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Anticipation builds for annual Geranium Festival

Photo by Jason A. Smith
McDonough residents Brenda Bolson (left), and Denise Allen, share a laugh as they enjoy geraniums on the McDonough Square. The plants are in place as part of the city’s celebration of its annual Geranium Festival, set for Saturday.

Photo by Jason A. Smith McDonough residents Brenda Bolson (left), and Denise Allen, share a laugh as they enjoy geraniums on the McDonough Square. The plants are in place as part of the city’s celebration of its annual Geranium Festival, set for Saturday.

The McDonough Square is decked out in a sea of red flowers, in anticipation of a long-standing tradition in the city.

The 35th Annual Geranium Festival will be held Saturday, May 19, from 9 a.m., to 5 p.m. It is sponsored by the McDonough Lions Club.

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Photo by Jason A. Smith Victor Itegbe, of the McDonough Police Department, was among those stopping, Monday, to see numerous geraniums on the city’s Square. The 35th Annual Geranium Festival is scheduled for Saturday, in downtown McDonough.

A total of 1,900 geraniums are on display around The Square, at the McDonough Welcome Center and at McDonough City Hall, according to the city’s media relations specialist, Casey Case.

“It certainly does mark the city for what it’s known as, The Geranium City,” said Case. “It shouts at you as you enter The Square.”

“[The festival] is well-known, and people who are into arts and crafts, they look for quality festivals,” said Case. “This is certainly one of them.”

She said local churches, civic groups, organizations, businesses, and vendors will be on hand for the festival.

“It’s probably the most festive day in Henry County all year,” she said.

Many of the geraniums that will be featured at the festival, said Case, were provided by Oglevee Nursery. Additional plants will be sold at the festival by students in the county’s 4-H Club, as a fund-raiser for the group, she added.

Frank Hancock is the agriculture and natural resource agent for the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Office, in McDonough, which oversees the county’s 4-H activities. The geranium sale, he said, is going well in preparation for Saturday’s festival.

“Every year, we get another truckload that comes from the nursery to the festival,” said Hancock. “I probably don’t have to bring but one pick-up truckload, from our shade house to the festival.”

Ed Galbreath, a member of the Lions Club who is chairman of the event, said he expects more than 350 vendors to be on hand with offerings to 25,000 expected visitors. Vendors will offer arts and crafts, food and entertainment.

“It’s one of the largest gatherings of events in Henry County,” said Galbreath. “They come from all over the Southeastern United States.”

Admission and parking are free for the event.

For more information, visit www.geraniumfestival.com.