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Blue Plum Festival dos and don'ts

Evan Mays • Updated May 30, 2018 at 6:08 PM

Attending the Blue Plum Festival this weekend? Here’s what you need to know:

The annual music, arts and crafts festival will be Friday and Saturday in Founders Park in downtown Johnson City.

With the exception of food and rides, the festival is free of charge, and it begins Friday at 4 p.m. Parking is free on city lots, but festival planners advise visitors to park in the Northeast State Community College parking garage all weekend, entering on Buffalo Street. Additionally, shuttles will be transporting attendees between the train show and the downtown area.

Multiple vendors will serve alcohol at the festival, so remember to bring your ID. No outside alcohol will be allowed into the festival, but there will be a variety of vendors from which to choose.

Attendees are advised not to bring their dogs to the festival. Festival planners say big crowds and high temperatures could spell trouble for animals.

As you may know, subtropical storm Alberto has been wreaking havoc on those looking to start the summer off with outdoor activities. The remnants of Alberto might be seen at Blue Plum, with a 50 percent chance of thunderstorms Friday evening and a 60 percent chance of thunderstorms on Saturday.

But anyone looking for a good time with some good tunes and fun activities should not be deterred: bring your umbrellas and ponchos, because rain or shine, the show will go on.

Festival Director Caroline Abercrombie said she would encourage anyone with questions about the event to visit the Blue Plum Festival website at blueplum.org. On the site, you can find a lineup of bands and artists performing at the festival, a schedule of events happening during the festival, tips on what you should and shouldn’t bring, information on the 5K race and information for anyone looking to volunteer.

“Our festival is run by volunteers,” Abercrombie said, “and we would definitely encourage anyone interested in helping to sign up.”

If you like a variety of music, you’ll find yourself right at home at the Blue Plum Festival. The festival will offer popular bands such as Big Daddy Love and The Hip Abduction. Additionally, some homegrown artists from our own community will be featured, such as Ed Snodderly, Seth Thomas and the Daniel Couper Band, to name a few.

The Blue Plum Festival began in the 1990s as a way to honor Henry Johnson, the founder of Johnson City.

Johnson founded Johnson City in 1865, and the city was officially chartered in 1869. Henry Johnson was unanimously elected as the city’s first mayor in 1870. He was a postmaster in the city’s post office and built the city’s first train depot. Johnson died in 1874 at the age of 64.

“The festival is our way of giving (Johnson) recognition for all of his accomplishments that led to the founding of our city,” Abercrombie said.

This article has been amended to revise the fact that shuttles will only be transporting attendees between the train show and the downtown area.

 

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