Mayor Tim Kent and Community Development Director Billye Jean Stroud are pleased to announce plans for the 2019 New Albany Freedom Fest. “Our Community Development team and its festival committee did a spectacular job last year. This year’s festival will be a great way to spend time in our community,” said Mayor Kent.
A year of planning and tweaking
The Community Development team, Billye Jean Stroud and her assistant, Tracy Vainisi, have, in actuality, been planning the 2019 Freedom Fest since the start last year’s event. Director Stroud commented, “The wheels of mine and Tracy’s minds are always turning. As last year’s festival was happening, we were constantly noticing areas that could be tweaked and improved.”
Vainisi added, “Billye Jean and I absolutely love what we do. She usually comes up with the big ideas. We talk them over, fine tune, then I work out the details.”
Popular events from past Freedom Fests are still in the mix, along with an added twist or two. Biscuits & Jam Farmers’ Market, Show & Shine Cruise-In, Pedaling for Hope Bike Ride, and music at the Riverview Stage are all a part of the three-day festival, which is scheduled for June 27-29. A completely new event will add a variety of entertainment to this year’s Freedom Fest.
Blackberry Jubilee added to 2019 Freedom Fest
One big idea that has been added to Freedom Fest weekend is a Blackberry Jubilee. The largest grower of blackberries in Mississippi, Robert Hays of Hays Berry Farms, approached Stroud with the concept in spring of 2018. “We loved the idea of a blackberry event from the get go, but weren’t sure where to fit it in,” said Stroud. “After several conversations and working out the logistics, we decided Freedom Fest weekend made perfect sense.” And in case there is any doubt, there will be a Blackberry Jubilee Pageant. Because what is a jubilee without a queen?
Currently, the Community Development office is seeking producers, makers, and vendors for the Blackberry Jubilee. All of these as well as bike ride, cook-off, and pageant applications are available at the Community Development & Main Street offices located at 135 E. Bankhead Street in New Albany or at newalbanymainstreet.com.
For more information about the 2019 Freedom Festival, please call Billye Jean Stroud at (662) 534-3438, or email Tracy Vainisi at firstname.lastname@example.org.