Lines extended out of the parking lot before the doors had even opened for St. Mary’s Church’s 2021 edition of its annual Blackberry Festival on Saturday in Metchosin.
The popular event had a new format this year, with cars going through a drive-thru to pick up pies, jams and other baked goods.
Despite this year’s festivities being less social than usual, according to event volunteer Scott Dolff – normally there is an afternoon tea put on in the church – the mobile system worked seamlessly throughout and the community response was strong.
“It’s just been a kind of fun, Metchosin-y sort of ethos and kind of ‘community meets congregation moment’ that that has been a long standing tradition,” Dolff said of past years.
While there were lots of homemade foods on sale, the pies were the star attraction at the Oct. 9 event. Pie shells are bought from a local bakery and the blackberries handpicked by volunteers from local growing operations, with some people donating berries from their acreages. Volunteers form an assembly line, filling the pie shells, covering them and running them to freezers so they are ready to bake when picked up.
A total of 300 pies were made by volunteers from the congregation, all of which were sold well before the event was over.
Funds raised will go to church programming, including supporting a recently arrived refugee family.
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