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Annual Geranium Festival blooms in McDonough Saturday

Photo by Jason A. Smith
The McDonough Square is lined with geraniums in anticipation of the Geranium Festival on Saturday. The event will feature approximately 350 vendors, offering arts and crafts, food and other items.

Photo by Jason A. Smith The McDonough Square is lined with geraniums in anticipation of the Geranium Festival on Saturday. The event will feature approximately 350 vendors, offering arts and crafts, food and other items.

By Jason A. Smith

jsmith@henryherald.com

Thousands of people are expected to flock to McDonough this weekend, as a long-standing tradition goes into full bloom in the city.

The Geranium Festival will be held on the McDonough Square Saturday, from 9 a.m., to 5 p.m. It is being sponsored, for the 34th straight year, by the McDonough Lions Club.

Ed Galbreath is a member of the Lions Club, and serves as this year's festival chairman. He said approximately 350 vendors will be on hand for the event.

"It's one of the largest gatherings of events in Henry County. They come from all over the southeastern United States," said Galbreath. "It's been estimated that we have about 25,000 people that come. "

Vendors will offer arts and crafts, food and entertainment during the festival, which will also include a community business section.

Galbreath said bands from Henry County High School, Ola High School, and Luella High School will perform at the festival.

He said the occasion typically generates at least $25,000 to $30,000, which is used to support various causes targeted by the Lions Club.

"We've been very blessed with what we've been able to do," he said.

Admission and parking are both free for the event, providing an economical way for patrons to spend an afternoon, said Galbreath.

"We just think it's a great value for the family," he added.

One new element of the festival, said Galbreath, will be a private area for mothers of small children to nurse their babies, and change diapers.

He credited city leaders in McDonough for continually working with the Lions Club to facilitate the festival. The McDonough Police Department will direct traffic, to keep vehicles moving during the event, he said.

"The City of McDonough is just incredible at what they do," he said. . "We could not do it without the support of the city."

Nearly 1,500 geraniums are on display around The Square, in anticipation of the festival, according to McDonough Media Relations Specialist Casey Case. Many of the flowers, she said, were provided by Oglevee Nursery, and others will be sold at the festival by students in the county's 4-H Club.

Case said the Geranium Festival is well-known and well-regarded, both in, and outside, Henry County.

"It has such a reputation for excellence, quality vendors, and the Southern charm that is so welcoming to vendors," said Case. "Guests not only enjoy the arts, crafts, food and entertainment on display, but they also enjoy visiting the quaint shops that are in the downtown business area. People become acquainted with McDonough, which combines the warmth of the Old South with the convenience of a modern city."

For more information, visit www.geraniumfestival.com.