Puckering Up at the Chokecherry Fest

Lewistown hosts┬áthe annual Montana Chokecherry Festival the first Saturday after Labor Day each year. The festival celebrates the chokecherry – a tart wild berry that grows profusely in Central Montana.

It may be a tart berry but oh, it makes some mighty delicious treats. Lots of people bake with it and my Mom used to can the juice and then it could be made in to jelly or syrup.

A culinary competition is held the morning of the Montana Chokecherry Festival, right after a pancake breakfast is served on Main Street. There is also a fun run and many, many vendors selling an amazing variety of crafts and products.

This bright booth selling all things tie-dye caught my eye!

I made sure to also watch the “pit spitting” competition. This is serious business!

The center of the street was covered with tarps and there were officials that measured the distance for each pit spitter. They started with a childrens’s competition and finished with the adults.

As I watched each contestant I felt my mouth puckering because they needed to eat the tart berry fruit to get to the little pit.

I heard someone in the crowd mention that this contestant was last year’s winner. He definitely had style and good follow-through!

Someone said that last year’s pit spitting record was broken…I did mention that this was serious business.

Cost to enter the contest was $5. I didn’t find out what the prize was but – it could be bragging rights for the next 365 days!

The festival was fun, Main Street in downtown Lewistown was packed and everyone looked like they were thoroughly enjoying this small town festival.

It will happen again – next year – the first Saturday after Labor Day.

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