Festival  2009

Mentone, Alabama               Brow Park

Evening May 15,  Day & Evening May 16,  Day May 17

Road Directions to Mentone

Spring Celebration in Historic Mentone

Entertainment - Fine Art - Crafts - Boat Rides - Food - FUN - Prizes...

Spring’s arrival is heralded by many more things than a date on a calendar.  For many, it is the sighting of a robin.  For others it’s the greening of trees and lawns.  In northeast Alabama’s DeKalb County, spring has always been heralded by the arrival of the many varieties of wildflowers that grow on the mountains and in the valleys.  One of the most beautiful is the rhododendron which has been celebrated by an annual Rhododendron Festival for a quarter of a century drawing more vendors, more entertainment and more families
each year.

This year’s festival takes place on May 15th through 17th in Mentone.  The festival will begin on Friday night with an outdoor bonfire, hot chocolate, snacks, live music and storytelling.  Early Saturday morning you will smell country cooking in the air as the vendors open for business and all sorts of handmade crafts, food, gifts, plants, iron works and art will line Cool Street at the Brow Park for the 2009 festival.  Each year MAPA sells $1.00 tickets to win a beautiful handcrafted quilt and sometimes there are additional gifts to be given away from the the local merchants.  This year the fire department will have a few special events for the children.

Don’t forget to take a walk around town and check out the Log Cabin Village, Crow’s Nest Antiques, The White Elephant Antiques, The Gourdie Shop and more.

Be sure to check about lodging reservations early.  The bed and breakfast and cabin rentals are usually totally booked that weekend.  While you are in town we have several good restaurants to eat at:  The Wild Flower Cafe, Windwood Farms, Caldwell’s Restaurant, The Log Cabin Deli, The Desoto State Park Lodge and Big Jim’s Barbeque.  Check out the Directory with all the phone numbers and websites.

The first full day, Saturday is full of food and entertainment.  Saturday’s entertainment consists of Ashley Marie Miller, a twelve year old, Gospel music with Mrs. Gibson, 11:00 am Abby Parks will sing contemporary Christian and other contemporary music, much of which she writes.  At noon the Moon Lake school will present a play.  Saturday night from 7:00 pm to 8:30 Southern Vogue will perform at the square with another bonfire.

Sunday afternoon entertainment includes Scottsboro Cloggers and Silverliners line dancers from Fort Payne as well as the Single Club Dance.

Food vendors include Smoky Joe Barbecue, seafood with southern favorite catfish, Coney Island hotdogs, nachos, snow cones, Cajun fries and caramel apples, kettle corn and Caribbean food.

Rhododendron and other plants will be on sale during the festival.

One of the highlights of the Festival is the boat rides down Little River.  It offers an opportunity to see the rhododendrons and other wild flowers that frame the banks and extend up through the woods.  The rides leave from the park area near Desoto Falls.

It takes more than a day to enjoy the full Rhododendron Festival experience.  There are several bed and breakfasts in the Mentone area as well as cabins at Desoto State Park.  RV hookups are available for those who wish to bring their own lodging.

For more information about dining or lodging, you can call Ronda Brunckno at the Welcome Center at 800-799-1878 or 256-634-4333 who will be glad to connect you with area cabins or Bed and Breakfast lodging.

This is a family oriented event and there is no admission charge.

Remember to buy your raffle tickets to win a handmade quilt.

All monies raised for the Rhododendron Festival go toward supporting the community, culture and the arts.

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