Members of the Michigan blueberry industry — along with the state’s beauty pageant queen — were on hand at a South Haven, Mich., Wal-Mart Supercenter Aug. 6 to help celebrate the 45th Annual National Blueberry Festival and spotlight local growers.

The growers met and discussed their products and the industry, while also displaying product to local consumers at the event co-sponsored by Wal-Mart and Naturipe Farms, Naples, Fla.

Attendees were entertained by a demonstration from a local chef featuring Michigan blueberries and a per-formance by country music singer/songwriter Billy Dean. Miss Michigan, Nicole Blaszczyk, also greeted store customers and signed autographs.

Michigan growers celebrate with 45th Annual National Blueberry Festival

Courtesy Naturipe Farms

Robert Verloop (from left), senior vice president of sales and marketing for Naturipe Farms; Art Thomas, Michigan blueberry grower; Miss Michigan Nicole Blaszczyk; Frank Bragg, chief executive officer for Michigan Blueberry Growers; and Robert Craig, director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture, at Naturipe's event Aug. 6 at a Walmart in South Haven, Mich.