Spring, music was in the air at Jefferson Foliage Fest

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St. Patrick’s Day weekend provided a beautiful sunny Saturday for the Jefferson Foliage Fest.

At the event, Cindy Smiglesky joined with members of the Jefferson City Council members Steve Quinn, Kathy DuBose and (not pictured) Mark Mobley and Mayor Jim Joiner for the official unveiling of the marker for McKinney Hill in memory of her parents, Col. John W. McKinney and Annie Willborn McKinney. The family purchased a home in Jefferson just prior to the Army colonel deploying to Vietnam. Mrs. McKinney’s brother lived around the corner. After completing his military career, the couple returned to live in Jefferson.

Vendors included nurseries such as Blueberry Gardens u-pick farm in Cumming, IG Nursery and Nichols Nursery from Flat Rock, N.C., and McElroy Nursery of Commerce , craftsmen and artisans including Flatwood Homecare from Next to Nowhere Farm in Oglethorpe County offering mirrors made from barn wood and unique handmade jewelry designs from spoons by Pheebee’s Spoons, and  food providers including Ferranti’s Cakery which carried out the St. Patrick’s Day theme with green cupcakes, pushups and other culinary sweet treats.

According to Jefferson Tree Council member Mary Dugan, acting chair and amazing arborist Susan Russell worked long hours pulling the vendors together, the nurseries, etc., and her efforts were obvious with the turnout for Foliage Fest.

“The Jefferson Heritage Tree Council is thrilled with everything about Foliage Fest 2013 this past weekend. The turnout, music and vendor presence was all as favorable as the sunny, warm weather,” said Dugan.

“Tree and nursery sales met expectations and we heard lots of praise for the bands who performed so generously for everyone. We heard from several vendors that they liked the ability to post their tents under the trees for shade and wind break,” said Dugan.

According to Dugan, a vendor suggested the possibility of hosting a smaller Foliage Fest in the fall for tree and nursery sales for the start of the fall planting season, and the Tree Council will be taking the idea under consideration.

“Overall, the show will go on as planned for next year with our goal to continue building the event’s loyal attendance, ever greater availability and sales of trees and growth valuable vendor support,” said Dugan.

See more scenes from Foliage Fest in LeAnne Akin’s photo gallery below.

Jefferson Foliage Fest 2013

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Bands filled the area with music.
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Artwork including this folk art chickens and roosters were available.
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Bouchard Farms had seedlings for sale.
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On sale was a wide selection of bird houses crafted from an assortment of materials from soft drinks crates and small farm implements to boots to kids' sandals.
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This youngster was entertained by the snakes crafted from bottle caps.
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This sister team from Stone Mountain sold all natural soaps and lotions.
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St. Patrick’s Day weekend provided a beautiful sunny Saturday for the Jefferson Foliage Fest. At the event, Cindy Smiglesky joined with members of the Jefferson City Council members Steve Quinn, Kathy DuBose and (not pictured) Mark Mobley and Mayor Jim Joiner for the official unveiling of the marker for McKinney Hill in memory of her parents, Col. John W. McKinney and Annie Willborn McKinney.
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Col. McKinney loved the property and desired that it not be developed. For years, he allowed the City of Jefferson to use the property as part of its park in exchange for cutting the grass. After his dead, the city was able to purchase the property from the family.
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Jefferson Mayor Jim Joiner said the dedication of McKinney Hill was set for Foliage Fest so that he could be a part of the ceremony.
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Cindy Smiglesky wiped away tears at the tribute paid to her late father and mother.
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Seth Garrison joined in singing with members of Blue Billy Grit.
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Pee Wee Garrison applauded as music was provided by members of Blue Billy Grit. Garrison is the inspiration for the musical family which now includes three generations.
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Nichols Nursery from North Carolina can also be found at facebook.com/japanesemaple
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Nichols Nursery, located in Flat Rock, N.C., participated at Foliage Fest. The nursery offers more than 700 cultivars of Japanese maples. Learn more about the company at Mr.Maple.com
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A selection of shrubs offered by the vendors included camellias.
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Camellias were on sale.
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IG Nursery had a selection of plants, trees and shrubs including this blooming variety. IG Nursery will also be participating in the Braselton Antique & Gardening Festival at Braselton Park on April 27-28.
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Bouchard Farms had a selection of lettuces available along with kale. Seedlings were also on sale.
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Face painting provided entertainment for youngsters.
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A Batman mask was painted on this Foliage Fest-goer.
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Colorful eye shadow was added to this little one's face during Foliage Fest.
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It's a dog's life. March 16 was perfect weather for just lounging around with a canine friend at Foliage Fest.
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One of the pine straw baskets crafted by Robbie Buchanan, who teaches the art in her classes at Jackson County Comprehensive High School, was on display with other tree-related items at the University of Georgia and Forestry booth.
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McKinney Hill provided a great area for vendors to spread out under the tall trees.
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Crowds gathered to listen to music provided by an assortment of bands -- from Crystal River and Red Oak Southern Strings to the Green Flag Band and Center Stage Bluegrass Band. Also performing was the SunRoom Gang and Friends and members of BlueBilly Grit.
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Dancers from Drake School of Irish Dance returned to perform again this yaer.
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Dancers from Drake School of Irish Dance demonstrated a number of Irish steps. The Green Flag Band help provide some accompaniment.
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There was time for an impromptu jam session after members of BlueBilly Grit left the stage.
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Guitar case shows it belongs to BlueBilly Grit.
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Center Stage Bluegrass Band performed at Foliage Fest.
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Center Stage Bluegrass Band performed at Foliage Fest.
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Tomato and other plants are available from McElroy Farm & Nursery of Commerce. Todd McElroy manned the booth.