- Published on Tuesday, 22 March 2016 14:42
- Written by Breanna Bright
After a cozy winter wrapped up indoors, spring invites us back outside with sunshine, warm air, and the sight of new flowers in bloom. None know more about blooming flowers than the residents of Charleston, Missouri, who are celebrating their 48th Dogwood-Azalea Festival with a week-long celebration just for these beautiful trees and bushes.
Charleston takes great pride in their numerous plantings. The dogwoods and azaleas transform the bare winter landscape into a pink and white cloud-scape. One of the festival’s main attractions is the flower trail. Patrons can walk, or take a horse-drawn carriage down the six-mile trail full of dogwood and azalea blooms. Stay until nightfall on Saturday for the gorgeous candle-lit tour in which the white luminarias come to life.
With such a large draw every year, the entire town bands together to give the festival a wide range of activities and events. Karen Teeters, Executive Director of Charleston Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, says that, “The residents here work tirelessly in their yards and many volunteers take their time to make the town a welcoming environment for the 33,000 visitors we welcome to the Dogwood-Azalea Festival annually.”
A carnival runs all weekend long, full of rides and games. In one of the city parks you can take a step back to the past with the Pioneer Days Encampment site. In another, you can bring your furry friend to the Kiwanis Club Dog Show,or enjoy shopping amongst the 100+ arts and crafts booths. There’s also a parade, a pie-eating contest, a beauty pageant, and so much more.
Last year Fordors named The Dogwood-Azalea Festival one of the top 5 spring flower festivals in America, which suits this year’s festival theme, ‘Home Grown and Small Town Proud.’ Charleston indeed has much to be proud of as their festival attracts thousands each year to celebrate spring and enjoy old-fashioned fun in an unique event. Karen happily added that, “The Dogwood-Azalea Festival is a great source of pride in our community. While Charleston is a wonderful place to visit year-round, Spring is an especially beautiful time.”
The Dogwood-Azalea Festival takes place April 15 - 17. To learn more about the Festival, and see the wide array of events, visit their website. They welcome community groups and tour buses.