DANVILLE — The Danville Geranium Festival went off without a hitch Saturday on the Hendricks County Courthouse Square.
The Geranium Festival is hosted by the Downtown Danville Merchants Association (DDMA), and is held in conjunction with the first day of the annual Danville Chamber of Commerce’s Farmers’ Market.
“The DDMA exists to promote the businesses on the square and a way for merchants to exchange ideas,” committee member Betty Bartley said. “The group usually meets on the first Thursday of the month. The Geranium Festival was one of the DDMA’s first activities. The group also hosts The Chocolate Walk in February, and organized the Food Court that is part of the Downtown Danville Partnership’s Summer Sounds on the Square concert series.”
The DDMA works closely with the Downtown Danville Partnership’s other activities, including Christmas on the Square and the upcoming Mayberry in the Midwest Festival.
One of the first groups featured at the Geranium Festival was the 4-H Clubs geranium sale. DDMA members approached the Danville Town Council to have the red geranium declared the official town flower.
In keeping with the Farmers’ Market’s “buy local” theme, the Geranium Festival offers local non-profit groups an opportunity to promote their plant sales at one central location. In addition to the 4-H Clubs, the Danville FFA brings vegetables, bedding plants, hanging baskets and planters from its May FFA Plant Sale at the greenhouse at the high school.
Danville FFA greenhouse manger and senior Leah Jones joined the FFA her sophomore year and says she fell in love with agriculture.
“A few years ago, the FFA wanted to bring the town together to support 4-H, and together, we created a place where people could come and buy plants and celebrate what agriculture has to give,” she said.
For Jones’ supervised agricultural experience, for her nursery operations with the greenhouse, she submitted an application with the district competition. She typed everything from her skills to her goals, and won district, went on to win state, and will now be submitting to nationals.