Curt Yeomans covers government for the Clayton News Daily. He can be reached at via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let’s try something a little different this week and recognize one Georgia city that went all out for its annual spring festival.
Gardeners got to rejoice last weekend because there was a show to enjoy in Thomasville.
The city hosted its 92nd Annual Rose Show and Festival.
This is a big deal, folks. Thomasville really pulls out all of the stops for this event each year and shows how a festival devoted to a flower should really be done.
They even have a Rose Queen and she gets her own small court.
Maybe Jonesboro — or any other Clayton County city for that matter — should read on and take note.
The highlight of the annual festival is always the flower shows. There is the annual Rose Show, an orchid show and a separate Civic Garden Club Flower Show.
A Rose Parade is held every year, and the Thomasville Police Department does an inspection of its officers in the Thomasville Rose Garden.
Arts vendors and a “Bark in the Park” event, where dog owners can bring their pets for festivities, took place in the city’s Paradise Park.
There was even a City of Roses Car and Truck Show.
Performances of “Steel Magnolias” were given throughout the weekend at the Thomasville On Stage & Company Theater, 117 South Broad St. “Big Oak” and old cemetery tours also took place. Visitors could tour the Lapham-Patterson House Museum, 626 North Dawson St., for $5 and see a Victorian winter cottage and exhibits of “local treasures.”
The Thomas County Museum of History, 725 North Dawson St., had exhibits on the Rose Show’s history and Thomasville’s Victorian roots, and guests could tour six historic buildings in the city for $5.
The Jack Hadley Black History Museum, 214 Alexander St., hosted an exhibit on African-American Rose Show Queens from 1978 until 2008. Admission was $5.
Additional information about Thomasville’s rose festival can be found at www.thomasvillega.com/.
This is the kind of festival that would be great in Clayton County.
Jonesboro is the city that is most closely identified with a plant — thanks to its battle with Norfolk Southern two years ago over the railroad company’s plans to remove the city’s crepe myrtle trees on Main Street.
City leaders and residents were up in arms over the plan. There was plenty of news coverage on the issue and it was dubbed the “Second Battle of Jonesboro” by some news outlets — including this newspaper. Norfolk Southern eventually bowed to public pressure and agreed to let many of the trees remain.
Maybe Jonesboro could have a Crepe Myrtle Festival and Flower Show. It can take a page out of Thomasville’s play book and have a mixture of art vendors, flower shows, a parade, car shows and children’s games. There could also be tours of Stately Oaks, old jail house and the Road to Tara Museum. The Jonesboro Police Department could do an inspection in Lee Street Park.
Since the city just agreed to buy a $1,799 grill, Mayor Joy Day and the city council could flip burgers and hot dogs and sell them. A special farmer’s market could be set up behind Heritage Bank on West Mill Street.
This is just my suggestion, but I think the city of Jonesboro could really benefit from this.
Curt Yeomans is a Senior Reporter for the Clayton News Daily and an avid traveler. He can be reached at (770) 478-5753, ext. 247, via email at email@example.com or on Twitter at @CYeomansCND.