Jefferson's 10th annual Foliage Fest is coming up on Saturday, March 20. This year's event will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Jefferson City Park.

The festival will feature tree, shrub, herb and handcraft sales, food, live music and information on plant care. A 5K run precedes the festival at 9 a.m.

Area nurseries will offer ornamental and native trees such as azalea, flowering dogwood, redbud and maple for sale. Additionally, more than 30 vendors will be on hand with handmade goods. Products for sale in the past have included garden art from recycled items, birdhouses, windchimes, jewelry, woodcrafts, baked goods, jellies, honey, soaps and herbal teas.

Following opening ceremonies at 10:30 a.m., Jackson County Extension Agent Greg Pittman and Master Gardener Brandy Pethel will give a presentation on mulching best practices and answer questions about plant problems.

This year, young festival attendees can also enjoy a performance by the Carpenter Academy of Irish Dance at 11:30 a.m., explore the BioBus, a mobile learning laboratory for environmental education, and get their picture taken with a working fire truck. Representatives of Jefferson Fire Department will be on hand to answer fire safety questions and discuss landscaping techniques that lessen the risk of fire damage to homes.

The festival also serves as a stage for local bluegrass bands. Music kicks off at noon with Cotton Town Revival, followed by Crying Room, Fiddlin’ Around, The Sunroom Gang and Fiddlin’ Fanatics. It wraps up with a bluegrass jam that is open to audience members.

“This really is one of the best early spring festivals in north Georgia,” said Susan Russell, city arborist and chair of the Jefferson Tree Council. “I don’t know of any plant sale that also includes food, crafts, dance demonstrations and hours of live music.”

In addition, this year vendors will be well-spaced and there is room for social distancing, said Russell.

The Jefferson Tree Council, which organizes the event, was founded in 2005 with the goal of securing a healthy and diverse tree canopy for present and future generations of Jefferson. Trees have been shown to improve air quality, stormwater management and human health while reducing energy consumption and increasing property values, organizers said.

Jefferson City Park is located at 302 Longview Drive, at the intersection of Lynn Avenue (Old Swimming Pool Road) and Memorial Drive.

There is no admission charge to the festival and parking is free.

For more information, contact jeffersontreecouncil@gmail.com.

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