The first weekend in April is a favorite time of year for many residents of Summerville thanks to the spring weather, the beautifully blooming azaleas, and the loads of family fun provided by the Summerville YMCA's Flowertown Festival. This weekend, April 4-6, 2014, South Carolina natives and tourists alike will flock to historic Summerville for the 42nd annual festival. 

The Flowertown Festival is a long-standing tradition dating back to 1972, when two volunteers for the Young Women's Christian Organization, or the YWCO, visualized a springtime event that would celebrate the blooming azaleas and help raise funds for the YWCO. The first festival was a great success, featuring arts and crafts booths, carriage tours, hayrides, pony rides, bicycle races, a tennis tournament, a square dance exhibition, a parade, and a beauty pageant to crown Miss Azalea Queen. 

Today, the Flowertown Festival is ranked by the Southeast Tourism Society as one of the top 20 events in the Southeast. The festival still offers something for everyone: booths featuring fine art, crafts, and vendors, a Children's Jubilee with carnival rides and activities, exhibitions from various clubs and organizations, and delicious foods and beverages from the Taste of Summerville. A new event. dubbed KidsFest, has been added this year as well. It features Blooming Artists, where kids can "develop their artistic potential through personal expression by selling their individuall crafted, original objects," says the website. Also included in KidsFest is ChalkFest, an event in which kids aged 14 and under can create works of art using sidewalk chalk on a 5'x5' area at the Cuthbert Center Tennis Courts. A panel of judges, which includes News 2's chief meteorologist Rob Fowler, will award prizes to three winners from each age group.

All proceeds from the festival go toward the furthering and continuation of the YMCA's philanthropic mission by "offering programs at an affordable rate and helping families in need who cannot afford to pay program or membership fees," states the festival's official website. "Over 15,000 people in Summerville and its surrounding communities participate in YMCA sponsored programs and membership."

If you're looking for some family-friendly fun, one-of-a-kind purchases, and delicious food from local restaurants, head on out to the 2014 Flowertown Festival this weekend and participate in some major family fun. We hope to see you there!




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