47th Annual Dogwood-Azalea Festival

Courtesy of the Dogwood-Azelea Festival website

One of Missouri’s trademarks of spring is the bloom of Dogwood trees and Azaleas. With the beauty Dogwood flowers give it’s easy to see why they were chosen as the state tree. The pink and white petals are a welcoming sight after a long winter, and to celebrate that seasonal transition Charleston, Missouri hosts the Dogwood-Azalea Festival where everyone is invited to admire the floral magnificence of their 6-mile long Dogwood-Azalea trail. The sweet scent of foliage and the cascading flower petals make it feel like a fairy land.

Indeed, visiting Charleston during the festival can feel just like a fairy tale. The clip-clop of horse-drawn carriages compliment the flower-dawned town, and the Saturday candlelight tour casts the luminarias in a magical glow.

This weekend-long event is full of fun and events galore. The Carnival, and the Dogwood-Azalea Parade will delight both children, and children-at-heart. And on Saturday the Ice Cream Social will fuel the energy you’ll need for all that play time. A petting zoo is open Saturday and Sunday, and there is an unique event to Charleston, the Swine Races, where you can cheer your favorite pig to victory.

Amongst all this fun there is some education to be had as well. Several historic homes and museums will hold special tours during the festival weekend, including the Joseph Hunter Moore Home, the Warren E. Hearnes Museum, and the St. Henry Church. At the Newnam Library there is a special exhibit on Charleston’s cotton history titled: ‘The Sharecroppers Rebellion:  When Cotton Was King’, or you can watch history come to life at the Pre-1880’s Encampment where costumed-actors will show off old-fashioned skills like blacksmithing and fur trading.

So much more is in the works for this 47th annual festival, which was named one of America’s Best Spring Flower Festivals by Fordor’s Travel website. You’ll need the whole weekend to see everything they have to offer, including live music from bands like Jordan’s Tide, a 5K run, an arts and crafts bazaar, a dog show, and a bike fest. To find out about all the exciting events, and take in the beauty of Missouri’s favorite flowers, visit the Dogwood-Azalea Festival website or keep up with all the updates as they unfold on their Facebook Page.

The Festival takes place in Charleston Missouri, April 16 to the 19. Events and times vary, so check the website for details.

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