will be taking place.

"It's rapidly becoming one of the favorite fruits," said Chattanooga Market owner Paul Smith. "They've become so popular, they're starting to rival popularity to strawberries."

A June 18 Times Free Press story revealed that blueberries have begun to overtake peaches as the primary fruit crop in Georgia -- the value of the state's blueberry crop almost tripling that of its peach crop.

The timing, said Smith, is purely coincidental.

The celebration will include all sorts of blueberry treats, including blueberry cheesecake crepes, blueberry funnel cake, blueberry pie filling, blueberry salsa and blueberry sage soda.

"The vendors are so creative," Smith raved, though he claims his favorite way to enjoy blueberries is in a pie, with ice cream.

Those who share Smith's love of blueberry pie can volunteer to participate in an old-fashioned pie-eating contest (blueberry, of course) on Sunday.

"On the half-hour, we're going to have five of them and ask volunteers to come up and, in the traditional sense, plant your face in a pie."

The winners receive a gift certificate to the Fork & Pie Bar on Market Street.

A self-proclaimed blueberry fan, Smith said he rarely gets to enjoy blueberries at home because they disappear into the stomach of his fruit-ravenous child.

"My 6-year-old consumes them like candy," he said. "I've got three boys, and as soon as you bring a pint in, (the 6-year-old) sits there and gobbles them up. It's quite funny, actually."

about Holly Leber ...

Holly Leber is a reporter and columnist for the Life section. She has worked at the Times Free Press since March 2008. Holly covers “everything but the kitchen sink" when it comes to features: the arts, young adults, classical music, art, fitness, home, gardening and food. She writes the popular and sometimes-controversial column Love and Other Indoor Sports. Holly calls both New York City and Saratoga Springs, NY home. She earned a bachelor of arts ...

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