Previous winners of the Union Fair — Maine Wild Blueberry Festival, from left, are Shannon Hopkins, 2019 Wild Blueberry Queen; Aubrey Schaeffer, 2021 Wild Blueberry Ambassador; Abigail Corelts, 2021 Wild Blueberry Ambassador runner-up; and Erin Dugan, 2019 Wild Blueberry Princess. Submitted photo

Organizers of the Union Fair — Maine Wild Blueberry Festival plan this year to bring back the long tradition of the Maine Wild Blueberry Queen competition. The event is scheduled for Friday, July 29, with the coronation ceremony at 7 p.m.

With the festival being moved to the end of July it’s hoped that more ladies, who may be eligible but couldn’t compete in years past because of the start of school/college, will be able to compete this year, according to a news release from Rick Butler, Union Fair trustee.

There are many big changes to the Maine Wild Blueberry Queen program. First, the competition is open to all ladies who are 17 to 25 years old and residents of Maine. In previous years all contestants were required to be high school graduates. Now ladies who are at least 17 years old can compete, even if they’re still in high school.

Another change is that marital status is not a factor. Both single and married ladies are invited to compete if they fall within the age range. Candidates should have a strong interest in the Maine Wild Blueberry industry as they will be representing blueberry growers and processors throughout the state.

During the competition, the candidates will be interviewed individually with the public present to determine their knowledge of Maine’s “Official State Berry.” The winner will be named the Maine Blueberry Queen. They will receive the traditional crown and sash along with a cash prize.

The duties of the Maine Wild Blueberry Queen include representing the Maine Wild Blueberry industry at many state functions, parades, and charitable events throughout the year.

Applications will be available soon online at unionfair.org.

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