Blueberry Jubilee sees steady crowd

Published 3:38 am Sunday, June 15, 2008

Despite fear of rain, the 25th annual Blueberry Jubilee will go down as a success.

Mark Bridgers, Blueberry Council co-chairman, said weather reports had multiple scattered showers everywhere but in Poplarville. His co-chairperson, Shirley Wiltshire, said that after a slow start the crowds appeared steady and remained fairly constant, an observation echoed by Poplarville Fire Chief Kris Foster.

Foster also said, with three-quarters of the day over, that the event had seen only two minor heat-related medical incidents.

While final reports on vendor sales were not available, Wiltshire said the number of vendors that had signed to participate was probably the best the event had seen, and most certainly the number is back to pre-Katrina levels.

Another event that has grown in recent years, the car show, was well received. Although participation — one estimate was about 80 cars — was not what organizers originally anticipated, one out-of-town visitor said he “thoroughly enjoyed the event.”

Bridgers said the car show expanded the footprint of Jubilee and made activities seem more spread out. The car show was held in the parking lot of BankPlus, near the usual upper limit of the Jubilee at the Pearl River County Courthouse.

Most activities appeared well attended and the annual Blueberry pancake breakfast held at Pearl River Drug Company had a steady line of hungry visitors.

The PTA 5K Run, which kicked off Jubilee events at 8 a.m., possibly drew a slightly smaller field of runners but still saw participants from Gulfport to Jackson, including Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant. Bryant also was in Poplarville several weeks ago when he spoke at the Chamber of Commerce’s Citizen of the Year banquet.