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Dogwood Festival Kicks Off April 27
Updated April 21, 2016 6:07 AM | Filed under: Event
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(ORLEANS) - The Orleans Chamber of Commerce has announced that the final touches are being finalized for the upcoming Dogwood Festival.

Chamber and festival representatives have been meeting monthly since last fall formulating plans for this year's festivities. This year will mark the 48th anniversary of the celebration of the blooming dogwood, which is set for April 27 through April 30.

The Orleans Dogwood Festival has once again been named by Midwest Living magazine as one of its Top Ten Flowering Festivals in the Midwest. The festival has also been designated as An Official Indiana Bicentennial Festival for 2016.

Orleans Chamber Executive Director Robert Henderson said that this year's festival will celebrate small town life throughout the festival's run. ORLEANS: "Little Town, Big Heart" has been chosen as this year's general theme.

As last year there will be a number of "pre-festival" type events held prior to the official opening day of April 27 including the popular town-wide yard sale, annual Dogwood Queen Crowning & Opening Ceremonies, Little Miss and the Phi Beta Psi Style Show and Salad Supper.

Ashley Cowan is once again chairing this year's Dogwood Queen Contest. This year's queen crowning will take place this coming Saturday evening April 23rd at Orleans Elementary School.

Lea Ann Jones is again chairing the Little Miss Dogwood Pageant set for Sunday, April 24th.

The popular Dogwood Pedal ride will be returning to this year's festival line up as well. The ride is set for the morning of Parade Day on April 30.

Another event returning this year is the talent show, sponsored by WUME Mix 95. Entries forms are now available on-line from the dogwood website, Orleans High School Principal's office and from the Orleans Town Offices.

The Orleans American Legion will once again provide the midway, Brady's Amusement, which will set up and operate the entire week as in the past.

Other festival favorite highlights include the photo contest, euchre tourney, student art show, gospel sing in the park, pet parade, arts & crafts in the park, and Kiwanis Breakfast.

The UMC Ham & Bean Supper, Dogwood Art Walk, cub scout Rain Gutter Regatta, and Kiwanis Bubblegum Contest will also all return to the festival lineup.

Nationally known comedian and motivating speaker Tim Lovelace will head the Dogwood Vesper Service which has been moved this year to the first Sunday, April 24th on the festival schedule. The special community event will be held at Unity Hall and will get underway at 7 p.m.

Leslie Padgett is serving as parade chairman and wishes to remind everyone this year about return to the traditional 2 p.m. start time on April 30th. The chamber is still accepting entries for the event and everyone is being encouraged to participate in this year's Dogwood Parade. The O.H.S. Girls Varsity Basketball Team have been tapped to serve as Grand Marshalls.

Vendor applications are also now being accepted for arts and craft type vendors to be set up in the park during festival week. Brandon and Nikki Deckard are serving as co-chairs.

More festival details, entry forms, event chairmen contacts are available on the festival's website,

The Orleans Dogwood Festival Face Book page is also being updated regularly with new information for 2016.

48th Annual Orleans Dogwood Festival Schedule of Events:

Pre-Festival Events

Friday, April 22

  • All-Day-Town-Wide Yard Sale

Saturday, April 23

  • All-Day Town-Wide Yard Sale
  • 6 p.m. Dogwood Queen Contest-Orleans Elementary

Sunday, April 24

  • 1 p.m. Dogwood Horseshoe Tournament-Orleans Airport
  • 2 p.m. Little Miss Dogwood-Orleans Elementary
  • 5 p.m. Little Miss Petal & Little Miss Dogwood-Orleans Elementary *Sponsored by Coca-Cola
  • 7 p.m. Community Vesper Service - Unity Hall Guest Speaker: Tim Lovelace

Monday, April 25

  • 5 p.m. Carnival opens-Congress Square *Brady Amusements sponsored by Orleans American Legion Post #69
  • *O.B.R. Band Parents Food Stand Opens Downtown

Tuesday, April 26

  • 4-7 p.m. Student Art Show - Orleans Library
  • 5-10 p.m. Carnival-Congress Square
  • 6 p.m.-Phi Beta Psi Style Show & Salad Supper-Orleans Elementary
  • 7 p.m. - WUME 95 Talent Show-Main Stage

Weather Note: Some events subject to change or cancellation due to weather. The Main Stage entertainment may be moved to Orleans Elementary, SR 337 E in the event of bad weather.

*Both the Orleans Christian Church and Orleans United Methodist are designated emergency type shelter areas during festival week in the event of severe weather or other type of emergency.

First Aid-Orleans 1st Responders (South side square).

Dogwood Headquarters, festival, area visitor info etc. (Orleans Chamber, north side of square)

Wednesday, April 27 (Official Opening Day)

  • Dogwood Headquarters-Chamber Office
  • Vendors Arts & Crafts-Congress Square
  • 4:30 p.m. - OES/OHS Choir Performs-Main Stage
  • 5 p.m. - OHS Pep Band Concert - Main Stage
  • 5-10 p.m. Carnival-Congress Square
  • 6 p.m. - Gospel in the Park - Main Stage *Sponsored by Orleans Area Ministerial Association

Thursday, April 28

Dogwood Headquarters-Chamber Office

Vendors Arts & Crafts-Congress Square

  • 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. Student Art Show - Orleans Library
  • 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Photo Contest Display-OCC Unity Hall
  • 11 a.m.- 8 p.m. Dogwood Art Walk-OCC Unity Hall lobby
  • 5-10 p.m. Carnival-Congress Square
  • 5 p.m. Registration/6 p.m. Start *Cub Scout Rain Gutter Regatta-Congress Square
  • 6:30 p.m. Sign-In/ 7 p.m. Start -Euchre Tourney-Fire Department
  • 7 p.m. - Pet Monkey Band - Main Stage

Friday, April 29

  • Dogwood Headquarters-Chamber office
  • Vendors Arts & Crafts-Congress Square
  • 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. Student Art Show - Orleans Library
  • 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. Photo Contest-OCC Unity Hall
  • 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. Dogwood Art Walk-OCC Unity Hall lobby
  • 5 -7 p.m. UMC Ham & Bean Supper-Orleans Elementary
  • 5-10 p.m. Carnival-Congress Square
  • 7 p.m. - The Honky Tonk Heroes band - Main Stage

Saturday, April 30

  • Dogwood Headquarters-Chamber office
  • Vendors Arts & Crafts-Congress Square
  • 6:30-9:30 am Kiwanis Breakfast-Orleans Elementary
  • 7-9 a.m. Dogwood Pedal(Registration) - Orleans Elementary *Sponsored by Javaroma Coffee*
  • 9 a.m.-4 pm Photo Contest Display-OCC Unity Hall
  • 10 a.m.-2 pm Student Art Show - Orleans Library
  • 10 a.m. Dogwood Pet Parade - Fountain area
  • 12 noon Kiwanis Bubblegum Contest-Bandstand
  • 12noon - 9pm Carnival-Congress Square
  • 2 p.m.- 48th Annual Dogwood Parade Theme: "ORLEANS: Little Town, Big Heart" -Historic Maple Street (SR 37)
  • Immediately after the parade Sweet Water band - Main Stage

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