The end of July and beginning of August is peak blueberry season in the Endless Mountains of Pennsylvania, and nobody celebrates blueberries like Montrose. It’s the seat of Susquehanna County where Coterra operates in the Marcellus Shale. The 41st Blueberry Festival at Montrose was put on by the Susquehanna County Historical Society and Free Library Association and returned as the full-scale event that locals remembered before the pandemic.
We at Coterra were happy to give them a boost with a monetary donation this year. The festival is staffed largely by seasoned volunteers – hundreds of them – but contributions from local businesses are integral to preparing for the event.
“Companies like Coterra are the foundation of this festival,” said Steve Spero, vice president of the Historical Society and Library board. “Without them, we wouldn’t have the funds to get started, buy the supplies, and rent the chairs and tents. It’s important for people to realize that these corporations and their help are the underpinning of the festival.”
Blueberry Festival patrons come ready to eat and to shop. Numerous used book tents are set up across the town’s Monument Square, interspersed by food booths. You can purchase blueberries by the quart, blueberry muffins, pies, cobblers, and jelly. Each of the two days of the event begins with a blueberry pancake breakfast.
Other energy-related companies that played a big role in the festival were DT Midstream, Leatherstocking, Claverack, and our friends at Williams, who supplied a large tent in the middle of everything to provide shade for those eating or just needing a break from the hot sun. Many of the key sponsors also provided manpower to move donated books from storage to the many tents that dotted Monument Square.
“I’m confident that I could get volunteers to do that work, but it would have taken four or five times the amount of time to get the work done,” Spero remarked. “Employees who are already used to working together can accomplish tasks faster. It takes a lot of stress off our staff.”
Coterra’s contribution was through the NEPA Gives initiative and sponsored the very popular Commemorative Booth set up in front of the Historical Society’s museum. Local residents and visitors alike were scooping up Festival clothing and coffee mugs and getting great deals on overstock from previous years.
Spero was constantly on the move, crisscrossing the square, making sure that everything was going smoothly and that attendees were having a good time. As he paused at one of many food stands, he said, “The corporate support also allowed us to keep food prices at 2019 levels. We realize that budgets are strained right now, so we wanted to keep things affordable for families.”