Jean Lake Festival set for May 5-6

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 25, 2001

Features Editor

Jean Lake was a beloved artist who loved simple things.

After cancer claimed the Troy native’s life in 1976, people who knew Jean Lake and those who appreciated her art, "simply" could not forget her, so 19 years ago a festival was organized in her memory.

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The Jean Lake Festival is now one of Pike County’s biggest annual events, attracting people from throughout Southeast Alabama.

The festival is held at Pioneer Museum of Alabama the first weekend in May, with Saturday and Sunday, May 5 and 6, the dates for this year’s festival.

Each year, the festival committee adds a different "touch" to the Jean Lake Festival and each festival is better than the last.

In 2000, the festival committee added a Jazz Fest to the lineup of entertainment. The Jazz Fest featured area high school and college jazz ensembles. The Jazz Fest was such a success that this year "all that jazz" will continue after the festival gates close on Saturday.

From 5 until 7 p.m. the beat will go on with the Troy State University Jazz Ensemble and Chris Vadala, one of the country’s foremost woodwind artists.

Rick Reynolds, chairman of the festival committee, said the expanded Jazz Fest format will be a big draw for the weekend arts and crafts festival.

"We will offer a weekend adult pass that includes admission for both days to the Jean Lake Festival and the Jazz Fest," Reynolds said, adding the pass is a great deal. Daily admission is $3 for adults and $1 for students under age 12. Children under age two are admitted free.

Reynolds said the Jean Lake Festival will feature the same high quality arts and crafts that have earned it the reputation as one of the best shows of its kind.

"We have outstanding artists and craftsmen who bring variety and uniqueness to the Jean Lake Festival year after year," Reynolds said. "To date, we have 40 exhibitors with everything from ironwork to woodwork, from paintings to pewter and pottery, and

from drawings and paintings to stained glass. We had a good variety of items and something for everyone."

Inside the museum, the art students of Colley Senior Complex will have their work on exhibit and school art exhibits will also be hung.

There will be activities to keep the children entertained while mom and dad browse through the exhibits. Grover Poole will have his horses hitched to the wagon and ready to ride. And, the steam train will chug around the grounds and "all aboard" will get to enjoy the festival from the best seat in the house.

And, what’s a festival without food!

The Jean Lake Festival will have the traditional "fest foods" – hamburgers and hotdogs – and some not so traditional festival foods, including milk shakes, sodas, cajun boiled peanuts and fruit and produce.

The Confederate 53rd Alabama Cavalry Civil War Reenactment group will set up camp on the museum grounds and visitors are welcomed.

The Jazz Fest will

be the featured entertainment on Saturday and local entertainers will take center stage Sunday with gospel, bluegrass and country music and dancing to boot.

The log church will be the site of an 11 a.m. worship service and everyone is invited to attend and experience that old time religion once again.

Everyone is encouraged to make plans now to attend the 19th Annual Jean Lake Festival May 5 and 6. Festival hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. The Jazz Fest hours are 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. Saturday.

The show is co-sponsored by the Troy Council on the Arts and Humanities, the Alabama Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pike County Chamber of Commerce and the Pioneer Museum of Alabama.