‘We’re focusing on local here’: Two-day CranFest to celebrate ‘native berry’

CranFest in November will celebrate the long history of cranberry growing on the South Shore and emphasize the many ways
the fruit can be used in the kitchen. Image courtesy of Massachusetts Cranberries.

THE PATRIOT LEDGER – Cranberry farming is embedded in the history of the South Shore. This year, Massachusetts Cranberries and Plimoth Patuxet Museums have teamed up to celebrate this history with the inaugural CranFest on Nov. 11 and 12. 

The two-day festival at Plimoth Patuxet Museums, in Plymouth, will celebrate and share the cultural impact that cranberry growing has had on the South Shore. 

“We are proud to share the story of the cranberry and continue to educate the public about our native berry with our friends at Plimoth Patuxet Museums,” Brian Wick, executive director of Massachusetts Cranberries, said. 

Both organizations have long histories in the area. Massachusetts Cranberries, established as Cape Cod Cranberry Growers’ Association, was founded in 1888 and is one of the country’s oldest farmers organizations, according to its website.

Plimoth Patuxet Museums, formerly Plimoth Plantation, was founded in 1947  and brings local history to life with its lessons about the area’s native peoples  and with Mayflower II, a replica of the ship  on which the Pilgrims sailed to Plymouth. 

“We’re delighted to partner with Massachusetts Cranberries to present this wonderful, festive event that offers something for everyone,” said Ellie Donovan, Plimoth Patuxet Museums’ executive director. 

To learn more about CranFest, visit  plimoth.org/events/cranfest.

Participants will have an opportunity to  learn about the history of cranberry growing during demonstrations and lectures presented in the museum’s movie theater during the festival.

The first day of the festival will offer a variety of family activities. There will be crafts for children and family-friendly live music,  said CranFest committee member and PR consultant Michelle McGrath. 

The second day, called Foodie Day, will be tailored toward the more culinary-inclined with a cranberry recipe competition. Beer and wine tastings will be available with more live music to enjoy, McGrath said. 

“(For) all the food trucks and purveyors and spirit tastings, we’re focusing on local here,” McGrath said. “We’re trying to support the local community as much as we are hoping they’ll come out and support the festival.”

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By Katherine Canniff