By Michael Davis
More than 300 vendors will converge on the historic downtown McDonough Square Saturday during the 28th annual Geranium Festival, a day-long arts and crafts festival in the heart of the Henry County seat.
McDonough, known as the Geranium City, plays host every year to the festival, sponsored by the McDonough Lions Club. The festival regularly get visitors from the surrounding counties for both folk-like fare such as tomato sandwiches.
"Somehow, you get a real sense of community when you come," said Diane Reed, chairwoman of the festival committee for the Lions.
The festival might look a little different to returning visitors due to changes to the Square itself. A Georgia Department of Transportation project reconfigured the Square and paving bricks have been added around the central part of the Square that sports a Confederate monument.
Reed said vendor booths can be open on both sides and walking traffic should flow a little more freely.
Vehicle traffic, however, will circulate differently due to the one-way pairs now leading to most intersections on the Square.
On Jonesboro Street, a two-way street, cars inbound to the Square will be required to turn left on Ga. Highway 42, which is currently one-way into the Square.
John Frank Ward Boulevard, recently converted to a one-way street, will be blocked at Ga. Highway 155 sometime either late tonight or early Saturday morning, said McDonough Police Chief Preston Dorsey.
"Everything will definitely be shut down by 4:30 Saturday morning," he said.
Reed said the festival is continuing an allowance of business booths at the event, which permit commercial enterprises to market at the event but not sell goods.
"They usually give pretty nice door prizes," she said.
A new addition will be an area for children with inflatable party amusements.
The day-long entertainment schedule includes local singers, talent show winners, church choirs and bands and party bands.