100th Annual Rose Show and Festival- April 22-24 in Thomasville

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Rose ShowWith a vast array of beautiful roses in full bloom, Thomasville is ready to welcome the 100th Annual Rose Show and Festival. This year’s festivities will deliver many new experiences, including photo opportunities, floral decorations, music, food, traditional favorites, and, of course, plenty of roses! There will be something for everyone to enjoy during the centennial celebration of this time-honored event, which kicks off April 22-24, 2021.

“When our preparations for the 100th Rose Show and Festival began years ago, our goals centered around organizing a celebration that our community can be proud of while also honoring the legacy of the many people that have invested their time and energy over the last one hundred years into the Rose Show and later, the festival,” said Sheryl Sealy, City of Thomasville Executive Director of Marketing and Customer Service. “This event is very special to our community, and I know it was disappointing when we couldn’t move forward last year. The pandemic definitely created some challenges for us this year, but our team pivoted and worked to develop a plan for this year that will give our community a special celebration.”

Festivities officially kick off on Thursday, April 22nd at 6:30 p.m. when the Thomasville Police Department will hold their annual inspection and review in downtown Thomasville. “This is an impressive review of TPD’s officers, vehicle fleet, and equipment while serving as an opportunity to meet the brave men and women that serve our community,” said Madison Eaton, Special Events Coordinator. “Citizens are invited to participate in a community meet-and-greet with officers before and after the inspection.”

According to Eaton, the 100th celebration will feature a re-imagined historic parade experience on Friday evening. “In order to comply with social distancing guidelines, we created a new interactive experience that will replace our traditional parade for this year,” said Eaton. “The historic parade will celebrate Rose Festivals dating back to the 1920s with larger-than-life historic photo displays lining Broad Street between Remington Avenue and Jefferson Street. We will also honor the history of our Rose Queens with a stationary float that will feature past and current queens and court members.” Live musical entertainment will complete the festive scene for guests to Sip and Shop as they stroll downtown. A limited-edition commemorative program will also be available that shares the history of the Rose Show and Festival.

An exciting new addition this year is the Rose Fest Market at The Ritz Amphitheater. Whether seeking art, flowers, food, hand-crafted items, candles, or enjoying music, the Rose Fest Market is something festival attendees don’t want to miss. “We are excited to welcome this new event to the festival,” said Eaton. “The Rose Fest Market will feature specialty selected artisans with products centered around flowers or roses in a variety of ways. Children's craft activities will also be a part of the Ros Fest Market experience. Our shoppers will also be treated to lively music and tasty food trucks to feed their cravings.”

City of Thomasville Director of Economic Development, April Norton, said that in addition to being an important event for our community, the Rose Show and Festival also has a significant economic impact. “Guests travel from all over the southeast to enjoy the Rose Show and Festival, and this year is no different based on the calls we have received from those requesting additional information,” she said. “We are excited that our visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy our award-winning downtown, which will include many special experiences just for the Rose Show and Festival. Downtown merchant Shop and Restaurant Owners are ready to welcome you with beautifully decorated floral storefronts and exciting in-store experiences as you explore the full weekend event.”

One highlight is a special culinary experience with a rosy twist. “Several downtown restaurants and bars are excited to bring back the Roses in Restaurants experience,” says Bonnie Hayes, Tourism Manager. “Festival-goers are invited to pop in and out of restaurants, wine tasting rooms, and lounges, to enjoy masterfully created unique dishes, drinks, and desserts featuring the flavor of roses. Our creative downtown chefs and barkeeps have challenged themselves, infusing roses, rose essence, rose color, and rose petals into anything from an original cocktail shaken right in front of your eyes to a rose-shaped bagel.” Thomasville welcomes visitors to enjoy a full weekend experience.

Throughout the weekend, roses, roses, and more roses will be on exhibit, with stunning displays of hundreds of hand-cut roses available for viewing at the historic flower shows. “The weekend’s most prized traditions are the Annual Rose Show, Standard Flower Show, Civic Garden Club Show, and Orchids on Parade,” said Eaton. “Local rose growers and exhibitors will once again take over the rose-filled tent at the corner of Broad Street and Remington Avenue as The Thomasville Rose Society hosts their annual Rose Show,” said Eaton. “As tradition holds, the ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, April 23rd will feature local dignitaries and the Rose Queen and her court with a special performance by the Thomasville High School Band. This event welcomes rose growers of all ages and skill levels.”

The Thomasville Garden Club will host their Annual Standard Flower Show at the Thomasville Garden Center, honoring the history of the festival with this year’s theme, Celebrating 100 Years in Bloom. “The event will feature crowd-pleasing arrangements and stunning florals that you don’t want to miss,” added Eaton.

The Civic Garden Club invites participants to experience the therapeutic aspects of flowers with its Garden Therapy theme. The Civic Garden Club Flower Show will be held in a new location this year at The Ritz Amphitheater located at 131 South Stevens Street. “Be sure to see all of the unique arrangements, table settings, and floral displays,” said Eaton.

“The Thomasville Orchid Society will once again host their Annual Orchids on Parade at the Thomasville Municipal Auditorium,” said Eaton. “Guests will be treated to an exotic variety of orchids, some of which they are sure to have never seen before.” Admission to all flower shows is free. For the safety of the club members and attendees, all shows will include social distancing and mask usage with hand sanitizing stations available.

After checking out the variety of flower shows available, Eaton said that car enthusiasts will want to be sure to head downtown for the Annual Show and Shine Car and Truck Show, sponsored by the Thomasville Police Department. “This event features an exhibition of vintage automobiles, antique trucks, and muscle cars. It is truly a picturesque sight to see these amazing vehicles displayed on our historic downtown streets,” added Eaton.Show and Shine Car and Truck Show

Saturday evening will usher in another opportunity to enjoy a Sip and Shop throughout Downtown Thomasville. “Live music will be the perfect complement to our beautiful downtown as you enjoy your favorite beverage from a special commemorative cup that celebrates our 100th year of the Rose Show and Festival,” said Norton. “Many of our merchants will be open for extended hours and our downtown restaurants will be ready to cap off your perfect weekend in Thomasville. For those staying through the weekend, many of our downtown merchants will also be open on Sunday, April 25th.” A complete listing of participating merchants is available on Thomasvillega.com.

Hayes said that there are plenty of other fun things to see and do in Thomasville during the festival, including fascinating tours at the historic Pebble Hill Plantation, the Lapham Patterson House, and the Thomasville History Center. “The Thomasville Center for the Arts will have a special art exhibit and activities in the Unvacant Lot, located on West Jackson Street in Downtown Thomasville,” she said. “The Taste of Thomasville Food Tour will also be hosting guests looking for a special dining experience. And if you haven’t seen enough roses, you’ll want to take a trip to the Thomasville Rose Garden where you can see a rosey wonderland of more than 1,500 roses, all absolutely free to enjoy.”

“Thomasville is in full bloom right now, so it is a perfect time to come spend a fun weekend with us,” said Sealy. “Generation after generation have enjoyed this time-honored tradition. You will not want to miss this year’s historic festival. We invite you to help us celebrate 100 years of roses and set the cherished celebration on its path towards another 100 years.”

Admission to the 100th Annual Rose Show and Festival is free and open to the public. For more information, call the Thomasville Visitor’s Center at 229-228-7977, visit www.thomasvillega.com or download the Visit Thomasville GA! app.

Standard Flower Show at the Thomasville Garden Center


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