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Blue Plum lineup, activities announced

April 23rd, 2014 9:07 pm by Tony Casey

Blue Plum lineup, activities announced

Down Home owner Ed Snodderly announces the musical acts that will perform in this year's Blue Plum Festival. (Tony Duncan/Johnson City Press)

The Blue Plum Festival will have a three-pronged, or three-staged approach to the musical acts that will perform at this year’s event.

The acts that will be performing at the festival’s 15th Anniversary Celebration were announced Wednesday by Ed Snodderly of the Down Home at a Blue Plum Festival news conference at the Lady of the Fountain statue in downtown Johnson City. The festival is put on by the Friends of Olde Downtowne.

“If you’ve not noticed, it’s eclectic and eccentric,” Snodderly said after announcing some of the acts that will grace the Southern, Jazz and Fountain Square stages June 6-8.

Participating musicians include the David Bromberg Band and Humming House on the Fountain Square Stage on Friday night; Bill Kirchen Band and Jeff Austin Band on Saturday night; with Squash Blossoms, Malcolm Holcombe and Josh Oliver on the Southern Stage. The East Tennessee State University-sponsored Jazz Stage will feature performances by Moment’s Notice, Rich Willey, The Carolina Jazz Quartet, and also feature local artists Greyscale and The Jazz Doctors.

“What do y’all think?” Snodderly asked the several dozen in attendance at the announcement, which was replied to with a delayed applause break.

It was revealed there will be a venue for the Storytelling Stage that will feature tellers from East Tennessee State University as well as the International Storytelling Center in Jonesborough. The festival also will include the criterium bike race, a 5K road race and things for the “‘tweens” to enjoy. Blue Plum media chairwoman Dianna Cantler said more announcements will be on the way in regard to festival events.

In addition to the Blue Plum Fast 5K, there will be a walking section called “Dress Up for Downtown,” where participants will be asked to complete the course as they don formal wear.

Holston Distributing’s Mike Hubbard was on hand to share that it would be the main sponsor of the event.

“It’s always awesome to be downtown,” Hubbard said.

Holston had been involved in the event in some capacity for years, and was happy to be back in the driver’s seat as the main sponsor. Hubbard announced plans to have a designated driver program where participating drivers would be given free stuff, while also having local taxi services offering rides to those who might have had too much to drink. Holston’s title sponsorship is good for five years, sponsor chairwoman Tracy Johnson told the crowd.

“Our goal is to provide resources to the Friends of Olde Downtowne that will ensure a safe and responsible festival,” Frank Wood, Holston president, said in a release.

The name Blue Plum originates from the 19th century post office that served the East Tennessee region that would become Johnson City. Having turned into a local festival staple, the event has continued to evolve, but organizers say it couldn’t go on without the help of hundreds of volunteers. They’re still looking for people who want to participate in helping with the festival. Interested parties can email blueplumdirector@gmail.com.

Any additional information can be gathered at the event’s redesigned website: www.blueplum.org.

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