GULFPORT - Dallas Bohrer, founder of the Blueberry Patch, passed away Sunday morning, July 6th, just one day before the Blueberry Patch’s 37th anniversary. The following is the official announcement that was posted on the Blueberry Patch’s official website:
“It is with much sadness that we must tell you that our great friend and the founder of the Blueberry Patch, Dallas Bohrer passed away this morning (7/6/14) at 8:03 AM. He died peacefully in his sleep. As tomorrow is 7/7/14, the 37th anniversary of the Blueberry Patch, we will obviously be remembering him then. But we will also be having a more formal memorial in the near future. Please look here for further information to come soon. Rest in Peace, Love and Blueberries our friend!”
Advertised as the oldest artists' retreat in Florida, the Blueberry Patch was founded by Bohrer on July 7th, 1977. The initial concept was simple, Bohrer opened up his ½ acre back yard to the public as a retreat for musicians, writers, and other artists of all kinds to entertain each other and share their talents. As the years would pass, the Blueberry Patch would eventually expand and include private merchants and artisans selling their organic goods and crafts as well.
Throughout the years, countless local bands and singer/songwriters have performed at the Blueberry Patch. Some of these bands and artists include Bogus Pomp, The Applebutter Express, Funky Seeds, Constance, Dave Summersill, Jane Kaschak (My Identity Band), Free Range Roosters, Ramblegrass, Shoeless Soul, Skull and Bone, Zen Fishcamp, Reina G. Collins, Chris Sgammato, the Bobby Lee Rogers Trio, and countless others.
The Blueberry Patch is open to the public for regularly scheduled events that take place on the 1st (open mic night), 7th (open mic night), 11th (open jam session), and 22nd (band performances) of every month. Every Saturday is volunteer day where everyone is invited to help clean up and improve the Blueberry Patch. In addition, the Blueberry Patch occasionally holds special events and festivals as well.
In 2012, Gulfport Mayor, Mike Yakes, presented Bohrer with the “Spirit of Gulfport Award.”
Also in 2012, “My Big Redneck Vacation,” hosted by Tom Arnold, filmed an episode of their reality show at the Blueberry Patch. The Blueberry Patch episode aired on the CMT Channel on February 3rd, 2013.
Since the Blueberry Patch is operated by a Board of Directors, the outdoor retreat should still continue to operate and be open to the public as normal, even with the unfortunate passing of it’s beloved founder. The Blueberry Patch is located in Gulfport at 4923 20th Avenue South.
The St. Petersburg Live Music Bar Scene Column would like to extend it’s sincerest condolences to Bohrer’s loved ones during this trying time, as well as thank Dallas Bohrer for providing a “home-away-from-home” for area musicians and artists for nearly 40 years.