A mural of President Barack Obama, made entirely of recycled soda cans, was on display during the Geranium Festival in McDonough Saturday. The artwork was created by students at Henry County Middle School.
By Jason A. Smith
Large crowds braved 90-plus-degree temperatures in downtown McDonough over the weekend, to take part in a long-standing tradition in the community.
The 34th annual Geranium Festival was held on the McDonough City Square Saturday. Thousands of people attended the event, according to Ed Galbreath, who served as chairman of the festival, on behalf of the McDonough Lions Club, which sponsored it.
"It's hard to say how many people were there, but we were very pleased with the good crowd that we had," said Galbreath.
Approximately 350 vendors were on hand, offering arts and crafts, food and other items. Galbreath said the heat did not appear to keep many people from enjoying the yearly occasion.
"I think people are ready to get out and have a good time," he said. "We were just grateful it was not raining. We'll take the heat over the rain any day."
One unique booth at the festival featured the artistic efforts of local youngsters from Henry County Middle School. They created a collage, made from crushed aluminum cans, depicting Hispanic culture, and a likeness of President Barack Obama.
Melissa Wood, an art teacher at Henry Middle, said her students were assigned the project as a way to promote recycling. One of the kids, Logan Block, involved his entire family in the effort.
"His family drank diet cream soda, cream soda and root beer, so that we could have the skin tones that we needed," said Wood.
The collage, she said, took four months to complete. Afterward, the art students worked for another month-and-a-half to complete a collage of President Obama, for Black History Month in February, according to Wood.
Galbreath added that feedback from festival-goers was positive, as individuals commented on the various booths and shopping venues, as well as an area filled with games and activities for children.
The Lions Club will use proceeds from the festival to benefit a number of causes the organization supports. Galbreath did not give an estimated figure, for how much money the event generated.
"That's still an ongoing process," he said, adding that plans are already underway for the next Geranium Festival in McDonough, which is scheduled for May 19, 2012.