Blue Plum Festival 2015 Announces New Additions + Old Favorites

20150414_115246-1_resizedHey, y’all! Welcome to Sweet Sorghum Living–a place to sit a spell with a good cup of coffee and enjoy good conversation about everything from gluten-free goodies to handmade goodness. Today on the blog, we are chatting about the Blue Plum Festival, which will be happening the first weekend in June in downtown Johnson City.

Last year was my first time to attend the Blue Plum, and it was fabulous–the music and the arts and crafts vendors held my attention throughout the event + the Urban Art Throwdown was pretty amazing. I am so excited about this year’s festival because the folks from Friends of Olde Downtowne have added new elements to the weekend-long event. There will be a new ticketed concert + a CrossFit Tournament + a bigger and better Blue Hop Brew HaHa. Not to mention all the incredible music, amazing arts and crafts vendors, delicious food, and more. Whew! I need to sit down and calm down *wink*

Deanna Hays, Director of Friends of Olde Downtowne, excitedly stated, "Wow! This is going to be a festival to remember...great music, fun events, delicious food,  impressive arts and crafts vendors...but wouldn't it be nice to be known as the friendliest festival in the South!"

Deanna Hays, Director of Friends of Olde Downtowne, excitedly stated, “Wow! This is going to be a festival to remember…great music, fun events, delicious food, impressive arts and crafts vendors…but wouldn’t it be nice to be known as the friendliest festival in the South!”

Are you a fan of great music and craft beer? Well, I have the perfect place for you to be the first weekend of June–Founders Park in Johnson City, Tennessee for Blue Plum at Founders. This new addition to the festival will offer (for those who choose to purchase a ticket–more about those tickets in a moment *wink*) folks a fabulous chance to enjoy the amazing sound of the band Shovels and Rope, who have appeared on the Late Show and Austin City Limits. How cool is that!

Tickets for the Shovels and Rope concert, which also includes Ian Thomas and the Band of Drifters and the Grammy-award winning Rebirth Brass Band, are available for purchase at blue plum.org for $25 until May 25 and $30 after May 25. Blue Plum at Founders will be held on the Great Lawn at Founders Park.

Ed Snodderly and Tracy Johnson announcing this year's Blue Plum Festival music lineup.

Ed Snodderly and Tracy Johnson announcing this year’s Blue Plum Festival music lineup.

Now, don’t fret because there is even more amazing music happening at the Blue Plum Festival–which is known for its variety of music options. On Friday, June 5th, the evening will be filled with festival fans at The Main Street Stage waiting to hear the wonderful Americana music by 18 South, and the next evening, they will all be back waiting to enjoy the sounds of Webb Wilder and Ritchie. Will you be one of those fans? I know the hubby and I will be *big smile*

Aaron Carson, with Superfly Fabulous Events, said the new space will allow the Blue Hop Brew Haha to grow from 500 people to around 1,000 this year, giving the chance for festival goers and craft beer lovers to taste from many of region’s best breweries.

Aaron Carson, with Superfly Fabulous Events, explained that this year’s Blue Hop Brew HaHa will be able to serve around 1,000 people–up from last year’s 500. This will give more festival goers and craft beer lovers the chance to sample from many of the region’s best breweries. Tracy Johnson also spoke about all the wonderful activities that will be happening the first weekend of June.

Attention Craft Beer Fans: The Blue Hop Brew HaHa will be changing locations this year, but this change is a good change *smile* This opportunity for craft beer lovers will be held at Founders Park + the selection will be tripled (yes, tripled!) from last year’s selection of finely crafted brews. You will not want to miss out on the opportunity to get your tickets for this event, so head on over to blueplum.org now! Tickets for this event are $35 until May 25 and $40 after May 25–but I am guessing those tickets won’t last until May 25 *wink* For more information about the brewers, click here.

Shannon Castillo, president of Friends of Olde Downtowne, gave a great shout out to all the sponsors of this year's Blue Plum Festival and chatted about how a portion of the proceeds from this year’s festival will be donated to the downtown area. Friends of Olde Downtowne was founded over 15 years ago to help revive the downtown area. This year the organization will have the chance to put some money into their mission--getting folks to visit, shop, and enjoy downtown Johnson City.

