Organizers of the inaugural Sliced Bread Jam have been hard at work since the beginning of the year planning the day-long bluegrass festival. Amy Supple, director of the Greater Chillicothe Visitors Region, said committee members and event volunteers are well-prepared, but many things must still be done in the next couple of days to transform the downtown area into the host site for the event.
"We're putting on final touches," Supple explained. Getting the bands here, getting signs ready, putting up tents and all that. It's going to be a busy couple of days. The stage will get set into place Friday night. Streets will be closed after hours on Friday, as well."
The main stage will be erected at the intersection of Webster and Locust streets. Those streets will be closed in the downtown area for much of the weekend.
The festival will feature five regionally well-known bands throughout the day. Each band will play two one-hour sets. The lineup is as follows: Chambers Family Band, 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. and 4:30-4:30 p.m.; Missouri Boatride Band, 12:30-1:30 p.m. and 5:30-6:30 p.m.; Lonesome Road Bluegrass Band, 1:30-2:30 p.m. and 6:30-7:30 p.m.; Lowell Appling & Rural Roots, 2:30-3:30 p.m. and 7:30-8:30 p.m.; and The Bankesters, 3:30-4:30 p.m. and 8:30-9:30 p.m.
In addition to the main stage, a children's stage and activities area will be set up at Silver Moon Plaza. The children's stage will feature local and regional musicians with more interaction between performer and audience.
"Each of the performers and entertainers will give the children a different hands-on musical experience," said Jena Eskew, Main Street Chillicothe office manager. "In addition to our free activities and crafts, which includes different musical stations and hands-on play, there will be face painting and a paint-your-own pottery vendor."
The children's area schedule is as follows: Jamie Morton, 12-12:30 p.m.; Dan Venner, 1-1:30 p.m.; Mary Lou VanDeventer, 2-2:30 p.m.; Chambers Family, 3-3:30 p.m.; Matthew Fraser, 4-4:30 p.m.
The "Home of Sliced Bread" bread baking contest, which has been a part of Chautauqua for the past five years, will now be featured at the Sliced Bread Jam.
"It's kind of a good fit with the Sliced Bread Jam," Supple said. "We wanted to combine live music, the downtown atmosphere and sliced bread."
Supple said the bread-baking contest has continued to grow over its five-year history with around 70 loaves of bread entered last year. This year's contest features three categories — sweet bread, traditional yeast bread and quick bread — with $500 in total prize money to be awarded.
While event organizers are hoping for great festival weather this Saturday, Eskew said they are prepared if inclement weather were to sweep through the area this weekend. The M. W. Jenkins Expo Center will serve as the alternative location if it should rain on Saturday. In the case of inclement weather, festival goers are encouraged to stay updated with the Sliced Bread Jam Bluegrass festival online at www.SlicedBreadJam.com or by searching "Sliced Bread Jam" on Facebook.