The month of April has been a glorious show of early spring blooms. Trees, shrubs and flowers are blooming several weeks ahead of usual, making many events in the Mid-Atlantic region even more glorious than usual. Spring festivals are being held every weekend and this weekend is full of activities.
In my neck of the woods, the Vinton Dogwood Festival is in full swing, starting tonight. Music, food, craft vendors, rides and community groups with bake sales and raffles and games, parades and even a festival queen. This is an established event, 57 years running. Next will be the Strawberry Festival, Festival in the Park and on we go into the summer season! There are devoted and experienced volunteers and businesses who make all of these events successful.
North Carolina has a similar lineup of outstanding events, beginning this weekend. In Mount Olive, the celebrations will be around the pickle, the 26th Annual NC Pickle Festival! Keeping a sense of humor about it, it’s all about the Pickle! Another event is being held in southern North Carolina, the East Laurinburg Spring Fest. The community has come together to bring people out to the shopping district, get together for a gospel sing, with arts and crafts vendors, food and kids area. In Laurinburg, my friend Lily Pittman owns Lily’s Quilts, Crafts and Things and this is an opportunity to introduce her shop, products and services to neighbors and visitors who have never been inside her shop before. It makes it more comfortable for shoppers to come back again in the future and that’s what Lily is hoping happens.
No matter what the location, spring offers the opportunity to get out into communities and neighborhoods and meet new people. There are reasons to stay local, in walking communities, finding those hidden treasures in the shops and stores that line Main Street USA. For travelers, stopping in for an event in a new place leads to pleasant surprises. Business owners are eager to please and are looking for new ways to reach consumers. Participating in seasonal and special events is a bonus for business marketing, being part of a group that gets local and sometimes regional attention from the media and the public for the event.
So, this weekend, get out there and check out a local event. There are community calendars filled with lots of events that people have invested time, money and passion into and showing up is a simple way to say thank you.