Celebrating the Cranberry Harvest

by Catherine Macallister

One of the most highly anticipated events of the Fall is just around the corner. The Nantucket Cranberry Festival is celebrating its 16th year at Milestone Cranberry Bog, where you can learn all about organic cranberries and how they’re harvested. “People come to Nantucket specifically for the Cranberry Festivals,” says Grace Hull, Director of Marketing and Communications at the Nantucket Conservation Foundation, adding that the festival is “about celebrating the cranberry harvest,” with food, fun, and games.

Head down to Milestone Bog on Saturday, October 12, where cranberries have been cultivated since 1857 across 50 acres of land. The bog is the oldest continually operated farm on-island and The Nantucket Conservation Foundation is the largest certified organic cranberry grower in the United States. The Larrabee Family has been managing cranberries for the last three generations. The Nantucket Conservation Foundation works to preserve the history of Nantucket by “…permanently conserving, maintaining, and managing natural areas and habitats and to encourage an appreciation of and interest in the Island’s natural resources.” Additionally, the Foundation works to preserve the surround wetlands and forests of the bogs, so keep your eyes peeled for the wildlife that may be around for the festival.

Starting at 11 am, head over to Milestone Cranberry Bog off of Milestone Road. You can be a part of the harvesting action through the interactive cranberry bog experience, where you can throw on waders and head into the bog. You can learn all about how they harvest cranberries at the bog and go on 20-minute self-guided tours. Two cranberry experts will be available to answer any questions and share fun facts like: Did you know that cranberries are almost 90% water?

This festival is family-friendly, with sack races, face painting, and tugs-owar, as well as a ropewalk bridge put together by the Scouts of America. Local music group 4 EZ Payments will entertain and performances by Nanpuppets and a visit from Barnaby Bear are also on the docket for the day. Tasty treats will be available for purchase from a variety of island restaurants, everything from bbq to cranberry treats. Additionally, fresh organic cranberries will be available for purchase.

Admission to the Cranberry Festival is free, with parking costing just $20 per car. Ultimately, the Festival is “about community outreach,” says Hull, who is looking forward to the event. The Cranberry Festival is one day only on Saturday, October 12, 2019 from 11am to 4pm. Join the Nantucket Conservation Foundation at Milestone Bog to celebrate the cranberry and its rich agricultural history on the island.