Blackberry Jam is fun for young and not so young

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2018 Blackberry Jam

Tray & Jo Ann Eppes perform their popular songs in their bluesy style.

Those who braved Saturday’s mid-morning light rain and lingering clouds that threatened more rain weren’t disappointed. The light shower was short-lived; the threat that kept the early day crowds at bay didn’t materialize and the 15th annual Blackberry Jam at Boyd Mill Farm went on as planned.

Early day performers included 13-year-old Lauren McKenzie and popular children’s performers Farmer Jason and Roger Day. Tray and Jo Ann Eppes played blues, country and rock ’n’ roll oldies, and Dale Whitehead and Carol Warren — Boyd Mill Farm owners and founders of the Blackberry Festival — even joined them for a song.

Singer/songwriter Joe Hott, who recently performed with Vince Gill, has “Hott sauced bluegrass music and is bringing back old country music,” said emcee Reckless Johnny Wales as he introduced a young version of the late Hank Williams.

The well-shaded children’s area opened ahead of schedule to the delight of the dozens of little ones who were ready to move. One of the more popular spots was the free face painting tent, and from tots to teens, almost everyone took a whirl with a hoola-hoop. The crafty kids made a beaded necklace or bracelet, blinged their Blackberry Jam T-shirt, or a shirt of their own, and painted a mural. The reading tent with a ground blanket and a few throw pillows had a large variety of books for self-readers and a volunteer reader for the younger kids.  

The large Jenga game is still popular with kids and adults and until the crowds began pouring in, the kids had plenty of space to stretch their little legs.

Carole Robinson may be contacted at

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