Cranberry farming has been a staple of the South Beach for more than a century, and the fall harvest season is celebrated with the annual Westport-Grayland Chamber of Commerce and Grays Harbor Tourism Cranberry Harvest Festival taking place on Oct. 9-10 in Grayland.
Festivities center around the Grayland Community Hall at 2601 Cranberry Road in Grayland. The festival kicks off at 10 a.m. Saturday and features cranberry bog tours, numerous vendors, a cranberry eating contest, parade and more.
There will be two tours of the bogs this year, both Saturday, 10:30 a.m.-noon and 1:30-3 p.m. Tickets go on sale at the community hall when the festival opens at 10 a.m. The tours are sponsored by the Washington Cranberry Alliance. If you’re interested in a tour it’s best to buy your tickets early to ensure space as it is limited.
Back this year is the annual “big berry” contest, where growers vie for the title of largest cranberry taken during the year’s harvest. The weigh-in starts at 10 a.m. and continues to 5 p.m. The big berry winner will be announced and presented a trophy at 12:30 p.m. Sunday.
There will be vendors inside and outside open throughout the day Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Firefly Parade, sponsored by the South Beach Regional Fire Authority, will begin staging outside the Grayland Community Hall at 6:30 p.m. This typically draws numerous colorful entries and begins at 7:30 p.m., running alongside State Route 105.
Sunday, the cranberry eating contest kicks off at 1 p.m., where competitors vie against one another to eat the most raw cranberries. At 2 p.m. the winner of a drawing for a weekend on the cranberry coast contest will be announced.
For more information visit the Westport-Grayland Chamber of Commerce website, westportgrayland-chamber.org/.