Cranberry Festival draws big crowds

While it draws a lot of people and attention, Oktoberfest isn’t the only fest in our area this weekend.

Just a few miles away, Warrens’ Cranberry Festival is in full swing and it’s bringing in thousands of people.

Warrens’ population is less than 400 people. But during the fest, it hosts more than 100,000.

And while the number of people is eye-catching, so is a new attraction at this year’s Cranberry Festival.

It’s not a typical day in Warrens, it would usually only take about a couple of minutes to cross from one side of town to the other but on Friday, prepare for a much longer commute.

“All the streets closed, all the lawns full and the ballpark, everything is full,” said organizer Carolyn Hableman.

Warrens Cranberry Festival claims to be the largest cranberry festival in the world, drawing in more than 1000,000 people.


“It’s the excitement of the cranberries and going to a festival,” said fest goer Kim Stahura.

“It’s a very large event. We have international people here. We’ve already seen Belgium, Germany, Australia and New Zealand. They come from everywhere,” Hableman.

And while it’s a big fest, so is a new attraction.

“We came up with the idea of the cranberry craisin whoopie pie. It’s the largest that’s ever been built,” said Hableman.

Weighing in at one ton and racking up more than 8 million calories, it’s definitely catching some attention.

Hableman said it’s a way to celebrate Cranberry Festival’s anniversary.

“We started Cranberry Festival 40 years ago,” said Hableman.

She said what started out as a way to pay off City Hall, has blossomed into a treasured tradition.

“It’s a lot of pride for me because there’s five of us left that started it and we’re all over 70, some headed to 80, and we’re all still doing it and we’re all having fun and most fun of all is to watch the people and to watch the people having fun,” said Hableman.

So whether you’re here for the cranberries, or a song to go with your cranberry cream puff, a trip to the Warrens Cranberry Festival will give you a taste of the little tart fruit and the town’s pride.

“It just blossomed and we have grown to this, it’s fantastic,” said Hableman.

Hableman said Oktoberfest actually helps their celebration.

She said having two big festivals running near each other at once encourages people to stay longer.

Cranberry Festival runs through the weekend ending on Sunday.