Rose Show Festival has major impact on Thomasville - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Rose Show Festival has major impact on Thomasville

The Rose Show Festival brings thousands to Thomasville for the big three-day event. (Source: WALB) The Rose Show Festival brings thousands to Thomasville for the big three-day event. (Source: WALB)
Jane Still was the second ever Rose Queen and she was in town Friday for the Rose Show Festival. (Source: WALB) Jane Still was the second ever Rose Queen and she was in town Friday for the Rose Show Festival. (Source: WALB)
Back then her name was Jane Jay and many called her JJ. (Source: WALB) Back then her name was Jane Jay and many called her JJ. (Source: WALB)
Angelica Chavez just recently opened Kreamkles Rolled Ice Cream on West Jackson Street in Thomasville. (Source: WALB) Angelica Chavez just recently opened Kreamkles Rolled Ice Cream on West Jackson Street in Thomasville. (Source: WALB)
Chavez said she was inspired to open the shop about five years ago when she visited Thomasville. (Source: WALB) Chavez said she was inspired to open the shop about five years ago when she visited Thomasville. (Source: WALB)
THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) -

On Friday, people said they traveled several hours to Thomasville specifically for the 97th Annual Rose Show Festival.

The Rose Show Festival features several flower shows, parades, community events, concerts and the good news is that most of the events are free.

Meeting a queen

And as thousands flocked to Thomasville for the Rose Show, WALB's Ashlyn Becton got to meet one of the former Rose Queens from 1949.

Jane Still was the second ever Rose Queen and she was in town Friday for the Rose Show Festival.

Back then her name was Jane Jay and many called her JJ.

Still said she can still remember the beautiful white dress she wore that was made by her mother. She said back then, the Rose Queens were elected by the student body.

Now, Still lives in Jacksonville, Florida but she treasures the memories she made in Thomasville.

"It was an exciting thing for young people, and the parade was not a great big parade, it was medium size. And as I look back, it was a treat to grow up in Thomasville," said Still.

Still sat on a panel of Rose Show experts Friday morning at the Thomasville History Center. She got to share her experience and memories with the community.

Visitors make a major economic impact

Most hotels in Thomasville are full and the restaurants and shops were packed on Friday with customers visiting for the 97th Annual Rose Show Festival.

The three-day event brings in about $30,000 people with an economic impact of $1.4 million over those three days.

Restaurants said they see a 30 to 40 percent spike in sales.

"It's a novel experience, we really didn't know what to expect. We've really been open for whatever happens. The high school band opened the festivities, the flowers are beautiful, all the hybrids, we are enjoying ourselves," said Suwannee County resident Jeffrey Bradley.

New Thomasville business plans for the big weekend

Several new businesses in downtown Thomasville opened their doors just a few weeks before the Rose Show Festival.

Angelica Chavez just recently opened Kreamkles Rolled Ice Cream on West Jackson Street in Thomasville. She said she's excited for all the visitors because it will give her new business exposure and added sales for the weekend.

Chavez said she was inspired to open the shop about five years ago when she visited Thomasville.

After teaching for several years she decided it was time to open the ice cream shop in downtown Thomasville.

Chavez said events like the Rose Show are great for the downtown area.

She said they had to prepare by stocking up on inventory and staff.

"It can be overwhelming at times to think, oh my gosh there are over 10,000 people that will be at this event but I think we have prepared. We have done our time and prepared for the influx in customers we hope it brings," explained Chavez.

Chavez said she's happy to have support from businesses around her on West Jackson Street.

Many of the products that Kreamkles uses are from other small local businesses.

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