Shannon Castillo, president of Friends of Olde Downtowne, gave a great shout out to all the sponsors of this year’s Blue Plum Festival and chatted about how a portion of the proceeds from this year’s festival will be donated to the downtown area. Friends of Olde Downtowne was founded over 15 years ago to help revive the downtown area. This year the organization will have the chance to put some money into their mission–getting folks to visit, shop, and enjoy downtown Johnson City.

I have been babbling so much about the music and craft beer that I forgot to mention that this is the area’s largest, free festival (yes, there are a couple of ticketed events that I mentioned above). This year’s Blue Plum will have the Blue Plum Playhouse, Animation Festival, the Criterium, the CrossFit East 10 Summer Bash–which is a brand new event where athletes will compete in difficult workouts including weightlifting and gymnastics movements, over 50 arts and crafts vendors, and an amazing food court.

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There will be a 5K, which will begin at Founders Park on Friday, June 5th at 7:00 pm + Little Blue Plum Half at 6:30 pm. Along with running, there will also be the Blue Plum Bicycle Race on Sunday, June 7th. The Franklin Woods Community Hospital Criterium will again be the final race of the Slow Ride Omnium–even though the new title says slow, the racers will be averaging 30 miles per hour while negotiating seven turns per lap! If you are not a bicyclist or racer of bikes, don’t fret. I’m not either! But we can enjoy delicious food and beverages at Tupelo Honey Cafe, Tipton Street Pub, Labels, and Main Street Pizza while watching the cyclists go by. Reneau Dubberly, TCRC Race Director, stated that this will be a unique experience because it combines the ambiance of Downtown Johnson City with one of the area’s most exciting sports events. For more information about Omnium Criterium Bike Race, click here.

Sweet & Dirty's Emporium of Good Stuff was one of the VIP and SSL Top Picks at the Blue Plum Festival.

Sweet & Dirty’s Emporium of Good Stuff was one of the VIP and SSL Top Picks at the Blue Plum Festival 2014.

My goodness! I am getting so excited about Blue Plum! Whew! I have got to get my outfits bought and my CamelBak ready *wink* I cannot wait to see y’all there and share all my top picks from the festival *big smile*

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Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today as we chatted about some of the fabulous events and activities coming to Blue Plum 2015. For more information about the festival, click here.

My daughter, Abby Hathorn of the Vintage Inspired Passionista, posing for a fan photo.

My daughter, Abby Hathorn of the Vintage Inspired Passionista, posing for a fan photo at the Blue Plum Festival 2014.

 

 

 

 

Blue Plum Festival Day Two–Urban Art Throwdown

Urban Art Throwdown at the Blue Plum Festival in Johnson City, Tennessee--"Live and Let Bee" by Christina Majic

Urban Art Throwdown at the Blue Plum Festival in Johnson City, Tennessee–“Live and Let Bee” by Christina Majic (work in progress)

Hey, y’all! Welcome back to Sweet Sorghum Living. Today on the blog, we will be chatting about the Urban Art Throwdown at the Blue Plum Festival in Johnson City, Tennessee. If you missed my Day One adventure, don’t fret–grab a good cup of coffee, sit a spell with me, and check out Day One and Day Two of the Blue Plum Fest–not a celebration of fruit–but of community, art, music, food, and beer.

Laura Cross chose the bee theme for her urban art throwdown masterpiece. I love her use of alternative materials and the industrial look.

Laura Cross chose the bee theme for her urban art throwdown masterpiece. I love her use of alternative materials and the industrial look.

My daughter–Abby Hathorn of the Vintage Inspired Passionista–and I enjoyed chatting with the artists and illustrators about their works and what inspired them. The artists with whom we chatted told us that “bees” is a new theme that was added to the Throwdown this year–and that is why so many of the pieces are “bee” inspired. Being new to the area, we discovered that other popular themes of past throwdowns were historical aspects and railroads. Personally, I am a huge fan of honey bees because they work hard for all of us 🙂

Laura Cross chose the "bee" theme for her urban art throw down masterpiece

Laura Cross chose the “bee” theme for her urban art throwdown masterpiece.

