ORLEANS – The Orleans Chamber of Commerce has announced that plans for the town’s trademark festival’s return in 2022 are well underway. The Pandemic canceled both the 2020 and 2021 Dogwood Festival.
This year will mark the 52nd anniversary of the celebration of the blooming dogwood, which is set for April 23 through April 30.
Chamber Executive Director Robert F. Henderson said this year’s general theme is celebrating all things Orleans and the resiliency of the Hometown Spirit.
“After so many months of not having much to look forward to we are all more than ready to welcome back our favorite spring celebration,” he added. “Everyone is so happy and excited to be having the festival again. It means so much to the community.”
The Orleans Dogwood Festival has been named by Midwest Living magazine as one of its Top Ten Flowering Festivals in the Midwest.
A special Pre-Festival event this year which will be staged the weekend prior to the festival’s opening will be the Orleans Cruise, Blues, and BBQ Car Show on April 16th downtown.
The Chamber’s Annual Town-Wide Yard Sale is set for April 22-23. The Chamber will pay for advertising for anyone wishing to have a yard or garage sale on that weekend. Everyone is welcome to participate and there is no fee to participate in the event.
Back by popular demand will be the Dogwood Murder Mystery Dinner Theater with its show “Murder at the Art Show.” The dinner show is in partnership with The Orange County Players.
The Dogwood Baby Contest is back this year and set for April 23rd with Candace Cook-Cline taking over the reins as chairperson this year.
Ashley McDonald is once again chairing the now combined Dogwood Pageants. This year as in previous years both the Little Miss and Queen Crowning will again take place on the same day April 23rd at Orleans Elementary School. As has become tradition the 2022 “Mr. Dogwood” is also expected to be named during the intermission for the queen crowning ceremonies. The pageant will begin at 5 p.m.
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. Advance Sales of Bracelet Tickets will be announced by legion members.
Other festival favorite highlights include the Phi Beta Psi Styles & Salads, Photo Contest, Student Art Show, Pet Parade, Arts & Crafts in the park, and Kiwanis famous Creek Bank Potatoes.
Larry and Michelle Hardman have agreed to coordinate the festival Vendors, and Arts & Crafters. Vendor applications are now actively being sought accepted on the festival website.
More festival details, entry forms, event chairmen contacts are available on the festival’s newly revamped website, www.orleansdogwoodfestival.com.
The Orleans Dogwood Festival Facebook page is also being updated regularly with new information for 2022.
The festival planning committee will meet again on Tuesday, February 25th at 6:30 p.m. at Orleans Town Hall to continue plans on this year’s festivities. All event chairmen and anyone interested in helping with this year’s festival are urged to attend. Supporting organizations are also asked to have a representative present at this meeting.