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Geranium festival ushers in 35 years
by Nneka M. Okona
May 02, 2012 09:58 AM | 1075 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Joe Livingston
McDonough Geranium Festival coordinator Ed Galbreath looks over the flowers at the square where the festival will be held.
Staff / Joe Livingston McDonough Geranium Festival coordinator Ed Galbreath looks over the flowers at the square where the festival will be held.
The festival that commemorates the vibrant red flower dotting grassy patches in McDonough has arrived.

McDonough’s 35th annual Geranium Festival, sponsored by the McDonough Lions Club, will be May 19 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the square.

Admission is free, along with free parking at Henry County High School and a complimentary shuttle from the high school to the festival.

Ed Galbreath, the event’s coordinator, has been involved with the festival for five years and has been the coordinator for the past three.

“The festival is surrounded by the shops, restaurants and geraniums that line the square,” he said.

More than 350 exhibitors will be on hand, offering wide array of one-of-a-kind arts and crafts pieces for purchase.

Some of the items for sale will include children’s clothing, jewelry, woodworking items, bows, pocketbooks and accessories for furry friends.

The food is another highlight of the event.

“There are so many different kinds of food that there is something for everyone,” said Galbreath. “Shane’s Rib Shack will be with us this year cooking up barbecue. Southern Belle Farms will have fresh strawberries with delicious ice cream. The list goes on of great food vendors.”

For the tots, a children’s area will also be at the festival. The area will feature sections for interactive play.

Live music will play throughout the day from artists such as Ben Clum, Lydia Carroll and the McDowell Boys.

Galbreath said annually more than 25,000 attendees flock to the festival.

Despite the many features of the festival, for Galbreath, there are other components that he calls his favorite.

“My favorite part of the festival is watching families come and have a great time together,” he said. “Since we have free parking, a free shuttle, and free admission to the festival, families can come to a quality event at an affordable price.”

Galbreath also mentioned the philanthropy component, as proceeds from the festival will benefit the Lions Club efforts throughout the county and enable the organization to give to local groups.

As a new addition this year, a Geranium Jam will also be held in Alexander Park. The jam, following the festival, will be hosted by Mainstreet McDonough and McDonough tourism.

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