PRAIRIE CITY - Don't ask folks in Prairie City where they get the best huckleberries - A favorite picking site is usually a closely held secret.
But the locals will gladly share the fruits of their labors this weekend in town as they host the community's first Huckleberry Festival.
The event, set for Saturday, Aug. 4, will include activities, food and music for all ages. The festival not only showcases the taste of huckleberries, but the talents and friendliness of this pleasant town, organizers said.
In addition to special items sold in downtown stores, there will be more than 25 vendors offering arts, crafts, food and more. Throughout town, merchants will be adding a huckleberry flavor to milkshakes, candles, jams & jellies, lemonade and other items.
Local cooks and bakers will even test their skills in the Huckleberry Recipe Contest. Entrants can bring their items - baked, frozen, fried, pickled or preserved - to Uptown Girls on Front Street by 1:30 p.m., and judging will begin at 2 p.m. There will be prizes. For information on the contest, call Iva Gill, 820-4292.
The events begin with an FFA breakfast in the Park from 7:30 to 10 a.m. Also on the menu: the cheerleaders' barbecue at noon, a wine tasting from 1 to 4 p.m. on Front Street, and booths selling cotton candy, kettle corn, snow cones and other treats. The girls basketball team will hold a drawing for 25 pounds of ground beef, with a booth next to Bar WB.
A car show will fill the park with shiny classic vehicles starting at 9 a.m. and continuing through the day.
There will be a wine-tasting from 1 to 4 p.m. on Front Street.
For the kids, there will be a sawdust pile - planted with shiny coins - for mining throughout the day; face painting in the park, and fishing at McHaley Pond.
There also will be a Bike Rodeo at 2 p.m. at the Bank of Eastern Oregon lot. Sign-ups begin at 12:30 p.m., and children must be accompanied by an adult. Helmets are required. Info: Anna Gillihan, 820-4716.
Other events include a trap shoot at the rock pit next to the Prairie Wood Products co-gen plant.
Local musicians will cap the day with the Huckleberry Jam, a jam session for musicians of all ages and abilities, in the park. Anyone is welcome to play along. The audience can listen or even dance, and they are encouraged to bring a picnic basket, lawn chairs or blankets to sit on as they enjoy the music. Info: Joy Waterhouse, 820-3325.