Some October festivals cancelled, but Blues Festival still planned

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Several October festivals have been cancelled due to COVID-19, but Picayune Main Street’s Rockin’ Blues Festival is still planned.

Poplarville’s annual Blueberry Jubilee, which was initially postponed from the summer to October, was cancelled outright for 2020. The 2021 Jubilee is planned for June. The Sweet Mississippi Tea Festival also cancelled all in person events related to the festival in October, and will return in October 2021.

However, the 13th annual Rockin Blues Festival in Picayune is still planned for Oct. 16 and 17. The West Canal Stage will be located next to Southern Char and a section of West Canal will be barricaded for the event.

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The two day event will be outdoors. Hand wash stations and sanitizer will be available and attendees will be asked to social distance and encouraged to wear face masks, said Jessica Tebo, a member of the Picayune Main Street Board of Directors and the Rockin Blues Festival committee.

Organizers suggest attendees dance and sit with the people they came to the event with, she said. Attendees are encouraged to bring a lawn chair, but not an ice chest as no outside drinks will be allowed. COVID-19 guidelines will be followed, said Tebo.

The state of Mississippi still has a face mask mandate and limits on the size of group gatherings that are set to be in place until Sept. 30. Both requirements have previously been extended.

On Oct. 17, the festival will feature local favorite the Solid Gold Band at 3 p.m., followed by a DJ and dancing. The swamp pop band Ryan Foret & Foret Tradition will perform from 6 to 9 p.m.

New this year, the event will also include a Meet the Artist event featuring Picayune muralist Andy Green at 3 p.m. on Oct. 17. There will be a classic car cruise on Oct. 17 at 2 p.m.

A downtown sidewalk sale will give attendees a chance to support local businesses beginning at 10 a.m. both days of the festival. There will also be a Pearl River County Arts League Memorial Art Walk in honor of Harriet Gruelich and Sylvia Staten.

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased before the day of the event. The festival is one way that Picayune Main Street raises funds for things like helping with local façade grants.

“I know it’s been a while since we’ve had anything around here. Everything’s been shut because of COVID, so we’re hoping to have a really good show that people can come out to this year,” said Tebo.

Picayune Main Street had to cancel the spring Street Festival due to the pandemic, but the fall Street Festival is still planned for November 7 and 8.