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'Redneck' Reality Show Films in Gulfport

Crews are filming, 'My Big Redneck Vacation,' a reality TV show, in Gulfport.

A popular Gulfport hangout – known around town as the Blueberry Patch – is the location for the latest episode of  "My Big Redneck Vacation," according to City Manager Jim O'Reilly.

The popular cable TV show airs nationwide on CMT, the Country Music Television channel. Film crews went to the privately owned property, at 4923 20th Ave S., on Sunday. They are expected to wrap up on Tuesday.

O'Reilly says the city worked with CMT and the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Film Commission to help bring the reality TV show to Gulfport. The Blueberry Patch actually is the backyard of a privately owned home where locals gather to enjoy live music, original art and some 1960s-style hospitality. Dallas Bohrer, the self-described, elderly founder, tries to nurture "a peace-loving community of artists, writers and musicians" at the Blueberry Patch.

The show follows the vacation of "redneck" families. Will there be a culture clash at the hippie-like hangout when the redneck family arrives? Stay tuned!

No one is offering an air date, but you can be sure that everyone in this coastal Florida town will tune in to see the Blueberry Patch on TV.

Gulfport and its residents are no strangers to a Hollywood-style invasion. In March, movie stars James Franco, Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Benson shot scenes inside the Gulfport Police Department for their upcoming film, "Spring Breakers." The girls wore bikinis in those scenes; no orange jail pajamas were required.

"We've been lucky enough to attract productions to Gulfport," O'Reilly said.

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Stay tuned to Gulfport Patch for updates about the show.

Bob Newcomb September 18, 2012 at 02:12 PM
"My Big Redneck Vacation," not only features our one-of-a-kind lifestyle entertainment venue, but will, hopefully, show our Waterfront District and all it's delights to the CMT World. On Monday, TV crews did a lot of filming around town. By the way, "My Big Redneck Vacation" is the most popular series on the CMT Network. The producers didn't want advance publicity since one of the show's gimmicks is that the rednecks don't know where they are going on vacation before they get there. The Chamber will have a lot more fun with it around the showing date.
Cherlene Willis September 18, 2012 at 03:06 PM
Bob, That's awesome news! Please keep us posted about the air date for this episode! - Cherlene
Rob Fowler September 18, 2012 at 04:22 PM
Gulfport has new friends, and they are real characters! So how did it go mixing Rednecks with Hippies? (That was the concept for this episode of the Big Redneck Vacation.) Well, last night was one of the most enjoyable nights I've ever had at the Blueberry Patch. They poked fun at us and themselves, everybody had a blast, and it was great to get to know these fun loving "redneck" TV stars! Thank you to the City of Gulfport and the Blueberry Patch for making this a positive experience for everyone.
Rob Fowler September 18, 2012 at 04:43 PM
Thank you, Bob, Executive Director of the Gulfport Area Chamber of Commerce for your critical role in connecting the CMT production crew with the proper channels in our City. Everybody take note: Our local Chamber of Commerce can help businesses and organizations in many ways, just like this time with the Blueberry Patch, CMT, and the City of Gulfport.
Rob Fowler September 18, 2012 at 04:47 PM
Oh, and also a big special thank you to R.W. Caldwell, Realtors® and Insurors for graciously hosting the CMT busses and crew while they were in town.
Cherlene Willis September 18, 2012 at 05:10 PM
Oh! Now I really can't wait until the show airs! Keep us posted Rob! Sounds like you had a lot of fun!
Joyce Kwasiborski September 18, 2012 at 07:52 PM
Why doesn't our community have a raffle of sorts so that some of us know when these movie/TV tapings are going on here in Gulfport? Perhaps, we could pick one or two winners, (or more) who would be invited to the tapings. I think that would be a great idea! Most of the community (especially on "the other side of 22nd Ave. South" ever know about these events until they are over! Thanks for your time.,
Joyce Kwasiborski September 18, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Forgot that I wanted to say maybe we could have a raffle of sorts (maybe on the Gulfport Patch?) to determine who the winners are!
Lynda September 19, 2012 at 03:06 PM
Love your idea, Joyce!
Rob Fowler September 19, 2012 at 05:17 PM
I like that idea, too. Also be sure to get added to the volunteer and mailing lists at the Chamber and the Gulfport Merchants Association. That way your name will be available. As far as this event at the Blueberry Patch, it was a closed invite only per the CMT production team. They were very strict on that also, so I know there were people turned away at the door. Funny thing, as free-form as the Bluebbery Patch is, a lot of the scenes and a bit of the dialog was scripted for TV. It was a TV show filming and they had some ideas of their own. So you may see some Patch Pals doing and saying things that might seem a little odd when the show airs. But it was all in fun! :)
K.R. Fry February 04, 2013 at 05:49 PM
It is very unfortunate that the Producers of the show decided to only show ugly looking footage of Gulfport !!!! Absolutely no footage of the beautiful beachfront area shown at all. This show makes it look like Gulfport is a slummy blighted area, with a "commune" of hippies in the middle of it. Shame on them !!! I would think the Chamber wouldn't be very happy about the final edit shown on tv !
Rob Fowler February 04, 2013 at 07:25 PM
Yes K.R. I agree that some nice shots would have been great. The crew that was in town took several hours of video on our waterfront and downtown. They also enjoyed eating and playing in Gulfport. However, the editing team far away had a different idea to make their show "funnier." Ugh. That said, I've been excitedly watching the internet traffic on several local websites break records. Thousands of visitors from every state and several countries have been checking us out online. So in spite of the image of abandoned buildings, the show is still attracting a ton of people who have never heard of us. Keep in mind that nobody in Gulfport spent one penny for advertising, this is all FREE publicity. If they had shown better images of our town, we'd be getting even more traffic, but you won't hear me complain one bit for the amount of exposure we are enjoying. The show was fun and pure comedy. It was totally make-believe, as is all "Reality TV." It's as if a goofy sitcom was shot here with locals playing bit parts. (That is basically what happened.) In the five years I have been watching website traffic in Gulfport, I've never seen one event create so much interest in our town. By the time the show had finished airing Saturday night across the country the web stats I watched had broke records. The numbers are still climbing too. Just relax, be a good sport, and laugh with us being silly on CMT's number 1 hit TV show. It is all in fun and the free publicity is nothing to sneeze at.

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