ORLEANS – The Orleans Chamber of Commerce has announced that plans for the town’s trademark Dogwood Festival are well underway. This year will mark the 53rd anniversary of the celebration of the blooming dogwood, which is set for April 22 through April 29.
Chamber Executive Director Robert F. Henderson said the festival committee has been working hard to bring back both old favorites and new offerings for this year’s edition of the town’s beloved springtime celebration.
The Orleans Dogwood Festival has been named by Midwest Living magazine as one of its Top 5 Flowering Festivals in the Midwest. The town’s signature event has also been featured in Midwest Traveler, Travel Indiana, and Southern Indiana Living magazines.
The Chamber’s Annual Town Wide Yard Sale is set for April 21-22. 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 on the last weekend of the festival. The dinner show is in partnership with The Orange County Players.
The Dogwood Baby Contest is back with Kyanna Dugger taking over the reins as chairperson this year. The contest will be moving to a new day and time taking place on Sunday, April 23 at 2 p.m. at the Orleans High School Cafeteria.
Ashley McDonald is once again chairing the combined Dogwood Pageants. This year as in previous years both the Little Miss and Queen Crowning will take place on the same day April 22nd at Orleans Elementary School. As has become tradition the 2023 “Mr. Dogwood” is also expected to be named during the intermission for the queen’s 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.
Jennifer and Neil Blanton have agreed to again coordinate the 2023 Dogwood Parade. The chamber is now accepting entries for the event and everyone is encouraged to participate on Saturday, April 20, at 2 p.m.
Other festival favorite highlights include the Phi Beta Psi Styles & Salads, Photo Contest, Student Art Show, Pet Parade, OBR Band Parents Food Stand, and Arts & Crafts in the park.
Michele Hardman has agreed to once again coordinate the festival vendors, and arts and crafters. Vendor applications are now actively being sought and accepted online on the festival website.
Henderson added that festival organizers this year are also expanding live entertainment for the main stage throughout the event’s week-long run.
Corporate sponsors are still being sought and accepted by community partners. Those companies wishing to help sponsor or be a part of this year’s festival should contact the Chamber office, at 812-865 9930 or via email at Dogwoodfest47452@gmail.com.
More festival details, entry forms, and event chairmen’s 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 2023.
The festival planning committee will meet again on February 21st at 6:00 p.m. at Orleans Town Hall to continue plans for 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.