'Free State of Jones' jamboree celebrates county history

'Free State of Jones' jamboree celebrates county history
photo credit: WDAM
photo credit: WDAM

JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - The "Free State of Jones" jamboree kicked off Saturday afternoon at the Slow Boat Brewery in Laurel.

It was a time of celebration for Jones County natives, especially with the "Free State of Jones" movie out in theaters.

"It's a great story and it makes us even more proud to be from Jones County," said "Free State of Jones" extra Paul Johnson.

Johnson said the experience was life changing, especially since the movie shows off his hometown's history.

"The director Gary Ross found out we were all from Jones and things got kind of cool," Johnson said. "We went to Confederates form being right with the Knight Company and working alongside Matthew."

The brewers even got into the spirit and made their own "Free State of Jones" brew with chanterelle mushrooms and black berries

"We got one of the actors in the movie to forage some local wild ingredients to add to our beers," said Slow Boat Brewing owner Kenny Mann. "We have a black trumpet Chanterelle Farm House Ale that we have done."

Several local bands like the Pine Belt Pickers and Paul Johnson Band also played at the event. One woman said the movie gave her the chance to reflect and remember the story of Newt Knight.

"I cried almost the whole movie, it was so emotional for me," said Jones County native DeLisa Bunnell. "I was so sad. I cannot imagine what those men went through."

Actors from out of state also had their own unique experiences while working on the movie and discovered a new appreciation for Mississippi.

"I got to see the screening with Rachel Knight's great, great grand children and it was amazing to be around so much history," said "Free State of Jones" extra Ryan Castro.