The concept, on a very small scale, seemed to resemble that of Woodstock’s or Bonaroo’s. Like the Woodstock Music Festival, which took place on a dairy farm, the First Annual Blueberry Jam Music Festival took place on a blueberry farm (Drewry Farms
in Wakefield, VA). And just as the more contemporary Bonnaroo Music Festival – also hosted in a farm setting – the Blueberry Jam offered the unique and rare opportunity for overnight camping.
The event featured local musicians artist and vendors. It was charitable in nature, with all of alcohol and ticket sales and 10% of vendor sales benefiting Buy Fresh Buy Local Hampton Roads, The Virginia Peninsula Foodbank, and Five Points Community Market. The atmosphere was laid back and non-commercial with a strong and hippie vibe. The musical lineup ranged from gospel to trance with a schedule extending beyond midnight.
I had given some consideration to camping with my friend Lara Haner of the Tidewater Crop Mob, but in retrospect, I’m glad that I decided against it, because June 23rd, the day of the Blueberry Jam, will stand out as the hottest day on record – at least in my mind
Because of the extreme heat, Ava and I set out for Wakefield later in the afternoon. I love a drive out to the country on a beautiful day. Even on the hottest days, I will roll down my windows, turn up my music and Ava and I will sing along to our favorite songs. This kind of stuff is good for the soul, and I’d like to think that these are memory making moments for Ava, for they certainly are for me:)
First, Ava played in a foam machine.
After that, we went to check out the little petting zoo. As it turned out, the petting zoo belonged to the Teeny Tiny Farm.
For those of you who missed or may have forgotten Ava’s birthday party blog post, the Teeny Tiny Farm rented a bunny to us named Nala for Ava’s birthday. Nala even spent the night with us and Ava became incredibly attached to the her. When I told Ava that Nala’s owner was on the premises, Ava became hopeful of a little mini reunion with her bunny friend. Unfortunately, as we found out, the bunnies stayed back at the farm because of the heat. Poor Ava.
We started making our way toward the music stage…
I felt kind of bad walking right by this sign, but I just didn’t have the patience to pick blueberries with Ava that day :/ When I took her to pick strawberries, she left me to pick them all by myself. The same scenario was played out during another blueberry picking. Instead, we bought a pint of berries for $3. I was happy with that.
Moving onto the food and beverage area, we ran into our friend, Leslie! She had a Kombuchick
tent set up with Lenora Belle
I bought Ava a tea from Leslie and a cookie from Lenora Blue.
We bought some hand cut french fries and then finally moved on to the stage.
It was a relief to sit down. I’d been lugging around a ridiculous amount of stuff, as usual:/ Taking a look at the program, I was sorry I’d missed the yoga, medicinal herbs and guided meditation sessions.
Regrettably, we also missed the bluegrass act…
But we were getting ready to hear a little blues from Bobby “Blackhat” Walters…
and I was about to enjoy
1) some greasy fries
2) a half pint of blueberries
3) and one beer
Ava enjoyed her tea, her cookie, a half pint of blueberries and started on one of the two free bags of cotton candy she had been given
OMG, the gluttony!!! What was wrong with me to want to eat/drink all this stuff in this terrible heat?!?!
I thought Ava might enjoy having her own personal tent there. It must have been a terrible sauna in there, but at least her skin would be protected from sunburn.
There were lots of young college aged kids in the crowd. These presumably were the campers – God bless ‘em.
It was kinda funny how many hula hoops were there. These kids took their hula hoopin’ seriously.
In fact, the first humans we saw at the festival were hula hoopin’ as they traveled from one part of the farm to the next.
Ava and I also walked around to check out some of the vendors. They included a blacksmith doing a live demo…
…even a trapper!
There were a few other interesting vendors…
…and what looked like an improvisational art tent.
We walked around the perimeter of the festival before heading home.
The Blueberry Jam is something really special. It had a friendly and genuine atmosphere and a spirit of community…Maybe that sounds like hippie talk; personally, I’m not that free-spirited. lol! But I certainly believe in the charitable mission of the Jam and can fully relate to people supporting their local farmers!