Local Color

The Whole Bloomin' Thing continues to grow
By Caroline Klapper | May 12, 2013
Photo by: Caroline Klapper Maureen Hankala, left, and Margaret Hankala shop for herbs at The Whole Bloomin' Thing Festival.

When it comes to spreading spring cheer, it is hard to beat The Whole Bloomin’ Thing Festival in Waynesville.

Every spring, the streets of Frog Level look like a garden has sprung up over night with local growers offering everything from herbs and vegetable plants to a gorgeous array of flowers.

Saturday marked the 11th Whole Bloomin’ Thing Festival, and this year’s event was bigger and better than ever.

Plant vendor Carl Evans, of Mountain Harvest Organics, said he has been at every festival since it began and along with the number of vendors, the crowds have continued to grow over the years.

“There are more plant vendors, but we’re still doing well,” he said. “We’re happy to come here.”

Although plants and flowers are the main commodity sold at The Whole Bloomin’ Thing, what caught visitor Jean Christianson’s eye was a handmade rainbow sock monkey from the Antique Antics booth.

Christianson was visiting her friend and local resident Carol Hammock from Maryland, and she said she likes to time her visits to coincide with the festival.

“We wanted some local color,” she said, adding The Whole Bloomin’ Thing definitely offers plenty.

“It feels wonderful here,” Hammock said of the event. “It’s nice to see people you know, and it’s good to support the local economy. It’s the way we live here.”

Maureen and Margaret Hankala found different things to enjoy at the festival this year. Maureen shopped for herbs, while Margaret discovered a pottery vendor and purchased a birdhouse from the Daydreamz fundraiser booth.

The two were even able to take a look at the community garden nearby.

“It’s great to see what the community is doing together,” Maureen said. “It’s come a long way.”


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