Rose Show and Festival marks 84 years - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Rose Show and Festival marks 84 years

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Thomasville- The 84th annual Rose Show and Festival is kicking-off. It's a huge celebration filled with dozens of events. It has also become a tradition in the "Rose City."

You just can't go wrong starting the Rose Show and Festival on a day like this. And that's backed-up by the thousands of people who are expected to turn-out this weekend. Some of them come from all over our region.

Thomasville's Rose Show and Festival is so popular, people like Joyce Prestridge and her friends will travel hundreds of miles to attend. They came all the way from Carrolton. "Being ladies and having a good time, and not in a big hurry, it took us about five hours.

For these ladies, this weekend jaunt to Thomasville is their: "Spring fling" But for the planners like chairwoman Sandra Hall, the weekend is so much more. "We want to encourage people to get interested in gardening again, to get interested in growing roses, to help make our community the beautiful community it is."

This is the second year the event has been back in downtown. Previously it was held in various locations throughout Thomas County. "We're very pleased with the downtown arena," Hall said. "And we've had some wonderful comments about it so I think this will be where we'll be forever."

Unlike like the roses that are the centerpiece of this event, the planning for it isn't seasonal. It begins the day after the Rose Show ends.

"All of the committee members get together and we talk about all of the things we liked about the show this year, what went well, what we might want to change," said Hall.

A year's worth of planning to make the next show and festival loads of fun for people like Prestige and her friends. "This morning we tried to get in the wrong car, we tried to get in the wrong room," laughs Ms. Prestridge. "It works out real well, we just leave our families at home!"

Similar to the months it takes roses to bloom, that's time well spent.

The rose show itself will open Friday on Crawford Street at 1:30. Then Friday evening at 7:00, the Rose Parade begins. After that, you'll have to juggle a full weekend's worth of events.

There's something for everyone. There's music, a 10-K run, golfing, a car show, and even a downtown street dance. I guess that's what you really call, well, a party in the streets.

One of the most important aspects of the "Rose Show and Festival" is its economic impact on Thomasville. With so many people downtown, many restaurants and shops are staying open later than normal.

Hall says that thousands of visitors means thousands of dollars in revenue. Savannah Moon restaurant owner Ben Golden says that not only will he be staying open late Friday, he'll also come in early Saturday, "Just to serve the people who come downtown. A lot of people will be here who don't normally come downtown, for the parade," he said. "To let them know we're here, and just to help support the area."

There are several streets blocked-off in Thomasville for events. But city officials made sure that all of the local businesses are accessible.

email: stephen.ryan@walb.com