Even the bees are abuzz about the Florida Wildflower and Garden Festival, set for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 27, on downtown DeLand’s West Indiana Avenue. Here’s why:
• A full slate of wildflower and gardening experts will speak on a variety of topics at the historic Athens Theatre, 124 Florida Ave. Among the speakers will be the always popular Tom MacCubbin, a former University of Florida/IFAS extension agent and the radio and TV host of “Better Lawns and Gardens,” as well as Dr. Walter Taylor, aka “Mr. Florida Wildflower,” a UCF professor emeritus of biology who literally wrote the books on Florida wildflowers. Author Ginny Stibolt will talk about sustainable gardening, and Chere Clark, owner of Clark Butterfly Farm, will pass along butterfly gardening tips. Authors will sign and sell books after their talks at the Florida Wildflower Foundation booth.
• Organizations such as the Florida Wildflower Foundation will offer information on native wildflowers and plants.
• Vendors will sell wildflowers and plants, garden utensils and more.
• Festival attendees will cast their votes for their favorite painting in the Florida Wildflower & Garden Festival Art Contest. Photos of finalists' artwork will be on display at the Athens Theatre.
• Field trips include tours of Longleaf Pine Preserve, a Putnam County wildflower farm and Stetson University’s native plant garden, plus a wildflower photography workshop. Pre-registration is required; call Volusia County extension office at 386-822-5778.
• Plus, there will be crafts for kids and a butterfly release at 4 p.m.!
After the festival, West Indiana Avenue will be taken over by the free Peace, Love and Wildflowers Concert from 6-9 p.m., hosted by Bike Florida and the Florida Wildflower Foundation. The Groovers & Shakers will provide tunes for dancing, and costume contests to find the Best Hippie Dude and Best Hippie Chick will be held.
The festival is being sponsored by MainStreet DeLand, the City of Deltona, the Florida Wildflower Foundation, River of Lakes Heritage Corridor Scenic Highway, the Museum of Florida Art, University of Florida IFAS Extension and DeLand Garden Club.
For details on the free events, visit www.floridawildflowerfestival.com or call 386-738-0649.