An energetic crowd filled the downtown Chillicothe area for the inaugural Sliced Bread Jam Bluegrass Festival on Saturday.
Five bands from three states entertained an audience of bluegrass enthusiasts. The Chambers Family, from Kansas City, kicked off the morning. They were followed by The Missouri Boatride, from Branson, Mo.; Lonesome Road, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Lowell Appling and Rural Roots from mid-Missouri; and The Bankesters from Carbondale, Ill.
The "Home of Sliced Bread" bread baking contest, which had been a tradition at Chautauqua for the past half-decade, found a new home at the Sliced Bread Jam. Entries were judged in the courthouse lobby.
The festival was fun for the whole family, as a number of entertainers and educators served young music fans at the children's area, set up inside Silver Moon Plaza. The kids had the opportunity to create works of art, build their own musical instruments, and play alongside the children's stage musicians. Children's area entertainers included Dan Venner, Mary Lou VanDeventer, The Chambers Family and Matthew Fraser.
Picking stations were a hit with some festival goers who wanted to make their own music. Groups of strangers equipped with guitars, fiddles and upright basses created music together at the jam stations erected on the northwest corner of Webster and Washington streets.
The festival was cut short by a few hours due to thunderstorms late Saturday afternoon. Despite the rain, Amy Supple, director of the Greater Chillicothe Visitors Region, called the inaugural Sliced Bread Jam a success.
"We had a great time while it lasted," Supple said. "For our first time, it exceeded expectations."