Vinton Dogwood Festival
Although Vinton, Virginia, celebrates dogwood trees with an annual festival (this year’s dates are April 27 through May 1, 2011), there’s not much about Cornaceae left in what’s become the quintessential small town celebration.
The main attractions these days are a queen contest, parade, 5K run, car show, crafters and food vendors. But, it’s just about the time of year that the dogwoods should be in bloom in the area, so if you’re driving that way, Road Trips Gardeners, you might want to swing by (Vinton is just northeast of Roanoke, Virginia).
The festival got its start 56 years ago when the local band boosters wanted new uniforms for the William Byrd High School band. So, to finance the project, they sold small dogwood trees. The idea ‘caught on’ and fun-loving Vintonites parlayed the dogwood sale into a community project that grew into a festival.
A dogwood-planting campaign, instituted at the first festival, has made the town the Dogwood Capitol of Virginia — the beautiful blooms can be seen everywhere.
(Image courtesy of Vinton Dogwood Festival)