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High-energy band DETOURcountry to perform at this year’s Mortlach Berry Festival

The 15th annual festival occurs Saturday, June 15, in the small village about 30 minutes west of Moose Jaw on Highway 1. 

MOOSEJAWTOAY.COM — High-energy band DETOURcountry is bringing its foot-stomping, honky-tonking powerhouse of classic hits and ’90s gems to this year’s Mortlach Saskatoon Berry Festival, taking audiences on an unforgettable journey through the heart and soul of country music.

The 15th annual festival occurs Saturday, June 15, in the small village about 30 minutes west of Moose Jaw on Highway 1. 

The event — which features the tagline, “5,000 people can’t be wrong” — launches with a pancake breakfast from 8 to 10 a.m. at the hall, followed by fun and activities throughout the day in this west-central Saskatchewan community.

Following the breakfast, a parade kicks off at 11 a.m. on Main Street. Anyone can join, but participants should contact the festival committee first to register.

From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., more than 50 vendors will hawk their wares and likely have something that a festivalgoer might want, from food to crafts to books, from health supplements, linens, jewelry and other trinkets. 

Other activities include a pie-eating contest, axe throwing, beer gardens and wagon rides. There will also be many activities for children, from bouncy castles to face painting to a magician. 

As for those ever-popular saskatoon berry pies, attendees can purchase — and savour — a whole pie or a slice in the hall beginning around 9 a.m. until quantities run out. However, organizers suggest people pre-order a pie to guarantee receiving one because they usually sell out quickly.

Visitors can pre-order online or through a QR code on the festival’s Facebook page. 

Christine Johnson, a festival committee member, said it was great that the festival was celebrating its 15th year and that the community had been holding it for nearly two decades. The festival had “huge importance” for the community because of how many people it attracted — with some returning throughout the year as tourists.

“We look forward to it every single year. And I know people in Moose Jaw and Regina — just people I’ve spoken to about it — they all know about it, and everybody tries to make a point to come out,” she continued.

Johnson was excited to listen to DETOURcountry, as the group seemed like a “really good bunch of guys” with plenty of high energy. Furthermore, she encouraged people to attend the parade since it was one of the more popular festival activities and helped promote businesses in town.

Meanwhile, she thought the festival overall would be plenty of fun and expected thousands of people to attend rain or shine. 

DETOURcountry pays homage to the legends who shaped the genre by including iconic tunes from country greats such as Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, Johnny Lee and Hank Williams Sr.

Furthermore, the band dives into the vibrant country era of the ’90s and celebrates the sounds of that decade by bringing to life hits from artists like Alan Jackson, Brooks & Dunn, Dwight Yoakam, George Strait, Little Texas and Garth Brooks.

This is Johnson’s first year on the organizing committee after she moved to Mortlach about a year ago. She wanted to become more involved in the community and meet people, and since she had attended a few festivals previously, she decided to join the committee since it “seemed like a pretty neat thing” to see how everything was put together.

“And small-town living, it’s amazing. You can’t compare it with the big city,” she added. 

The Mortlach Saskatoon Berry Festival can be found on Facebook