More than 7,000 attend Peach Jam Jubilee

Published 9:50 pm Friday, June 26, 2009

Scorching heat and the threat of rain didn’t keep approximately 7,000 people from attending the Peach Jam Jubilee Friday night in downtown Clanton.

Early in the evening, the notes of Wayne Langston’s guitar echoed down Sixth Street as kids boarded breezy rides and downed snow cones to keep cool.

Taking advantage of that traffic were 130 vendors selling food, colorful doodads and arts and crafts.

“It’s great,” said Matt Bellone, co-owner of T&M Sports Supplies in Smiths Station, Ala. “It’s a lot of people, and a lot of buying customers. It’s a good atmosphere.”

While some vendors were selling goods, others were promoting awareness of good causes — such as Child Protect Advocacy Center of Montgomery, which plans to open a satellite office in Clanton soon.

The group made hats out of paper sacks and sold them for $2 donations to support the center.

“We wanted to show support for the community, and we wanted to make people aware of the advocacy center that’s going to be here in Clanton,” said Jannah Bailey. “This also gives people the opportunity to support us.”

Event coordinators had to turn away at least 50 vendors who inquired about setting up booths at the Peach Jam, according to Chilton County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Pennie Broussard.

“I’m well pleased with the attendance, considering the heat,” Broussard said. “There was a 20-percent chance of rain earlier today, and it clouded up. Everything considered, it’s a success.”

She added that she appreciated everyone’s support of the Peach Jam, which has gained popularity each year.

Sitting near the front row by the Corner Park stage were Benjie Abbott and his son, Hunter, who moved to Clanton from west Chilton County less than a year ago. It was their first Peach Jam.

“It’s been a lot of fun so far. It’s been more than I expected,” Benjie Abbott said.