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Blueberry Jubilee 5K changed to virtual event

While the annual Blueberry Jubilee has been tentatively rescheduled for Oct. 3, the Blueberry Jubilee 5K and 1 Mile Run hosted by the Rotary Club of Poplarville is scheduled for September and will be held virtually due to COVID-19.

“We really wanted to do it [in-person] like we have for many, many years, but we weren’t able to have that many people together in one place,” Poplarville Rotarian Tara Rouse said. “No one wants to wear a mask when they’re running either because it’s hard to breathe and as we all know it’s very hot.”

The run will take place from Sept. 1 through Sept. 30 so participants can complete the run at any time during the month on their own.

“It’s kind of an honor system,” Rouse said.

“We decided to just go ahead and try the virtual run this year, and hopefully be able to go back to everything as usual at our regular run in July [of next year],” Rouse said.

All of this year’s participants will still receive a shirt and a finisher medal.

Rouse said the organization considered canceling this year’s run altogether, but ultimately decided to host it virtually.

“We certainly don’t want anyone to get sick for any type of event we hold,” Rouse said.

Proceeds from the event go to the Poplarville community and help fund a scholarship for a Pearl River Community College student.

“We’re hoping that people will participate because the money does go to a great cause,” Rouse said.

The only sponsor of this year’s event is Mississippi Power Company. Rouse said members of Poplarville Rotary Club did not feel comfortable asking local businesses to sponsor the event when many are already struggling from the financial impact of COVID-19.

Rouse said one benefit of the virtual run is people in other states will be able to participate if they choose.

Those interested in taking part in the virtual 5K and one mile run can register at raceroster.com/30680 before Aug. 31. The race fee is $25 and all participants will receive a race shirt and finisher medal by mail. Race times can be entered on the raceroster.com website.