Laura Cross of Johnson City took a moment from her painting to chat with the VIP and me about the inspiration behind her piece. Laura, who is a teacher with no formal art training, chose the bee theme for her street art because she likes geometrical things and abstracts–which is represented in her beehive. Laura told us that the artists were encouraged to use alternative materials this year. Laura stated, “Aerosols are the traditional medium. I used aluminum tape, which is used for duct work, and duct tape…I also made my stencils from acetate.” Laura wanted to enter the Urban Art Throwdown because she wanted to challenge herself. Laura, the VIP and I are glad you did because your spunk and determination is contagious! 🙂

"Bees are born into a role that they can't get out of...and they all have to work together to get things done.", explained Laura about her machine-inspired beehive.

“Bees are born into a role that they can’t get out of…and they all have to work together to get things done.”, explained Laura about her machine-inspired beehive. “I chose to use black and white because of the machine-like feel of the piece.”

A gear representing the machine of the beehive is made from aluminum tape.

A gear representing the “machine” of the beehive–made from aluminum tape.

After chatting with Laura, we stopped by to find out about this colorful "bee" inspired graffiti piece. The VIP and I loved the colors in this one--but we both love pink :)

After chatting with Laura, we stopped by to find out about this colorful “bee” inspired graffiti piece. The VIP and I loved the colors in this one–because we are both fans of brights and pink 🙂

Anton Slasko is currently attending ETSU where is earning a his Masters in New Media. Anton did graffiti art in Serbia for about ten years. During our chat, he said that he wanted to paint using the new theme of bees and that he was having fun at the Blue Plum Festival.

Anton Slasko is currently attending ETSU where is earning his Masters in New Media. Anton did graffiti art in Serbia for about ten years. During our chat, he said that he wanted to paint using the new theme of bees and that he was having fun at the Blue Plum Festival.

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Christina Majic of Majic Robot Design Studio also chose the new bee theme for her Urban Art Throwdown masterpiece.

Christina Majic of Majic Robot Design Studio also chose the new bee theme for her Urban Art Throwdown masterpiece.

We asked Christina about the glitter on her piece, and she told us that she likes the way the light hits it. "It catches people's attention because most won't notice the art until it's right in front of them."--stated Christina Majic.

We asked Christina about the glitter on her piece, and she told us that she likes the way the light hits it. “It catches people’s attention because most won’t notice the art until it’s right in front of them.”–stated Christina Majic.

Christina is an artist and illustrator by trade. She has her Masters in Art and has a wide variety of mediums--from acrylics to spray paint.

Christina is an artist and illustrator by trade. She has her Masters in Art and uses a wide variety of mediums–from acrylics to spray paint.

Check out Majic Robot on Facebook.

Check out Majic Robot on Facebook for more totally awesome examples of their work.

"Live and Let Bee" receives two thumbs and five stars for not only its funky design, but also its sparkle :)

“Live and Let Bee” receives two thumbs and five stars for not only its funky design, but also its sparkle 🙂

Daruth Padilla of Majic Robot Design Studio working on his "Attack of the Killer Bee" at the Urban Art Throwdown

Daruth Padilla of Majic Robot Design Studio working on his killer bee at the Urban Art Throwdown

Daruth Padilla explained to the VIP and me how he works as an illustrator. I must say that he and Christina have a fabulous spray paint collection!

Daruth Padilla explained to the VIP and me how he works as an illustrator. We also chatted about his Kachina-inspired bee, and how it was attacking the city.

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Does anyone besides me remember the Attack of the Killer Bees movie?

I must say that David and Christina have a fabulous spray paint collection–and a whole lotta talent!

My goodness! Time flies when you are having fun 🙂 Thanks for sitting a spell with me today as we chatted about the Urban Art Throwdown at the Blue Plum Festival. Join me tomorrow for a look at the very talented and fun Logan from Sweet & Dirty’s on Etsy and for a little Transformation Tuesday.