ALMA — People are calling from all over the South about the upcoming 41st Annual Georgia Blueberry Festival which will be held Friday, June 5, and Saturday, June 6.
“The word is out that we have one of the best festivals around, and people don’t want to miss it,” said Sara Walker, 2015 festival chairman.
Pre-festival events start Memorial Day, Monday, May 25, with a special meal for Bacon County veterans which will be held at the VFW Buildingat noon.
Blueberry Gospel, which features two popular gospel groups, Freedom Quartet and the Down East Boys, will be held at First Baptist Church here on Thursday, June 4, starting at 7 p.m. The event is sponsored by Richmond Baking.
Bacon County High School will be having its graduation ceremony  at 6 o’clock Friday night, after which the Blueberry Festival will officially start cranking.
The Variety Show will start at 7:30 on the evening of Friday, June 5. Part II is scheduled at 7:30 Saturday night. Reid Burkett, one of Alma’s own favorite sons who is making a name for himself in California, will be flying in again this year to emcee  the Variety Show.
Budderkat Bank will perform at Goldwasser Park at 8 p.m. Friday and The Watch, a band from Athens, will play Saturday night at starting at 8.
The Blueberry Festival 5-K Run, which starts at 6 a.m. Saturday, draws people from neighboring states as well as all over Georgia.
Those who want to participate in the Blueberry Parade should be at the elementary school at 9 a.m. Saturday.  The Parade starts at 9:30.
The Blueberry Festival is always big on music and this year is no exception.
“This year we have scheduled the Blueberry Brothers and the  Fort Stewart Military acoustic Rock Ensemble to perform along with many favorite groups from past years,” said Walker. “For the children, we have added water slides along with other inflatibles, rides, games and entertainment.”
The Tot Spot for the younger kids will be managed by the local Exchange Club.
The Bacon County Recreational Department is sponsoring a golf tournament on Thursday,  as well as softball and baseball tournaments Saturday.
The Saddle Club will have a Blueberry Dash for Cash starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday.
The Civil War re-enactors will be at the Rec Department with a battle at 2 p.m. Saturday, and a cannon firing show at 9 p.m.  The re-enactors will be available all day expecting festival-goers to visit their camp sites, and Valerie Cox, camp doctor, will show how the soldiers were treated.  She has collected authentic medical instruments from the period for more than 30 years.
A Blueberry Cooking Contest is scheduled for Saturday, June 13, at 10 a.m. at the Bacon County Extension Office.  “Prepare your favorite blueberry recipe and come join the fun,” said Walker. There is a  youth division as well as the adult competition.
“We’re looking forward to having one of the best festivals ever, if not the best one — so put it on your calendar to be in Alma June 5 and 6 to enjoy all the events,” said Walker.