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Blueberry Jubilee committee is counting down the days

One month and counting until the 25th edition of Poplarville’s feature event, the Blueberry Jubilee, fills the city with food, fun and visitors galore.

At the May meeting of the Blueberry Jubilee Council on Monday several key elements were finalized.

This year the Blueberry Jubilee pageant will be held on Saturday, May 31, two weeks before Jubilee day on June 14. It will be held at the Poplarville Lower Elementary School auditorium, beginning at 9 a.m.

The pageant selects the bevy of young ladies, ages infant to 18 years, who will be queens for the event and represent the Blueberry Jubilee during the year. The overall queen of the event, Miss Blueberry, is the winner of the 16-18 age grouping.

Prior to this year the pageant normally occurred on Saturday, one week before the Jubilee. Following its April meeting the council had said the date for the Jubilee Pageant had not been finalized.

The council learned Monday that pageant applications will be available within the week at several locations and also could be found on the Blueberry Web site, blueberryjubilee.com . Questions and information is available by calling her at 601-365-9185.

The council also saw the final logo design for the 2008 Blueberry Jubilee that will adorn the popular Jubilee T-shirts and be used for the unique posters that will be on sale for collectors.

Mark Bridgers, co-chairmen of the council, said the T-shirts would be on sale locally at Apple’s Ltd., on Main Street and at all local banks beginning about June 5 or 6; Jubilee day, June 14, the shirts and posters can be bought at the main Jubilee site at the drive-through of Mississippi Power Company on South Julia Street.

Tammy Krutzfelt said application and information requests for the PTA 5K Run are strong. The 5K run begins at 8 a.m. on Main Street in front of the Pearl River County Courthouse and draws runners from a three-state area.

A companion event, the Jubilee 1-mile Fun Run/Walk, is returning to the Jubilee after a four-year absence. The route begins on South Julia Street, goes north and then returns after an extended loop by the Movie Star building.

The Fun Run/Walk begins immediately after all runners in the 5K event are finished and have completed their time sign-ins.

Details of tours to the USDA Research Center also were given the council. The hour-long tours will load behind the courthouse for a ride to the center where visitors can cool down and learn about the horticulture work, including the blueberry itself, that the center conducts.

The tours begin at 9 a.m. and continue through the day until 3 p.m.

Another event staged during the Jubilee that has grown in the last several years is the Poplarville Classic Car Club Open Car Show. Organizers are using the parking lot of BankPlus and two adjacent streets to the north of the main Jubilee area and part of the now vacant Jr. Food Mart parking area.

Upwards of 150 unique and vintage cars are expected to be on display. Time for the show is 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

For the children there will be a coloring contest, held in coordination with area schools during May and submissions should be on display locally prior to the Jubilee.

As was learned at the April meeting, the Poplarville Storytellers have finalized their preparations for the Jubilee. Friday evening June 13, beginning at 6 p.m., two Bluegrass bands will perform at the Jubilee site in the parking lot of the Poplarville School District office on South Julia Street, interspersed with an hour of local storytelling

On Jubilee day, the storytelling will begin at 9 a.m. at the 1st Methodist Church Youth Building, three blocks from the main Jubilee site, and continues until approximately 1:30 p.m. At 2 p.m. there will be a two-hour storytelling workshop conducted by the feature storyteller of the event, Diane Williams.

Mary Etta Moody says the workshop — on using storytelling in the classroom — is free and open to anyone but would be particularly useful for teachers and librarians.

For further information about any Jubilee activities, including directions to the area and the activities, go to the Blueberry Jubilee Web site, blueberryjubilee.com .

The final Jubilee Council meeting before the Jubilee is at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 2 at the Chamber of Commerce office at the corner of North Main and West North Streets.