91st Annual Thomasville, Ga., Rose Show And Parade Is April 26-28

Thursday, February 9, 2012 - by Katie Reeder

Celebrating 91 years, the Annual Thomasville Rose Show and Festival blooms April 26-28. A Southwest Georgia tradition since the 1920s, the free family-friendly Festival encompasses the Rose Show, which presents contemporary and heirloom roses against a backdrop budding with thousands of the blooms; the Rose Parade, known for its rose carpet and flowery floats; the Street Dance, which brings out boppers young and old; “Orchids on Parade”; Children’s Rose Bud Parade; plus live music, arts and crafts, car show, Southern-style festival foods, children’s fun and games and more. Continuing a festival tradition: The Thomas County Museum of History and Lapham-Patterson House will offer presentations and exhibits about Thomasville’s Victorian history and the Rose Show tradition.

Visit www.ThomasvilleGA.com for event schedule and details. 

With roses blooming April through July, no wonder Thomasville is known as the “City of Roses.” More than 500 rose bushes scent the air along the banks of Cherokee Lake in the City of Thomasville’s Rose Garden while bouquets trim the Victorian cottages and storefronts of the downtown historic district. For the 64th Annual Rose Parade, on Friday, the city literally rolls out the rose carpet for floats studded with no less than one dozen live roses. The Parade’s recurring theme, "Everything’s Coming up Roses!,” brings out the creativity in everyone. The owner of Gecko Gardens adorns a bobcat with roses and drives this daintily-decorated piece of construction equipment from one side of the street to the other, nodding to the children with the Bobcat’s bucket. Following the parade, everyone takes to the streets for unabashed boogying during the Annual Street Dance featuring live music. Adding to the festivities, masses of orchids put on a show at the Genealogical Library: The Annual Orchids on Parade presents the delicate perennials grown by the Thomasville Orchid Society. On Saturday, Art in the Park bursts to life with lots of arts and crafts and children’s activities – food, too. Sumptuous tasty tidbits will be dished up throughout the Festival, along with plenty of live music.

Other activities: The 34th Annual Children’s Rose Bud Parade; Rose City Golf Classic; 71st Annual Civic Garden Club Flower Show; Bark in the Park; 35th Annual Rose City 10K Run and 33rd Annual 1 Mile Fun Run; and 10th Annual City of Roses Show-n-Shine Car & Truck Show.

The Thomasville Rose Show and Festival was voted a Top 20 Event in the Southeast by the Southeast Tourism Society and is one of the American Bus Association’s Top 100 Events in North America. See www.ThomasvilleGA.com or call 1-866-577-3600 for complete event details.

While roses reign in Thomasville, you won’t want to miss another blooming beauty: azaleas. Bursting with color alongside delicate dogwoods, late March through April, one of the best places to see these scented species is on the well-kept grounds of nearby Pebble Hill Plantation.

Need to getaway sooner than spring? Wish away winter doldrums and gather the girls for a weekend in Thomasville. The renowned Thomasville Antiques Show comes to town Feb. 24-26. For more than 22 years, this not-to-be-missed event, held at The Fairgrounds and benefiting Children’s Programs, has made everything old new again for thousands of attendees.

Need even more of a flower fix? Start with the Standard Flower Show, also celebrating its 91st year, March 23-24. Get gussied up for the luncheon and fashion show on Friday, followed by a ribbon cutting, the opening of the Show, and a wine and cheese cocktail event. Savor the scented beauties 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday. Within walking distance of downtown, visit Thomasville’s Wright House, built in 1854, the earliest antebellum cottage still standing in Thomasville's Fletcherville Historic District. The home is also the gift shop for the Gecko Gardens Nursery that occupies the extensive grounds around the house.

Stay the weekend and sip high tea at Bella Woods Café (123 North Broad Street) in Downtown.

At Firefly (125 South Broad Street) pick up graphite sculptural objects by artist Agelio Batle. Or, shop Mode (128 South Broad Street) for affordable labels alongside select designers. After shopping downtown’s many offerings, take in Thomasville’s many attractions including the Jack Hadley Black History Museum (Admission: $5 Adult, $3 Children & College Students, $4 Senior Citizens) where historian, James “Jack” Hadley has preserved over 3,000 pieces of artifacts that commemorate the lives and accomplishments of Thomasville’s first black achievers, as well as state and national level achievers. Nearby, Pebble Hill Plantation is a living museum that provides a glimpse into the genteel life of the southern sporting plantation of yesteryear. Stroll through the extensive grounds, visit the garage with antique automobiles and take a guided tour of the magnificent Main House that includes an extensive collection of artwork by renowned sporting and nature artists and a vast collection of original antique furnishings. (Admission:  Plantation Admission - $5 Adults, $2 Children; Main House Tour - $15 Adults, $6 Children; Children must be 6 years old to tour Main House)

Adventuresome gals will love quail hunting, too. No, Annie – no need to get your gun. Throughout the Downtown, 12 bronze quail are strategically hidden away on ledges and rooftops in an effort to celebrate and draw attention to the importance of the quail to the area’s heritage. Play a modern-day game of “Eye Spy” and see if you find them all. Pick up a brochure at the Thomasville Visitor’s Center and start hunting the Lost Quail.

Before you leave, head to Thomasville's oldest and most natural landmark, The Big Oak, which grew from a tiny acorn beginning around 1685 and is one of the original members (#49) of the Live Oak Society, enrolled in 1936. Now over 325 years old, the Big Oak has a limb span of over 165 feet and a trunk circumference of over 26 feet! Say, "cheese" for a one-of-a-kind souvenir. Stand in front of the tree behind the white sign and dial 229-236-0053 on your cell phone. Look at the camera on the telephone pole across the street and follow the instructions you hear on your cell phone and strike a pose. Find your picture online at BigOak.Rose.net.

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