Jean Lake Festival begins tomorrow

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 4, 2001

Features Editor

If the 19th Annual Jean Lake Festival is a big enough event for WSFA Television in Montgomery to devote two news segments to it, then the people of Pike and surrounding counties surely don’t want to miss it.

The festival will be held Saturday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon until 5 p.m. at the Pioneer Museum of Alabama.

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WSFA -TV will spotlight the festival and the museum during two prime-time newscasts today.

"Live at Five" will feature the Jean Lake Festival and some of the artists and craftsmen who make it such a great success year-after-year. A background feature about the

museum, as host to the festival, and its many other activities and events will be the focus of a news segment on the 6 o’clock news.

Charlotte Gibson, director of the Pioneer Museum of Alabama, said being featured on the regional television station should bring added interest to the Jean Lake Festival and the museum.

"Hopefully, we will attract people from all around our area to the 2001 Jean Lake Festival on Saturday and Sunday and the Jazz Fest on Saturday," Gibson said. "We have more than 40 exhibitors who are among the best artists and craftsmen anywhere around."

Gibson said the Pioneer Museum of Alabama provides a unique festival setting.

"It’s not often that festivals are set in a place that has so much to offer," Gibson said.

The museum facilities are utilized at the Jean Lake Festival and greatly enhance the festival.

On Saturday, background music for the festival will be provided by strolling musicians including the Troy Barber Shop Quartet and accordionist Jim Wadowick. Calvin Bodiford and the Southern Strings will be picking and singing at the demonstration cabin and herb society members will have displays there and be available to answer questions about herbs.

"The Troy Junior Women’s League provides kid care at the kids’ cabin in the center of the museum grounds," Gibson said. "They will entertain children up to two hours so their parents can browse and buy. The members of the Junior Women’s League have arst and crafts projects planned for the children. Each child who comes to the kids’ cabin will have arts and crafts to take home that they created themselves."

There is no "sitter" fee at the kids’ cabin. "Cabin care" is a service project of the Troy Junior Women’s League.

The 53rd Alabama Cavalry reenactment group will set up camp on the museum grounds and visitors are welcome to visit, ask questions or just sit back and listen to "war" stories.

"The museum train won’t be running, but we will have the ‘Choo! Choo! Express’ which is a fantastic steam train on track for the day," Gibson said. "Grover Poole will also have his mule and wagon hitched for rides around the grounds."

For those who would like to step inside and back in time, school Marm Mary Wadowick will be teaching lessons in the little red schoolhouse.

Also, inside the museum, there will be spinning and weaving demonstrations on Saturday and Sunday. And, a marathon

quilting bee will last throughout both days.

Gibson said, of special interest this festival, will be the participation of graphic artist

John Sowell and author Tom Allison.

"John has done extensive research on Native American history and he will be available to autograph his books," Gibson said. "John also designed our tee shirts with Native American motifs. People will find him very interesting."

Tom Allison is the author of the book "Moonshine Memories" which is about his days as an ATF agent.

"The book is wonderful

and, yes, it does mention Pike County," Gibson said. ‘Moonshine Memories’ is available in the museum gift shop."

On Saturday, the Jazz Fest will be held at the amphitheater and admission to the Jean Lake Festival also includes admission to the Jazz Fest, which will feature several of the outstanding jazz ensembles in the Southeast.

At 11 a.m. Sunday, a worship service will be held in the log church on the museum grounds. The public is invited.

On Sunday, local talent will be featured on the stage of the amphitheater. From 1 until 2 p.m. a gospel group will perform. Johnny Barrow will take center stage at 2 and Perfect Harmony will perform at 3:30.

Admission to the Jean Lake Festival is $3 for adults and $1 for children from ages 2 to 12. Children under 2 are admitted free.