By Jack Chavez, Staff Writer
(Aug. 4, 2022) Georgia isn’t the only state that can grow a mean peach.
Locals and visitors alike will have a chance to take in a variety of vendors and attractions — and, of course, peaches — at the 14th annual Peach Festival on Saturday at the Calvin B. Taylor Museum.
The festival is also sponsored by the museum located at 208 N. Main Street.
“It’s just a fun day on the lawn,” said museum Curator Susan Taylor. “The whole town usually gets involved with different peach things — businesses with peach specials. It all started here at the Taylor House. It’s a great day with the family. Learn some history and have some peaches.”
The festival goes from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The morning schedule includes an opening ceremony and a cooking demo with local chef and culinary instructor Phil Cropper. There will also be a pie-baking contest in the afternoon, but Taylor said the museum asks that contestants drop their pies off no later than 11 a.m. The contest can feature up to 13 contestants.
There will be more cooking demos as well as tours of the Taylor House throughout the festival. Musical act the Bilenki Duo will be performing as well as artists from Walnut Hill Violin Studio. There will be a magician on tap and “ongoing games” facilitated by the Worcester Youth and Family Counseling Services Inc, Taylor said.
The event is outdoors, aside from the house tours.
Taylor said that the inspiration for the festival came during research for one of the museum’s exhibits about Berlin’s history from 1900 to 1950. Through that research, museum staff came upon articles about the Harrison Nurseries, which for a time was the largest fruit and ornamental tree nursery in the world, and some “huge” horticultural society meetings it held on their grounds.
“The first one we read about had a little festival and they talked about the peach crop,” Taylor said. “They had the largest variety of peaches. There were over 3,000 acres all around the shore with the nurseries.”
“It’s interesting bringing back one of these old events. We based the Peach Festival off of those horticultural society meetings.”
Since its inception in 2009, the festival has become so successful that some people plan their trip to the area around the festival, which is always on the first Saturday of August, Taylor said.
“Since the beginning, it’s been popular,” Taylor said. “The whole town has been involved with it. It’s a really nice family activity where you can explore the history of Berlin and enjoy the shops. The whole town is a good place to visit, and (the festival) is great because of the local peaches we serve. It’s a fun event.”
For more information or to enter the pie-baking contest, visit https://taylorhousemuseum.org or call 410-641-1019.