This year’s Blueberry Festival was bursting at the seams Saturday as a record number of participants and vendors celebrated the 34th annual event.
“It may have been hot outside, but that didn’t keep the people away,” said Debi Pugh with the Greater Brewton Area Chamber of Commerce.
Visitors were greeted 3with nearly 100 booths filled with everything from hair bows and housewares to cooking ingredients and honey – and of course, blueberries. This year, the Escambia County Association of Blueberry Growers was selling the famous fruit by the droves.
There was a record-number of participants in this year’s car show, as well, Pugh said.
“We had 119 cars registered, and we were thrilled,” she said. “And the food vendors couldn’t have been more pleased. I know for a fact that most of them sold out of food, and that says something.”
The Friday night street dance, which was added this year, also drew an estimated 100 people downtown – a good number considering the wet, rainy weather that pushed the opening of the show back for nearly an hour.
One of the new draws to this year’s festival was the city’s leadership group fundraiser, the Blueberry Regatta. The group looks to raise $100,000 to renovate the playground at Dogwood Hills Municipal Golf Course.
Connie Baggett, a group member and the city’s director of program development, said, “The regatta was great fun and will hopefully gets us started toward our goal. We have had some businesses donate already and hope to see more. Peach Motors generously sponsored the event and then some, and Trustmark has donated as well.
“The participants were great sports and all seven teams finished. That’s a good race in my book.”
Winners were the Fire Dawgs, led by Kim Carroll, at nine minutes; Georgia Pacific at 10 minutes; and D.W. McMillan Hospital at 11 minutes, led by Jamie Kilcrease and Missy Kilcrease.
Other team tesults are as follows with times and team captains:
• The Co-ops, 13 minutes, David Strevel;
• Dawkins Crew, 14 minutes, Logan Dawkins;
• DGHC Turnip Crew, 16 minutes, Mark Bryant; and,
• Two Broke Girls, 25 minutes, Brenda Hart and Terri Tidwell.
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