2013 Leesburg Flower & Garden Festival Guide

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The guide to the 2013 Leesburg Flower & Garden Festival, April 20-21.

Text of 2013 Leesburg Flower & Garden Festival Guide

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    23rd Annual

    flower & garden


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    Leesburg Flower Ad_Layout 1 4/4/13 3:09 PM Page 1

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    The 23rd annual Leesburg Flower and Garden Festival will be held April 20-21 throughout the downtown area. Streets in the festival areaKing from Loudoun to North, Cornwall from King to Wirt, and Market from Wirt to Churchwill be closed to vehicular traffic Friday at 5:30 p.m. and reopened Sunday at 9 p.m. Festival hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Visitors are advised to leave their pets at home, especially if temperatures are warm. Any pets that are brought must be leashed and owners must have plenty of water for them, and must not leave them in a locked car. Parking is available in both the town and county garages and at Ida Lee Park, where a shuttle is available to ferry them to the festival area. Wagons are available at the Information Booth in the center of town to take purchases to the parking lot or the shuttle bus, but they must be returned. A $3 dona-tion is suggested to help defray the costs of the festival. For information, call 703-777-1368; go to the www.idalee.org website or check the festivals Face-book page.

    Just when we thought spring would never comeas March went out like a grumpy lion and April came in as a sour prunewarming days have finally appeared. By the time the Leesburg Flower & Garden Fes-tival rolls into town April 20-21, we will all know that spring, and maybe summer, has finally sprung. The festivals 23rd edition looks set to repeat its annual miracleturning the downtown into a sea of bloom and riotous color. The show offers something for everyonelively entertainment for adults and children, a wide variety of food available to purchase, wine and beer tastings on the Town Green, plenty of plant materials, garden supplies and hardscape features from which to choose, and the popular designs depicted in the miniature gar-dens set up by area landscapers. Whats so magical about the Leesburg Flower & Garden Festival is its atmosphere and pacelaid back and fun. Visitors can stroll at their leisure

    About The Festival

    Thousands To Celebrate Spring At Leesburgs Garden Festival

    Margaret Mortonmmorton@leesburgtoday.com

    Continued on next page

    through the five-block festival area, stopping now and then to rest their feet, taking in music from some great bands in Courthouse Square, while having lunch from food vendors, or eating at the many res-taurants and cafs that line the area. The Wine and Beer Garden has expanded this year, with tastings available from Bluemont Vineyards, 868 Estates and Little Washington. Breweries, a fast-growing compo-nent in Loudoun, are well represented by MacDow-ell Brew Kitchen/Mud Hound Brewing Co., Lost Rhino, Corcoran and Starr Hill. There are some who come in early on either day, knowing just what they need to fill out their plant-ings; others want to stop and ask advice about a par-ticular plant or a garden design to get ideas for their own intended masterpiece. One of the great benefits of the show is the willingness of plant vendors and landscape designers alike to give helpful tips and untiring advice to gardenersin a mutual exchange that both appreciate. Some visitors just want to take in a great show in the setting of Leesburgs 18th and 19th century

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    downtown architecture that frames the festival area. Others want to explore the town, and cut through the festival area to Leesburgs many shops behind the booths. And some make it a two-day adventurethe festival one day, then after spending the night in an area B&B or motel, heading out to Loudouns small towns, wineries and farms. The shows original focus was on Leesburg, but today organizers seek to broaden the exposure for greater Loudoun. Now drawing in excess of 30,000 visitors each year, the festival is an award-winning regional hor-ticultural showcase, attracting vendors from far and wide as well as local producers. This years tally will be about 150 vendors, according to event coordina-tor Rachael Goodwin. Along with the vendors, six nonprofits will be located in the Post Office park-ing lot: Leesburg Downtown Business Association; Loudoun Targets Lyme: Loudoun Humane Society; Piedmont Environmental Council; Paws 4 People; and Loudoun Volunteer Caregivers.

    From her first year, when she managed the festival soloan experience Goodwin describes as dauntingto this, her sixth year, running the show has been quite a ride. Goodwin is expecting the organization to be easier this year than last, when a large number of the parks and recreation staff members were new and had not experienced the festival before. Theres no way [for anyone] to learn that fast, she said. Four Town of Leesburg departments work together to make the weekend event come alive: parks and rec, police, utilities and public works. Crews from each put in hours of work to make sure the event goes off flawlessly. Running the festival is a big job. Leesburg Parks and Recreation staffers bear the brunt of the work, from directing the landscapers and vendors setting up Friday evening all the way through Sunday nights cleanup. After all the work is done do they go out for a celebratory dinner? No, I go to bed, Goodwin said firmly.

    OverviewContinued from Page 3

    Continued on Page 6

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    For many festival visitors, getting their loot home requires some sturdy carts. Fortunately, wagons can be borrowed from the volunteers and staff members at the fairs central infomation booth.

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    Another thing that will help them this year is the information gleaned and evaluated from in-depth surveys staff members have conducted for the past two years. Theyve taken the feedback to heart and youll see some changes during this years festival.One suggestion in the 2012 survey, in line with the national push for more homegrown foods and better nutrition, was to provide healthy food and vegetarian offerings. Event organizers also have followed up on sug-gestions for better indications of where things are, including new signs that point out such things as You Are Here and directions to the nearest rest-roomtraditionally one of the most asked questions at the festival. Its about the little things that can better the festivalgoers experience, Goodwin said. We want to make sure we show people we hear them and offer what they want, she said. According to Leesburg Recreation and Events Manager Jeremy Payne, every year the experience

    gained in running the show helps staff members meet the needs of visitors and vendors so we can provide a broader customer experience. What organizers seek to provide is the total packagefor kids and adults, new or old friends, who know theyre not going to the store to buy; there are 100 different ideas here, and dozens of things you didnt think you needed, Payne said. The show has a loyal clientele. And each year, it seems that customers, whether new or repeat, go away pleased. And they come back because they remember, Goodwin said.

    OverviewContinued from Page 4

    One young visitor came ready for spring.

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    rideshare tuesday




    StartSmall:carpool,bike,walkortakethebusonedayaweekStart Small: carpool, bike, walk or take the bus one day a week


    Loudoun County Department of Transportation and Capital Infrastructure

    The popular wine garden has expanded to offer beer tastings as well.

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