MILFORD – Drawing more than 9,000 visitors last year, Milford’s annual Bug & Bud Festival, Saturday, will be jammed with activities, performances and vendors.
Activities begin with the Shipbuilder River Race at 9 a.m.
Hosted by Downtown Milford, Inc. and the Milford Parks and Recreations Department, the event will feature two races running simultaneously — a three-mile and an eight-mile kayak, double kayak, canoe and paddle board race.
The entry fee is $25 per paddler. An awards ceremony will be held at approximately noon under the tent alongside the dog park at the end of Marshall Street.
More information on The Shipbuilder River Race can be found at paddlemilford.com.
The true kickoff for many at the festival begins with the Ladybug and Tree Costume Parade led by The Bug Strutters, a Milford Community Band group.
A parade of little trees and ladybugs will be followed closely by costumed pets as they begin their walk in the parking lot of Calvary Methodist Church at 301 S.E. Front St.
In keeping with the tradition of a prize of $50 for the best tree costume and $50 for the best ladybug costume, the winning pet tree and pet ladybug will also get $50 each this year. Prizes will be announced at the amphitheater near the Milford Public Library following the parade.
Milford’s only pizza eating contest happens once a year at the Bug & Bud Festival, reserving $100 for the first-place winner.
The contest, sponsored by La Ortalana Pizza Restaurant in Milford, is in its second year and will take place on the grassed area near the Milford Library Amphitheater, close to Walnut Street, at 2 p.m.
Up to 10 contestants with three alternates will be given a large cheese pizza and will race to see who can eat it first.
First-, second- and third-place winners will also receive gift certificates for free pizza and a large bottle of soda courtesy of the contest sponsor.
Anyone interested in competing should arrive to sign up at the DMI booth on Walnut Street at 1:30 p.m.
More than 100 local vendors will also be on hand.
The Bug and Bud Festival is a free, rain or shine event. Activities and vendors will be set up in downtown Milford until 4 p.m.