Decorations will be judged and awards given to the best entries in several different categories.
“You can decorate your mailboxes, lampposts, gates, fences, trees, signs and doorways in hydrangea blossoms, ribbons and colors to celebrate the festival,” said Mike Brantley, chairman of the festival’s embellishment committee. “Entries are open to all county residences and businesses.”
Brantley said entries will be judged the week of the June 4-5 festival and six awards will be given, including two tickets to the Daytime Garden Tours.
“There are two ways to enter your decorations in the contest,” Brantley said. “Take photographs and e-mail them, along with your name, address and phone number to HydrangeaFestivalMBDecContest@gmail.com or mail hard copies with the same information to: Shelley Holloway, 8632 Campbellton Street, Douglasville, Ga., 301343.”
All entries must be received by May 30, he said.
Additional information on the decorating contest is available from Brantley at 770-949-5834.
The festival theme is “Abracadabra,” the name of one variety of hydrangea. As with past festivals, there will be some free and some paid events, according to Jeri Farmer, one of the festival co-founders. The garden show and display gardens will still be free, but the daytime garden tour and the evening progressive tour will remain paid events.
“The festival market and flower show will be held at the Douglas County Courthouse,” Farmer said. “We’ll have shuttles to the daytime garden tour departing from the courthouse and picking people up and dropping them off at various gardens.”
Farmer said last year’s festival drew visitors from 55 Georgia cities, 10 states and two foreign countries.
Farmer and Susanne Hudson were co-founders of the Penny McHenry Hydrangea Festival in 2008. Most of the activities during the first three years were held in downtown Douglasville, with the support of city government. The city dropped its sponsorship earlier this year.
The festival is named in memory of the late Penny McHenry, an Atlanta resident and founder of the American Hydrangea Society. McHenry became interested in the flowers after someone gave her the plants on the death of her daughter. Her work with hydrangeas resulted in the propagation of a new variety which was named after her. McHenry died in 2006 and her family gave Farmer and Hudson rights to use her name for the Douglas County festival.
More information on the festival, events and tickets is available online at www.pennymchenryhydrangeafestival.com, or by calling 770-949-4090.