Huckleberries, a cause for celebration

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The Idaho state fruit is the star of the show in Trout Creek, Mont., this weekend.

The 34th annual Huckleberry Festival is set to take place from 5 tonight through Sunday at 4 p.m. in the little town situated along Highway 200 in northwestern Montana.

The first festival was launched decades ago by a group of artists, as a venue for them to sell their creations. Vendors of fresh-picked huckleberries joined in also.

The event, put on by volunteers, has grown to more than 100 booths of All-American made arts and craft items and treats to eat, all prepared by local nonprofits.

Many food items available feature the festival's "purple gold" namesake which can be found in ice cream, on cheesecake, in drinks, and even atop Polish dogs.

People flock to the event each year to taste and purchase the berries, sold on the park grounds to benefit the festival.

Tonight's festivities include a puppet theater show and a performance by Dave Oliver followed by the Miss Huckleberry Pageant and karaoke.

The Trout Creek Fire Department offers its Saturday and Sunday morning huckleberry pancake breakfasts, and both children and adults bake the tastiest recipes they know for the honor of competing in the Huckleberry Dessert Contest.

Scheduled events include entertainment on stage throughout the weekend, a parade, 5K fun run, dancing under the stars, dog agility demonstration, huckleberry homesteader pentathlon, an auction, children's activities, horseshoe contest and interfaith worship service.

Free parking and entrance to the park.

Info: huckleberryfestival.com

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