• Laurel Contributor

Bedazzled By Dahlias

by Ashley Stewart

Dahlias are my favorite flowers. These ambassadors of summer on the Plateau never cease to amaze me with their dazzling array of shapes and colors.

And I’m not alone. Hundreds of local gardeners revel in the splendor of Pom Poms, Water Lilies, Balls and Orchids. Highlands Mayor Patrick Taylor signed a proclamation declaring the week of September 3-9 as Dahlia Week. In celebration of these beautiful flowers, the Ninth Annual Dazzling Dahlia Festival will be held on Saturday, September 7, at the Highlands Recreation Center.

The Festival is the culmination of summer activities for the Highlands Historical Society. The funds raised support the Historical Society, the Prince House, and Kelsey Kids Summer Camp. While there is no Patron’s Party this year, the display of flowers is sure to be as incredible as ever.

Last year, 43 exhibitors entered 277 flowers to be judged. Best in Show was awarded to Clyde Howell for his stunning Pom Pom. Forty-eight Blue Ribbons were awarded, as well as many Second and Third Place and Honorable Mention Ribbons.

Flower entries will be accepted on Friday, September 6, from 4:00 to 6:30 P.M., as well as 8:00 to 10:00 A.M. on Saturday morning. The entry fee is $15 for up to eight blooms. There are 17 different categories including Dinner Plates, Collarettes, Pom Poms, Water Lilies, and Orchids. The entries will be judged at 10:30 Saturday morning.

The Festival will be open to the public from 1:00 to 4:00 P.M. Entry to view the Festival is $5. At 2:00, there will be an entertaining and informative presentation by a noted speaker.

To enter your dahlias, or for more information, contact Kim Daugherty at gatorsinparadise@gmail.com.

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