5 Things To Know Before You Attend Daffodil Day

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On Saturday, March 21 Historic Oakland Cemetery will host its first-ever Daffodil Day in partnership with the Georgia Daffodil Society. The afternoon will include garden walks and talks from horticulture experts, as well as daffodil displays, heirloom bulbs for sale and much more.

As one of the most popular and recognizable springtime blooms, the daffodil has a fascinating and perhaps little-known history, but we’ve picked a few fun “flower facts” in preparation for this springtime celebration:

Lent Lillies

  1. Grown since the 1200’s, pseudonarcissus (commonly known as the wild daffodil or Lent Lily) was used as a decorative touch in English bars and taverns in the late 1500’s. French botanist Carolus Clusius was one of the first to take note of cut Lent Lillies being used decoratively.
  1. To this day, the perfume industry still uses daffodils in their creations. The most commonly used varietal is Narcissus poeticus, or Poet’s daffodil.

 

  1. Families in south Georgia and northern Florida planted Paperwhite daffodils (Narcissus papyraceus) in cemeteries because they are white, bloom around Christmastime and are considered symbols of the Resurrection.

 

  1. x. medioluteus is also known as Twin Sisters because it bears two flowers on each stem. The flower is also called Cemetery Ladies because it is so tough that it’s often found growing in old cemeteries.

 

  1. At the turn of the 20th century, big daffodil hybridizers named their best yellow trumpets after themselves, and their best white trumpet creations were named after their wives.

 

Twin SistersFor even more on the daffodil, be sure to visit Oakland’s Victorian garden cemetery on Daffodil Day, when garden expert and historian Sara Van Beck will present and sign copies of her acclaimed book, Daffodils in American Gardens: 1733-1940. The beautifully illustrated reference is the perfect companion for any garden lover, and is available for pre-order through March 16 in Oakland’s online store.

Daffodil Day is free and open to the public. Click here for additional details and the full event schedule.

Springtime Festivals Bloom Across the State

Photo courtesy of Atlanta Dogwood Festival

Photo courtesy of Atlanta Dogwood Festival

Georgia is known for its beautiful landscapes and dotting those landscapes are trees and flowers that have lended their name to springtime festivals . Here are 10 coming up in the next month:

1.)  Yellow Pollen Street Festival – Hampton’s newly revamped Main Street serves as the host for its annual spring festival that celebrates good that comes from the sticky icky known as Georgia pine pollen on March 21st.

2.)  Jonquil Festival – Smyrna’s twice-yearly festival takes it’s spring turn April 25th and 26th at the Village Green.  Admission is free to the family-friendly event which will feature local artisans, numerous Cobb County restaurants, and a kids play area.

3.)  Azalea Festival – Head to Valdosta March 14th and 15th for two full days of fun including a live tiger display by Tiger Stripes Animal Sanctuary, the Classic Car and Motorcycle Show, the Disc-Connected K9’s Frisbee Show, the Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show, and the Wild Adventures Stage.

4.)  International Cherry Blossom Festival – The entire city of Macon comes alive March 19th- April 4th with food, music, family-friendly fun, tours, historical exploration experiences, a parade, fireworks, and more.

Photo courtesy of Forsythia Festival

Photo courtesy of Forsythia Festival

5.) Forsythia Festival – Held the second weekend in March in Forsyth, the two-day event features a family-friendly weekend filled with an arts-and-crafts show, children’s fair, running races, live entertainment, and more!

6.)  Another Bloomin’ Festival – On April 4th, downtown Metter comes alive with typical festival sights and sounds in addition to a celebration of Easter. For extra fun individuals and familes are invited to the Metter Municipal Airport for the annual Bloomin’ Fly-In.

7.)  Conyers Cherry Blossom Festival –Former Olympic site the Georgia International Horse Park will host the 2015 version of the festival March 21st and 22nd in Conyers.  Visitors will enjoy multiple stages of continuous entertainment featuring international music, dance, games, food, 300 arts and crafts vendors, children’s activities, and more.

8.)  Atlanta Dogwood Festival – April 10-12 Atlanta’s Piedmont Park will host one of the city’s most beloved festivals- the Atlanta Dogwood Festival. Now in its 79th year, the festival will feature a nationally renowned-juried Fine Artist Market,  Kids Village featuring huge inflatables, arts & crafts and face painting for all ages, as well as the ever-popular 24-foot rock-climbing wall. A wide variety of live musical entertainment and food will complete the festival experience.

9.)  Perry Dogwood Festival – April 11th and 12th downtown Perry will feature a festival highlighting the best entertainment the town can offer including a hot air balloon rally, dog diving competition, arts and crafts festival, running events, fishing tournament, and flapjack fundraiser.

10.)  Geranium Festival – Arts and crafts vendors from across the southeastern United States will gather just off 1-75 in McDonough to sell their wares on May 16th. Festival food, a children’s area, and a section highlighting local businesses all make this day family-friendly and fun.

EileenEileen is Georgia’s official Festival Explorer and the editor of Occupy My Family, the Atlanta area’s most comprehensive resource for family fun. Click here for more Festival content from Eileen.

Shake Off Boring and Rattle Down the Road to Claxton

By Eileen Falkenberg-Hull

Courtesy of Georgia Department of Natural Resources

Courtesy of Georgia Department of Natural Resources

This side of the Chattahoochee River you’re unlikely to find another festival dedicated to celebrating a poisonous snake quite as fun as the Claxton Rattlesnake & Wildlife Festival.

