First Annual Herring Run Festival

What was that I was saying about missing out on things because they were on the weekend and I worked? A perfect example was this past weekend.

I saw signs the day I drove over to the Grist Mill Pond; “Oliver Mill festival April 11-13”.  I’d never heard of the Oliver Mill festival.

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I like to take pictures  at the Herring Run. There are bridges, stone ruins , a park with picnic tables and of course the fish ladder. There’s usually gulls  and birds and often a Great Blue Heron for photo subjects.

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Last year was a bit harder for photos than previous years because it was very crowded with people fishing and trying to kayak. All the human activity drove away some of the wildlife so I spent less time there and more time checking out alternate locations.

But back to the festival.  Another photographer I know attended on Saturday.

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I was going to take a run down there in the morning Sunday only to find out it didn’t start until 11 am. I’d just have time to get there and have to turn around and come home to work. So I did the next best thing…I looked it up on the internet.

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I found this little blip:

MIDDLEBOROUGH — This old town’s first big push to draw in tourists will be launched this weekend with a three-day party to celebrate a centuries-old annual phenomenon.

Organizers expect thousands to gather for the First Annual Herring Run Festival, based primarily at Oliver Mill Park on Route 44 but with other activities planned all over town.

Crowds of alewife and blueback herring, as they do every spring, are already making their way up the Nemasket River, adjacent to the park and considered the largest herring run in the state.

Last year, more than 850,000 herring made the trek to the 5,000 acres of spawning and nursery habitat in the river’s upper reaches where they lay eggs before returning to salt water.

That explains why I’d never heard of it before, this is the first year. Maybe next year I’ll be on that Mon- Fri schedule and able to attend for myself.

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