WILTON — Participants in Saturday morning’s 31st annual Wilton Blueberry Festival Parade waited about two hours in the rain after lining up off Route 156 at Western Maine Expo.

For Megan Wolf of Jay, it was worth the wait. It was also a chance to show off her and her mother’s sewing, design and fashion prowess for two Shetland sheepdogs and their Sheltie-sized covered wagon. They were representing Czar’s Shelties of Jay.

Going along with the parade’s theme, “A Little Bit of Country — goes a long way,” the women designed a sheriff’s outfit — complete with holster, gun, badge and blue cloth hat for Hojo, a 6-year-old Sheltie.

Shilo, a 3-year-old Sheltie, was clothed in a pretty blue-and-white dress with white lace trim and tiny blueberry-patterned white sneakers.

“We love it,” Wolf said of the parade and blueberry festival. “We do it every year.”

It was Hojo’s fourth year and Shilo’s first. Mom and daughter made the dogs little sneakers for their front feet because last year the pavement was so hot it hurt their feet. No worries about that this year. It was 60 degrees, overcast, foggy and still raining by 8:15 a.m.


Wolf said Shilo loves to get dressed up. It’s bagpipes that she’s not too keen about, especially when there were two groups of pipers and drummers warming up nearby.

“They’re very well behaved,” Wolf said of the two Shelties. “They don’t bark or anything. They’re very, very good.”

Hojo, whom she said she named after her favorite Anime character as a child, snoozed off-and-on inside the covered wagon while Shilo kept trying to distance herself from the pipers.

Last year, Hojo and Wolf dressed as blueberry pickers. Hojo got to wear denim overalls with blueberries in his pockets.

“It was really, really cute,” Wolf said. “We got third place last year.”

But that was without trying. This year, Wolf said she and her mom went all out, shooting for first place. Any money they win will be donated to the animal shelter.


She said they worked pretty hard on the covered wagon cart and their efforts showed. Three frying pans of different sizes, a coil of rope and a garden trowel hung on one side, while little barrels of blueberries adorned both sides. A miniature lantern even hung from one of the wagon ribs.

“It’s fun,” Wolf said. “We don’t have a life so we go all out.”

A stuffed horse sporting denim overalls sat in the wagon seat holding the reins which were attached to the cart’s handle.

“I’m going to pull (the wagon), Hojo’s going to ride in it and, hopefully, when we get to the judges, Shilo’s going to do some of her tricks,” Wolf said.

She said Shilo loves to go on long walks.

“She’ll probably jog the entire way,” Wolf said. Hojo “on the other hand, I would be dragging him the whole way, so that’s why we have him in the wagon.”


At 8:29 a.m., the WKTJ disc jockey broadcasting live from the parade route near Wilton Public Library alerted listeners that the blueberry festival parade would happen rain or shine.

“The parade is still on despite the rain, so come on down,” he said.

Traffic was detoured from the downtown portion of Route 156, also called the Weld Road, once the parade got underway at 9 a.m. And at that precise moment, the rain stopped and the sky began clearing as if by magic.

Color guards headed down the center of Weld Road, both sides of which were lined with parked vehicles.

A tractor-pulled float lined with hay bales and decorated with sunflowers and daisies hauled waving women onto the road, followed by a long line of antique tractors. People of all ages sitting in chairs or standing along the road returned waves and smiles.

Soon, spirited members of the Smiling Goat Precision Juggling Corp marched out. They were followed by a New England Patriots recreational vehicle, a troop of Boy Scouts and Wolf pulling the wagon while guiding Hojo and Shilo on leashes.

As the parade, which lasted about an hour, progressed toward the downtown and Wilson Pond, sunshine lit up the area.

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