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Spectators defy smoke from forest fires to attend Blackberry Jam Festival in Lowell

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By LYDIA PLAHN/for The Herald  —   Despite the smoky morning created by forest fires, cars lined the streets in Lowell this past weekend during the Blackberry Jam Festival.

Spectators stretched from one end of Rolling Rock Park to the other selling handmade crafts, tie-dye shirts and other treats. While many time-honored events were no longer held, spectators were treated to live music, contests and food.

Jam volunteers Dennis and Janine were decked out in their Blackberry Jam shirts during festivities. Lydia Plahn photo

The Jam kicked off Saturday morning with a parade through town that included horses, fire trucks, Smokey Bear, tractors and ATVs 

Musicians and magicians took over Banner Bank Pavilion for performances. On Saturday it was Molly Martink and Badlands. The Fox Hollow Boys closed the day. Sunday morning a church service was held. Later, Dr. Delusions Illusions Magic Show and the Alder Street Band performed.

True to its name, the Blackberry Jam had multiple blackberry themed food items this year. These included a blackberry grilled cheese and the usual blackberry cobbler sold by the Lowell High School football team. The food court had 12 vendors selling everything from shaved ice to chicken wings. Plank Town Brewing and McKenzie Crest Wines sold beverages.

It was not all food and music. Throughout the weekend there were multiple competitive events. The greased pole climb contest lasted through Saturday and Sunday. Bryson McCart won the under 14 division, and Wyatt Smith won the over 14 division. Both took home $50.

The first 20-person cornhole tournament was also part of the jam this year. It was won by the team of Brad Anderson and Bryan Etchison. There was also a horseshoe tournament and 3 vs. 3 basketball tournament.

The Jam also brought a variety of other attractions to Lowell, including a community garage sale that included 22 separate sellers. The Lowell public library also hosted a sale of books, DVDs and CDs.

Lydia Plahn,lowell high school,the herald,correspondent,OSAA mask mandate
Lydia Plahn is a recent Lowell High School graduate who plans to attend the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University near Chicago this fall.


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