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Blueberry Jubilee seeks ideas

Spring in the air means many things, but residents with a taste for fruit invariably start to think of blueberries.

This time of the year the Blueberry Jubilee Council gears up for the second Saturday in June. Upwards of 10,000 people will come from miles around and from out of state to sample a wide variety of food, fun and bargains. The Jubilee’s goal is to promote Poplarville and the blueberry industry in Pearl River County and to provide grants for programs and projects for the community.

Managing that many people and seeing that there are a wide range of activities available requires the coordination of committees.

At its March meeting, the council heard status reports on several of the facets of the event.

One of the more important items and a signature of the Jubilee is the design used on the T-shirts and incorporated into the Jubilee poster design.

Council president Mark Bridgers said design ideas should be submitted by the end of March. A finished design be need not be submitted as had necessary in previous years. An idea or simple sketch would be sufficient, he said. The company that produces the T-shirts will complete the design process.

Mary Etta Moody with the Poplarville Storytellers Guild updated the council on preparations for that group’s events at the Jubilee.

Moody said this year the Friday evening events would be expanded with the addition of another musical group. The newly added Cross Tie will start the evening at 6 with an hour of bluegrass music followed by an hour of storytelling from members of the guild. The evening will be capped by Jubilee veterans The Driskill Mountain Boys, a bluegrass band.

All of Friday’s storytelling activities will be at the regular Jubilee site in the parking lot of the Poplarville school district offices on South Julia Street, one block off of Main Street. In case of rain, those events will be in the First United Methodist Church Youth Building four blocks further down Julia Street.

Saturday’s storytelling starts a 9 a.m. and continues until 3 p.m. at the Youth Building.

The next meeting of the Blueberry Jubilee Council is 5:30 p.m. Monday, April 7.

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Blueberries are the second most popular berry in the United States.  

A one-cup serving of fresh blueberries gives 5 grams of fiber (more than most fruits and vegetables) at a cost of only 80 calories.

There has been a 50 percent increase in consumption of blueberries during the last 10 years.

Indians in the Northwest Territory smoked wild blueberries to preserve them for the winter.

Blueberries contain no cholesterol or fat and are also low in calories. They are a good source of vitamin C and fiber.

Blueberries are ranked No. 1 in antioxidant activity compared with 40 other commercially available fruits and vegetables. That means a serving of blueberries has more of the antioxidant power you need to fight aging, cancer and heart disease.

Blueberry season is from May to September. Look for berries with a silvery ‘bloom’, this is a natural protective coating. They should be refrigerated as quickly as possible and kept dry. Do not wash until you are ready to use them. They will last for up to two weeks if stored properly.