15,000 visitors from all over Georgia, and beyond, flock to Evans County, halfway between Vidalia and Savannah, each year for the family-friendly festival which features captive rattlesnakes, snake handling demonstrations and wildlife educational programs from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Georgia Southern University Wildlife Center, Let’s Get Wild, Quails Unlimited, and the National Wild Turkey Federation.

Running March 14th and 15th this year, the festival, which has been voted one of the “Top  Twenty Events in the Southeast” by the Southeast Tourism Society, also features a Miss Rattlesnake & Wildlife Pageant, parade, arts and crafts, vendors selling their wares, and more.

While you’re in town visiting the city known as the Fruitcake Capital of the World, be sure to stop by the world-famous Claxton Bakery company store in downtown Claxton.

Want to make a stop at the festival part of your weekend but also want to visit another Georgia city? Vidalia is 40 minutes from downtown Claxton and Savannah is just shy of an hour away by car.

EileenEileen is Georgia’s official Festival Explorer and the editor of Occupy My Family, the Atlanta area’s most comprehensive resource for family fun. Click here for more Festival content from Eileen.

Brunswick Gets All Shook Up 

By Eileen Falkenberg-Hull

Photo Courtesy of  Georgia Elvis Festival

Photo Courtesy of Georgia Elvis Festival

Brunswick is about to be all shook up by the annual Georgia Elvis Festival, coming to town March 12-15, 2015.

Locals and visitors are invited to put on their blue suede shoes and stroll along downtown Brunswick where shop windows will be decorated featuring the King of Rock and Roll and stop to listen to live performances in Brunswick’s town squares and Mary Ross Park for ol’ times sake. Additionally there will be two Vegas-style Elvis shows.

While you’re in town for the festival, you’ll be sure to be shoppin’ around at the locally owned stores in the Brunswick Old Town Historic District and on Mallory Street in St. Simons Island or going beyond the reef dining at one of the local seafood restaurants. My favorite laid-back restaurant in the area, Half Shell, is just across the causeway on St. Simons Island.

Heading to Brunswick with your sweetheart? Be sure to snap a selfie at Lover’s Oak (at Prince and Albany Streets), a 900-year old tree said to be the place where Native Americans would meet their romantic partners before England’s colonization of the land.

EileenEileen is Georgia’s official Festival Explorer and the editor of Occupy My Family, the Atlanta area’s most comprehensive resource for family fun. Click here for more Festival content from Eileen.

10 Finger Licking Good Georgia Barbecue Festivals

By Eileen Falkenberg-Hull

Photo courtesy of Atlantic Station

Photo courtesy of Atlantic Station

The temperatures are rising and so is the smoke! This year festival gates will open across Georgia for annual these barbecue infused festivals in 2015:

  1. Crowds will gather at Atlantic Station in Atlanta on February 28th for a day offering unlimited tastings of 60 beers and 40 bourbons while noshing on whole hogs of barbecue. Tickets for the Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival are on sale now.
  2. In Tifton on March 6th and 7th, the Rhythm & Ribs BBQ Festival will take over Fulwood Park. Organizers promise a BBQ competition, children’s games, arts and crafts vendors, food vendors, and entertainment.
  3. Upson County is home to the Smoke on the Water BBQ Festival on April 3rd and 4th in Thomaston. Set on Bickley’s Lake, the event promises a weekend full of fun for your entire family.
  4. The Bikes, Blues, & BBQ Festival at Douglas Municipal – Gene Chambers Airport in Douglas is set for April 10th and 11th in 2015. The annual event will include a BBQ competition, popular blues bands, motorcycle show and poker run, car show, aircraft displays, arts and crafts vendors, and more.
  5. May 1st and 2nd the Barnesville Battle of the Bones Festival takes over the streets of downtown Barnesville with an event is sanctioned by the Florida BBQ Association that is also an automatic qualifier for the Jack Daniels Invitational a.k.a. The Super Bowl of BBQ World Championships.
  6. Atlanta Bar-B-Que Festival is set for August 14th and 15th at the Atlantic Station special events area in Atlanta. The type of festival you better get to early before all the food runs out, the event will feature many of the city’s top barbecue restaurants as well as a “bourbon experience.”
  7. Each year, crowds gather in downtown Kennesaw each year for their Pigs & Peaches BBQ Festival. The event features a barbecue competition, tastings, free children’s activities, live concerts alongside arts, crafts and general merchandise vendors.
  8. Head up to the mountains for the annual Blue Ridge Blues and BBQ Festival, scheduled for early autumn in downtown Blue Ridge. This event is the perfect excuse to get away from home and see the fall foliage.
  9. One of my favorite events, The Great Miller Lite Chili and BBQ Cook-Off happens the first weekend in October each year at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers. Benefitting Camp Twin Lakes, the festival is a music and food extravaganza celebrating quirky team competitions.
  10. Professional and amateur BBQ teams will be cooking to compete for some big prize money and bragging rights at the Cornelia Apple Blossom BBQ Festival happening April 17 -18, 2015.

EileenEileen is Georgia’s official Festival Explorer and the editor of Occupy My Family, the Atlanta area’s most comprehensive resource for family fun. Click here for more Festival content from Eileen.