dogwood

Dogwood Festival 2020: The Revival

  • The Shelby County Education Foundation wants to revive this event for many reasons.  First, this is a way to celebrate the community. Second, the Dogwood Festival highlights the arts and education in our community.  Third, we hope to raise money for scholarships for minority students who plan to teach and to give teachers grants to increase learning opportunities for students. Finally, the festival will help to revive the planting of Dogwood trees in Shelby County.

    The Ad Hoc Committee for the Dogwood Festival includes: 

    Cyndi Powell Skellie - cyndi.skellie@shelby.kyschools.us

    Chris Watts - chris.watts@shelby.kyschools.us

    Nicki Willey - nicki.willey@shelby.kyschools.us

    Ashli Moore - ashli.moore@shelby.kyschools.us

    John Rothenburger - john@johnrothenburger.com

    Jessica Garrett - jessica.garrett@shelby.kyschools.us

    Click HERE to register to be a VENDOR for the Dogwood Festival. 

    Click on the link to attain a hard copy of the DOGWOOD VENDOR REGISTRATION AND FLYER.

    Click on the link to attain a hard copy of the Silent Auction Donation Form: Dogwood Silent Auction Donation Form

     

    Check back soon for a list of vendors, sponsors, and entertainers! April 1st is the deadline for registration!  We will see you soon!

    If it rains, we will move to the Settle's Gym behind 1155 W. Main Street, SCPS Central Office. 

     

Dogwood Festival: The History

  • Dogwood Festival 2020 Canceled Due to COVID-19

    (Shelbyville, KY) Shelby County hasn’t had a Dogwood Festival in many years. 2020 was going to be the year of the revival of this beloved tradition.  The Shelby County Education Foundation was working to gather arts and crafts vendors, food vendors and to create game stations for the community. They were well on their way! 

    Then, the Coronavirus shut down schools and businesses and presented a health threat to our community.  The Dogwood Festival was heartbroken. 

    The foundation built for the 2020 revival will carry over to 2021.  The committee is continuing to work toward a festival on the front lawn of the Central Office for April of 2021. The Shelby County Education Foundation has highlighted the Central Office Dogwood trees with white light to send hope that the virus will  move on and that in 2021, Shelby County will have their Dogwood Festival.  The Shelby County Central Office has also been illuminated with green light to show compassion for those who are ill from the Coronavirus and who have loved ones who are ill. 

    The committee, composed of volunteers from Central Office and the community, are asking friends to light their dogwoods (or any other flowering tree) from April 25th - May 1st  in honor of the Dogwood Festival which would have occurred this Saturday, April 25th.

    dogwood dw

  • The Dogwood Festival started in 1973 as a way to celebrate the Dogwoods that had been planted in Shelbyville by Mayor Paul Schmidt between 1938 and 1944.  In 1938, he donated dogwood trees to property owners along Main Street and continued to donate trees to Shelbyville’s citizens until 1944, for a total of 2,048 trees.  The historical celebration was originally chaired by Ms. George Ann Carpenter, a retired teacher who taught in a two-room schoolhouse at Clark Station, and at the Shelbyville Graded School.  In her retirement, she organized the festival, and later exhibited her own work of decorated eggshells and dried pressed flowers. The first exhibitors at the Dogwood Festival were mostly homemakers, but by the late 1970s, artists and craftsmen from around the state showcased their work at the festival. 

    Originally held in downtown Shelbyville, the festival was rained out in 1976, so it was moved to the Shelby County Fairgrounds the following year.  A flea market was also held as part of the festival, in the Village Plaza parking lot. Other activities included puppet shows for the kids, sheep shearing and wool spinning demonstrations, and the Life Singers of Shelbyville gave a concert on the old courthouse steps.  

    You can still see some of the dogwoods that Mayor Schmidt donated along Main Street today, but sadly, they are reaching the end of their lifespan.  The average dogwood only lives approximately 80 years.

     The Shelby County Education hopes to revive this event for many reasons.  First, this is a way to celebrate the community. Second, the Dogwood Festival highlights the arts and education in our community.  Third, we hope to raise money for scholarships for minority students who plan to teach and to give teachers grants to increase learning opportunities for students. Finally, the festival will help to revive the planting of Dogwood trees in Shelby County.

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