WILTON — The Select Board discussed plans Tuesday to revive the currently-canceled Wilton Blueberry Festival.

Selectperson Tom Saviello announced to the board that he and Town Manager Rhonda Irish are working on plans for a blueberry festival in Wilton with Ambition Brewing owner Jeff Chaison and Scott Lavertu, executive director of the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce.

“We’re going to try something for sure that first full weekend in August, some kind of a celebration,” Saviello said. “I want to emphasize Wilton as best as we can.”

The proposed plans include a “fun” golf tournament, an emphasis on Wilton vendors, “the blueberry breakfast” at the Lions Club, multiple prizes in the parade, and retired Chairperson Shannon Smith as the Grand Marshal.

It will likely be a smaller version than what Wilton normally hosts, Saviello said.

“It’s to keep it so we don’t lose it,” he said. “I think next year we’ll have a better plan to put into place. You give it up two years in a row, people lose their touch to it. Let’s just pick it up and see what we can do to keep it going.”


Saviello said it will not technically be called the Wilton Blueberry Festival because of “legal issues that have to be sorted out.”

The 38th annual Wilton Blueberry Festival was initially canceled by festival directors in mid-May because they felt it was “impossible to manage (COVID-19) restrictions within a public setting.” However, the Center for Disease Control lifted the mask mandate and social distancing requirements for vaccinated individuals a few days later.

Saviello encouraged anyone interested in helping with the festival to contact Irish.

In other business, the board heard from Irish about the Wilson Lake retaining wall. The board approved a plan to update the retaining wall and waterfront area in April.

Irish received an engineering estimate for the project from Sevee & Maher Engineers of $760,620 with a 20% contingency, “which fits in with” Irish’s expectations. This figure could increase or decrease when it goes out to bid.

Irish is also applying on behalf of the town for “congressional directive for infrastructure funding” that would help finance the construction on the retaining wall. She did not say how much money the grant would bring in.

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