For Hometown News
The weekend kicks off in DeLand with two festivals celebrating arts, history and wildflowers.
Come celebrate 500 years of La Florida on Saturday, March 23, at the Florida Wildflower & Garden Festival in downtown DeLand and head over to Earl Bown Park for the annual art festival.
This is the fourth year the DeLand Outdoor Art Festival will be in partnership with the Florida Wildflower and Garden Festival.
The one-day family-friendly Florida Wildflower & Garden Festival, will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, along West Indiana Avenue, will feature speakers, vendors, workshops and entertainment, as well as a coloring contest and hands-on gardening and art activities for kids.
The two-day art festival will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
Florida was named by Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon, who landed on its shores in spring 1513 during Pasqua Florida, Spain's Easter celebration. Roughly translated, La Florida means "land of flowers."
DeLand Mayor Robert F. Apgar will kick off the event with a short ceremony at 9 a.m., during which he will present a city proclamation that salutes Florida's five centuries of history, culture and natural heritage.
Vendors along West Indiana Avenue will offer potted wildflowers and plants, wildflower seeds, garden utensils, yard ornaments, books and much more. Joining them will be organizations, such as the Florida Wildflower Foundation, which will offer free resources to gardeners. There also will be hands-on gardening workshops at Chess Park, which adjoins Indiana Avenue.
Educational presentations will take place throughout the day at the historic Athens Theater, 124 N. Florida Ave.
Among the speakers are Tom MacCubbin, former UF/IFAS extension agent and popular radio and television host of "Better Lawns and Gardens," and wildflower expert Dr. Walter Taylor, author of three books on Florida's wildflowers and grasses. A DJ will provide entertainment throughout the day.
A free shuttle will run throughout the day between the Wildflower & Garden Festival and the DeLand Outdoor Art Festival.
Don't miss the art festival's 150 booths.
The 48th annual DeLand Outdoor Art Festival offers a craft section with items for sale ranging from handmade jewelry, carded wooden toys to Adirondack lawn furniture. There will be country, folk, bluegrass and other entertainment throughout the festival.
Vendors will be selling a wide variety of food.
For information, visit floridawildflowerfestival.com and delandoutdoorartfest.com.