Blackberry Festival draws hundreds, funds will help community groups

Deborra Brannon
A girls sack race offered hair flying and good fun during Sunday's Blackberry Festival at Mount Shasta City Park.

Another Blackberry Festival has come and gone, but the revenue generated by the Mount Shasta Rotary event will help a number of local organizations and projects in the coming year.

Festival coordinator Merle Anderson said although net revenue figures are not available yet, “I think the revenue was down a bit from last year. It was still a very encouraging turn-out.”

Proceeds from the Festival go to the Rotary Club’s 501(c)3 foundation. From there it is donated to help support both new and ongoing projects and organizations, Anderson explained.

One such organization is Shasta Disabled Sports, a non-profit which provides recreational opportunities for disabled residents.

“We sponsor a rafting and camping event for them on the Klamath every summer,” Anderson said.

Funding is also made available to help support the Senior Nutrition program and the library, and to give dictionaries to all Mount Shasta third graders every year.

Anderson said that, as a Greenway Project consortium partner, the Mount Shasta Rotary is also involved in the purchase of land for that project.

Financial support is also made available for a rain harvest project in Tanzania through the Rotary’s partnership with Save the Rain.

According to Anderson, the Rotary itself gets help from a few businesses, notably Scott Valley Bank.

“Scott Valley Bank considers the Blackberry Festival to be the last in their annual Concerts in the Park series,” Anderson said. “We are fortunate in that their co-sponsorship of the Festival helps cover the costs of the music.”

Support from Aiello, Goodrich, and Teuscher sponsors the children’s games, he said.

A new addition to the Blackberry Festival this year was the shuttle bus service that ran in a loop from Alma down S. Mt. Shasta Blvd. to the City Park and back.

“The city asked for help in alleviating the parking congestion so emergency vehicles would have clear access if needed. We borrowed one bus from the Senior Nutrition program and another from the Siskiyou Opportunity Center,” Anderson said.