Yellow River Jam, cleanup set for Saturday

COVINGTON - Porterdale has been jammin' since the recent Yellow River flood, but plans for this weekend will make it official. The third annual River Clean-up and Yellow River Jam is set for Saturday and there will be plenty of activity from daylight to dark.

Volunteers for the clean-up should meet at B.C. Crowell Park at 8:30 a.m. where they will be treated to coffee and doughnuts to fortify them before they head to the river banks for what is expected to be a productive two-hour event.

"Our river is back in her banks," said Porterdale's Better Hometown Director Sandy Fowler. "We do have some standing water which concerns me, but needless to say, we've got a lot of cleaning up to do with the debris that has washed up."

Fowler said the volunteers would be furnished rubber gloves and reflective vests, but she would encourage them to bring heavy-duty gloves, boots and insect repellent. Volunteers will be rewarded with a River's Alive T-shirt in appreciation for their help.

Fowler said a dedication for a new park and the Yellow River Walking Trail had originally been set for Saturday, as well, but recent flooding necessitated a delay.

"We have postponed that event until the Friends of Porterdale Reunion on Oct. 24 because of the condition of the park right now," Fowler said. "The park was under 6 feet of water. We had cleared the trail and put 40 loads of mulch in and now my mulch is in Lake Jackson."

After the river clean-up ends at 10:30 a.m., the Yellow River Jam will officially get under way at noon.

"The Yellow River Jam this year is going to be spectacular," Fowler promised, adding that it is free to the public and there will be no charge for parking. "We like to think of the Yellow River Jam as Porterdale's signature event. That's what I want to be put on the map for."

She said headline performers will be Joe Pitts and Tommy Talton.

"Their history is with the Allman Brothers Band out of Macon," she said. "They'll be the headliners Saturday night. They'll begin at 6, go to 7, all the way to 10 p.m."

Pitts and Talton will perform at the Depot and throughout the day, other musical performances will take place in the alley beside Smiley's restaurant and other locations.

Also performing will be Exalt, a group Fowler described as a collaboration of Christian music artists comprised of some 15 different bands.

"The last seven years, they have been at the horse park with the Rockdale County Fair, but their schedules did not work out this year, so they're bringing their event to Porterdale. It adds a different genre of music to my list. I'm real excited about that."

Children's activities for the day will be hosted by A Time for Learning private school and will include games, inflatables, face painting, a cake walk, boiled peanuts and more. A nominal charge will be made as a fundraiser for these activities.

Fowler said there were not a lot of arts and crafts vendors expected for the event.

"We have several of those, but not an over-abundance," she said. "With the economy like it is right now, people don't spend that kind of money (for) that frivolous, spur-of-the-moment purchase."

But there will be plenty of food vendors,

"With Smiley's, Jimbo's and Burnie's BBQ, that gives you three good options to go in and sit down to eat. But if you've got children playing and want to hear the music, there will be food vendors out there as well," she said.

Fowler said she encouraged folks to bring their lawn chairs "so they can kick back and relax and listen to the music."

Barbara Knowles can be reached at barbara.knowles@newtoncitizen.com