Geranium Festival comes to McDonough Saturday
Fun continues Saturday evening with Geranium Jam
By Jason A. Smith
Crowds filled with smiling faces.
Parents and kids walking hand-in-hand.
The aroma of festival goodies in the air.
Maybe even a few pets trotting alongside their owners on a warm, spring day.
Crowds lined the Square at the 2014 Geranium Festival. More than 22,000 people are expected to attend the event this Saturday. Photo by Nick Vassy
These are some of the sights people can look forward to this weekend when the 38th annual Geranium Festival comes to the streets of downtown McDonough.
The festival will be Saturday from 9 a.m., to 5 p.m. Admission and parking are free for the event.
Rick Berry is the chairman of the festival for the McDonough Lions Club, which sponsors the festival each year. He says more than 22,000 people are expected to gather at the city for the event, which will feature arts and crafts, food, children’s activities and information about various services available in the area.
“It’s probably the largest festival in the county during the year,” says Berry. “It’s a community event, a family event, and there’s lots to do. It’s a great time for everybody. We just encourage people to come out and enjoy the day.”
More than 300 vendors are expected to participate in the festival. Two-thirds of them, Berry says, will offer a variety of arts and crafts, including jewelry, woodworking, clothes, and pet items.
“Everything has to be U.S.-made,” says Berry.
The event will feature 25 food vendors, and numerous community and business vendors. Free vision screenings will also be available at the Lions Club tent across from Gritz Family Restaurant on the Square, says Berry.
“People ought to concentrate on the community and business section as well as arts and crafts,” he says. “We even have some info from DOT this year about the new express lanes that are going to be built in the county.”
Commemorative T-shirts for the festival will be available for $10 each at information booths on Lawrenceville Street, John Frank Ward Boulevard and at the corner of Griffin and Sloan streets. The shirts will feature a logo designed by Gabriela Watkins of Locust Grove, who won a recent design contest sponsored by the Lions Club.
The fun won’t stop when the last booth closes at the festival, either. The 2015 Geranium Jam, sponsored by McDonough Hospitality & Tourism, McDonough Main Street Program and the City of McDonough will be from 6-10 p.m., at Alexander Park, 300 Atlanta St., just off the Square.
General-admission tickets for the concert are $20, and VIP tables for 10 or more people are available for $150 each. Tickets for the Jam concert are available online at http://geraniumjam .eventbrite.com/, or at the McDonough Welcome Center.
Gates at the park will open at 5 p.m. Brian Cameron will kick off the concert at 6 p.m., on the Sons Kia McDonough stage, followed by the McDonough Rhythm Section at 6:30 p.m., and headliners, the Atlanta Rhythm Section, at 8 p.m.
The Geranium Jam is a fundraiser for beautification projects in downtown McDonough and the fifth annual Geranium Drop on New Year’s Eve, said Main Street Manager Lauren Singleton.
“The McDonough Main Street Program would like to bring some life to downtown McDonough by adding a wall mural, decorative banners and other artistic elements,” she says. “This year marks the fifth anniversary of the Geranium Drop. McDonough Hospitality & Tourism would like to make the event bigger and more exciting than the previous years to give visitors a great experience in the City of McDonough.”
Additional proceeds from the Geranium Jam will go toward supporting programs for military veterans in Henry County.
Attendees at the concert are encouraged to bring picnic baskets, lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy the concert, rain or shine. Public parking will be available at 63 Lawrenceville St., and concert-goers will be able to take a free shuttle to the park. The shuttle will run from 5 p.m., until midnight.
For more information, call the Welcome Center at 678-782-6230 or visit http://visitmcdonoughga.com/events/geranium-jam/.