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Blueberry festival to help celebrate city’s anniversary

Arts and crafts vendors and sponsors still have an opportunity to reserve space for the 30th annual Alabama Blueberry Festival set for June 19 at Burnt Corn Creek Park.

The event, coordinated by the Greater Brewton Area Chamber of Commerce, will be held in conjunction with a celebration commemorating Brewton’s 125th anniversary.

Michelle Hart, an organizer of the event, said the Brewton Quality of Life organization is planning a music festival to be held Friday, June 18, to kick off the weekend.

“The music festival will take place at 7 p.m. at The Ritz downtown,” Hart said. “Featured will be Rusty Golden and some of his friends. They will be joined by several award winning songwriters from Nashville, such as Richard Leigh, Jimbeau Hinson, Carl Jackson and Larry Cordle.”

Hart said the Rowell Bluegrass band will also be on hand for the event. Tickets are $15 each with limited space for the concert.

“We plan of featuring some of our local talent a little early by having an Evening of Art at the Hourglass,” she said. “These artists will be at the festival, but we will have a preview of our locals and give them the opportunity to be featured.”

The Celebrating Brewton weekend, including the 30th anniversary of the Blueberry Festival and the 125th anniversary of Brewton, are part of Alabama’s year-long Small Towns and Downtowns celebration.

As part of the anniversary celebration, there will be an historic marker dedication at Bank of Brewton, Alabama’s oldest bank; Brewton and East Brewton retailers will be having sidewalk sales, later business hours and restaurant specials. There will be bike carriage rides, an outdoor Tour of Homes, a golf tournament at Dogwood Hills Municipal Golf Course, and a bridge tournament at the Country Club of Brewton. Several area churches are also having homecomings.

The Blueberry Festival will kick off at 9 a.m. Saturday with entertainment and activities planned until 5 p.m., Hart said.

Among the activities will be arts and crafts; an antique car show; motorcycle show and ride; live all-day entertainment; food court; children’s entertainment.

The event will be complete with a location set up to sell blueberries and blueberry bushes. Also available will be the annual edition of the Blueberry Festival cookbook as well as specially designed T-shirts.

Hart said a special children’s section will feature a shuttle train, waterslide, bungee, inflatables, obstacle course, maze, petting zoo pony rides and face painting.

“The food court is a little different this year,” Hart said. “We have Angelita Jackson from Jasper who will have it this year. She will have, hamburgers, Polish sausage, Philly cheese steaks, hotdogs, chicken tenders, fish, and fries”

After the close of the festival, the public will be treated to an outdoor movie followed by fireworks to end the evening, Hart said.

Area churches have been asked to schedule homecomings and reunions for this summer as part of the Alabama Bureau of Tourism’s Year of Alabama Small Towns and Downtowns.

For information on booth space availability for arts and crafts vendors, or to find out more about the anniversary celebration, contact the Greater Brewton Area Chamber of Commerce at 867-3224.