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Peach Jam gets soul: Tip Tops headline sixth annual event

There was more to see, hear and do at the sixth annual Peach Jam Jubilee on Friday night — and as of 7:30 p.m., there were more people in the streets of downtown Clanton to take it all in.

There were between 7,000 and 8,000 in attendance for the event, Mayor Billy Joe Driver estimated. A big part of that may have been this year’s headliner — 10-piece Mobile band The Tip Tops, with their eclectic mix of music spanning the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s.

Chilton County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Pennie Broussard said the idea was to reach all ages.

“I think people just enjoy coming. It’s a family atmosphere,” Broussard said. “There’s something for everybody in the family.”

Many were first-time Jammers, and it was not uncommon to see kids being wheeled around in strollers, wagons or atop their parents’ shoulders. Of course, there were plenty of carnival rides and arts and crafts to keep the kids busy.

Rae Davis of Calera said her family was watching the news Friday and saw a story about the Peach Jam.

“We were sitting at home, saw it on the news and just thought we would come out,” she said.

Corner Park was flooded with people listening to each musical act and watching for announcements. After the Russell family left the stage, 2010 Miss Peach Jessica Swindle introduced her court to the crowd. Just down the street, at the Main Stage, a sizeable crowd watched as the Alabama 4-H Center put on their popular Birds of Prey demonstration.

“It’s really neat. I’ve never been to the downtown area here,” said Jenni Cole of the Alabama 4-H Center, with Mendel, a hybrid Eagle owl, perched on her arm.

The bright green-eyed Mendel is 2 years old and is one of only five owls of his kind in existence. Of course, there were many curious visitors to the 4-H booth.

“A lot of people have been showing interest,” Cole said.

The music and fun continued into the evening, wrapping up about 11 p.m.