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The County Chronicle

The County Chronicle

Leesburg Flower Festival Welcomes Spring

If you hear the words, happy crowds, delicious food, cool faux-gardens, arts and crafts, and Leesburg… What do you think of it? The Annual Leesburg Flower and Garden Festival, of course!

During the weekend of April 15-16, Leesburg hosted its 33rd Annual Flower and Garden Festival by closing off six blocks in the old town, and jam-packing booths, landscape displays, and eating nooks along the sidewalks and streets. Mostly sunny skies and warm weather tempted residents and visitors alike to wander the streets, sample the eats, and browse the wide variety of arts, crafts, and culinary treats available.

If you have never been, or if you only remember going when you were young, then absolutely I recommend that next year, if you have the chance, you should go! It was fun, lively, and a great way to spend the day with friends.

It’s important to know that finding parking is hard, so unless you arrive early, expect to walk a distance between your car and the festival. We were lucky enough to park only four blocks away and entered the festival at South King Street, where we were tempted to sample craft teas made with dried honey granules mixed into the tea bags at the “True Honey Teas” booth. There was a big crowd thronging the booth, sampling lavender lemonade tea, rooibos chai, peppermint tea, and green tea. Although the tea and most of the wares sold at the fair were moderately expensive, the organic, homemade, small business vibe and the quality and uniqueness of the products are more than enough. You can find True Honey Teas online, and since they are located in Lorton, Virginia, you will probably find them at summer fairs and farmers markets in this area.

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The festival organizers located booths only on one side of the street, allowing people to mill around in front of the booths on one side, and on the other side, there was a constant flow of traffic. Even still, it was hard to weave through the crowds with how crowded the streets were, especially during late morning-midday.

Pine Ridge Landscaping outdoor display as posted on their facebook.

There were all sorts of vendors. We found artists selling stained glass, photography, reclaimed metal garden sculptures, pottery, birdhouses, and more. There were many plant and flower stands, where you could buy fresh flower bouquets, dried flower and herb arrangements, live flowers and herbs in pots, potted plants, and even bonsai. Multiple booths sold herb sachets for making marinade rubs, dressings, and dipping sauces. Speckled throughout the festival were garden displays that landscape architects spent many hours on Friday night building, to show off their artistic flair over the weekend. Visitors to the festival can vote for their favorite landscape design display in the People’s Choice Award, which this year was won by Pine Ridge Landscaping, located in Round Hill, Virginia.

There were also a variety of food vendors. We treated ourselves to fresh apple strudel and whipped cream from “Little Austria,” filled up on a slice of pizza from the “Paisano’s Pizza” booth, and finished with handcrafted popsicles from the “Little Pop Truck,” parked on Cornwall Street. The popsicles were the most memorable. We shared a spicy peach popsicle and a special Flower and Garden Festival lemon popsicle with edible flowers. The spicy peach was made with jalapeno juice, and although it was good, it would have been better with a more intense peach profile to balance out the spice. The edible flowers frozen into the lemon popsicle were more of a novelty than a flavor additive, but the fact that they were heart-shaped made that popsicle the definite winner.

We browsed the items at many booths, but the vendor where we spent the most time was a photography booth called “AzarEl Greetings”. The couple that runs this business started by taking wildlife photographs of birds off their back porch in Pennsylvania, and now they’ve branched out to mischievous squirrels as well, creating wall art, greeting cards, and funny postcards.

When we asked vendors where they came from we found a lot of the vendors traveled far from home to attend the festival. Another vendor where I bought a present for a friend was “For the Birds,’” which is a Maryland business started by a high schooler, and sells all-natural ingredient birdseed wreaths for hanging outside. You can also find her products online on her Etsy shop (Berkley For The Birds). I bought a paper flower for my grandmother, at “LaBella’s Paper Petals, and this vendor traveled from Pennsylvania to attend the festival.

Strolling through the crowded streets, exchanging smiles with strangers and small talk with vendors, the day was fun and relaxing. We could easily have filled up a wide variety of food while shopping for gifts for any personality and every occasion. I hadn’t been to the Leesburg Flower and Garden Festival for years, and I completely recommend that next year you go!

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About the Contributor
Liberty Harrison, editor-in-chief
Editor-in-chief Liberty Harrison is a senior at LCHS. This is her third year working on the newspaper staff. She would like to one day be an investigative reporter, working for the Wall Street Journal. Until then she occupies her time studying, learning about true crime psychology, and volunteering with the UNICEF club.

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