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Belle Glade
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Belle Glade Black Gold Jubilee 2012

The returning parade to this year's Black Gold Jubilee made an impressive comeback, entertaining the crowds lined up and down Main Street earlier that morning.

Thick, heavy, gray clouds loomed in the sky and the wind seemed to be perking up, but still the show went on.

The early morning 5K run received more than 100 participants to the annual festival kick-start. Still, many more then showed up to Torry Island just before noon, where the main festivities were held.

Attendees enjoyed the food, games, walking around the festival grounds taking in the art and photography contests, participating in a booth sponsored by Mike D and the Belle Glade radio station, and watching local talent performances under the big entertainment tent.

At about 2:30 p.m. the wind and rain really picked up, reports Brenda Bunting, Belle Glade Chamber director and Black Gold Jubilee organizer. By then most of the crowd had left, save for one pocket of folks who braved the rain inside the tent - or were captured by the rain before they had a chance to leave.

"We never really got the crowd back after that," said Mrs. Bunting.

Festival organizers had to strategize about the scheduled concert featuring Bo Bice. When a lull in the rains came and the storm subsided some, the group took to Facebook, texts, and other means to communicate with the community - the main act would be moved up from 7 p.m. to 5 p.m. to take advantage of the betterweather.
"He was so gracious," the director said. "He put on a really good show for the crowd."

As the festival neared, organizers were worried about the forecasted storm. Mrs. Bunting jokingly said then that the only option the group had for no rain was prayer.

No one involved in the preparation of the festival could remember the last time a storm disrupted the festival in such a dramatic way. Though numbers were not available as of press time, Mrs. Bunting remarked, "We would have had a bigger crowd if it hadn't threatened rain all day."

"Apparently, our prayers didn't work," she laughed.


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