Geranium Festival, McDonough Ga

 

A McDonough tradition for 40 years | written by Emily Paige Skeen

A McDonough tradition for 40 years, the Geranium Festival boasts vendors from all across
Georgia. Each year, crowds of local residents and out-of- towners browse the streets of beautiful
downtown McDonough and beyond to discover homegrown artists, southern-fried treats, and
new friends.


Treasuring Unique Finds

Geranium Festival, McDonough Ga
As a Geranium Festival first-timer, I was pleasantly overwhelmed by the sheer volume of items
for sale. Things you can’t find in any
store—things that are handmade with the sweat,
blood, and tears of people just like you and me.
Everything from painted wood signs and burlap
art to monkey farts—yes, you read the
right—graced the streets of McDonough last
Saturday. The Geranium Festival is famous for its
abundance of unique items. Because where else
can you find monkey fart-scented candles?  The plethora of home decor was, of course, my favorite part of the festival outing. I love shopping local for my home. I’d rather piece together different handmade items than buy from a retail chain any day. And the Geranium Festival certainly delivered.

Geranium Festival, McDonough GaWhile browsing the numerous tents filled with amazing art and decor pieces, I had the pleasure of speaking with Anne Britt, a former elementary school teacher and first-time Geranium Festival vendor from Warner Robbins. Anne creates beautiful home items with a bit of southern flare—right up my alley.
I simply couldn’t leave her Kudzu Collection booth without grabbing something for myself.

I also asked about Anne’s experience with the festival, of which she had nothing but positive things to say. She told me the staff had been extremely helpful and she’d been having a great time. Another reason to be proud of this local tradition.

 

Festival food, Geranium Festival, McDonough Ga

Tasting the South


If you’re more into great eats than gorgeous home decor, then the Geranium Festival’s got you
covered, too. As I strolled by various food vendors during the festival, the sweet aroma of funnel
cakes and barbeque mingling together wafted over me—the signature scent of a Georgia
summer.

But I found so much more than those traditional dishes. From farm-raised alligator on a stick to
fried Twinkies, there was no shortage of unique southern flavors. In fact, there was so much food
throughout the festival that I could’ve easily gained five pounds just sampling it all. A few
vendors even offered gluten-free options, in case you prefer to keep it healthy.

By the looks of things, foodies from all over Georgia flock to the Geranium Festival. Robin
Gibbs, the vendor offering alligator on a stick, has been making the trip from Albany to
McDonough to be a part of the festival each year for a decade. She’s been in business for 15
years and guarantees you’ll simply devour their southern-fried foods.

Geranium Festival, McDonough Ga

Experiencing a Sense of Community

Even better than the shopping and the eating was seeing McDonough and surrounding areas
come together to back small businesses and support Georgia schools, churches, and charities.
I observed people laughing and talking with strangers, relaxing on the curb to grab a bite, and
taking a real interest in their community. It showed me that despite our differences, we can
overcome division and be a society of friends. Caring for each other is all it takes.
One organization that’s doing exactly that is Southern Grace Hospice. With a passion to improve
end of life care, the healthcare professionals at Southern Grace strive to bring peace and joy to
terminally ill adults and children, as well as their families.

When I spoke with Brittany Hall of Southern Grace, she informed me they’re always in need of volunteers. In fact, you could sign up to volunteer right then and there at the festival.  What better way to encourage active involvement in our communities?

Southern Grace Hospice wasn’t the only group I noticed making an impact. There were also churches handing out info, schools raising money for student programs, and healthcare providers offering free blood pressure checks.

Geranium Festival, McDonough Ga

Making Family Memories


Another incentive to check out the Geranium Festival next year? There really is something for
everyone. I noticed an entire area devoted to kids’ activities, from face painting to bounce houses
and more.
It took a heap of self-control on my part to not go running straight to the huge Arctic Plunge
Slide. With no kids tagging along that day, I was forced to stick with observing people and
snapping photos.



The Takeaway


In my opinion, there’s a reason hundreds of people fought the sweltering heat and shirt-
drenching humidity last Saturday to experience the Geranium Festival. Delicious food, unique
treasures, kids’ activities, a community coming together…all of it
makes for an amazing experience.

Free admission, parking, and shuttling means there’s absolutely nothing holding you back from enjoying this exciting event. It was super easy to find free parking and hop on the shuttle bus. I didn’t have to wait more than five minutes for a ride coming or going. Even better? The bus was air-conditioned—a much-appreciated amenity after hours in the sun.

If you missed the fun on Saturday, be sure to mark your calendar for next year. Every Georgian should experience the Geranium Festival at least once in his or her lifetime.  It truly is “one of the best festivals in all of Georgia.” ~ Emily Paige Skeen


 

McDonough’s annual Geranium Festival is held the third Saturday in May in downtown.  If you haven’t ever been, put it on your calendar for next year!  

Geranium Festival 2017

Geranium Festival 2017

It’s almost time for the 40th Annual Geranium Festival!  It’s a FREE family-friendly event in beautiful downtown McDonough, GA on Saturday, May 20, 2017!  Experience the Geranium Festival this year and you will discover why we call it “one of the best festivals in all of Georgia.”   Enjoy handcrafted and artistic designs that you won’t find in local stores.  Whether you are looking for Jewelry, Clothing, Birdhouses, Pet Accessories, Candles, and much, much more, you will find it at the Geranium Festival.

Taste a Strawberry Shortcake, a Funnel Cake, a Snow Cone, Barbecue, Tomato Sandwiches, Hamburgers right off the grill, a Chicken Sandwich, and so much more!

Taste of Henry 2017

 

Taste of Henry showcases over 35 local restaurants and food vendors with dishes that are sure to satisfy every palate. The taste-size portions let you sample a variety of different flavors and restaurants.  Join us Friday, April 21, 2017 from 6 – 9pm at the Jason. T. Harper Event Center at Heritage Park.  

Purchase tickets and to find more info, click here.

Atlanta Super NIT Baseball

Welcome USSSA!  McDonough is excited to once again host baseball teams from all over the United States, for the 13th Annual Atlanta Select 30 Super NIT baseball tournament, March 18 & 19, 2017!  Players ages 6 years up to 14 years old will be competing in this USSSA tournament.  Teams and their fans will be playing at our local parks, along with others around the metro Atlanta area.  

For game schedules and event info, click here.

We invite teams, players and their families to visit McDonough restaurants, shops and hotels while enjoying the outdoor parks!  If we can help you further, stop in the Welcome Center, located on the downtown McDonough square.

Spring is a beautiful time to be on main street in McDonough, GA!  Their upcoming events in April include a Garden Party for Ladies Night Out on April 13th from 6 – 9pm, and on the Fourth Friday enjoy Mini Golf on April 28th!  For more event info, visit MainStreetMcDonough.com.

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