Friends, family and admirers of the azalea flower are invited to spend a fun-filled day at the 14th annual Semmes Azalea Festival on March 12 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The popular fundraising event will be held on the campus of Mary G. Montgomery High School. More than 15,000 people from all over Mobile and surrounding counties are expected to attend.
“It’s so wonderful to see our citizens walking around the festival with their families, enjoying a nice spring day. I always tend to meet someone new,” Semmes Mayor Judith Hale said.
Sponsored by the Semmes Chamber of Commerce, Mark Davis Construction, the city of Semmes, Air Specialty and Hickory Pitt Too, the family-friendly event will feature many activities for all ages.
Kicking off the festival is the annual Semmes Big Challenge 5k Run, sponsored by the Semmes Unit of Boys and Girls Club of South Alabama. Nearly 200 runners are expected to participate. Proceeds go toward the Boys and Girls Club to assist with the after-school and summer programs.
The Annual Cruz In Car Show, a very popular fundraiser sponsored by Floorz N More and Hickory Pitt Too, features various types of custom cars, trucks and bikes for the automotive enthusiast to enjoy.
Car show host David Miller, a bone marrow and liver transplant recipient, promotes saving lives through this charitable fundraiser each year by incorporating his motto, “To the world you may be one but to one you may be the world.”
Registration for the Cruz In Car Show is $20. Proceeds benefit educational efforts related to organ and tissue donation.
“The Azalea Festival has become a highly anticipated time of year. It’s a great way for our city to display what we are all about and what causes we support,” Hale said.
The family fun day will also include a children’s play area featuring carnival-style rides for kids such as swings, a hand-powered train and helicopter rides. It will also feature the meltdown obstacle course, water balls, kids’ bungee jump, fish game and other games.
Sparky the Dog will make an appearance along with his friends from the Semmes Volunteer Fire Department. Children will be amused at all the fun and interesting facts Sparky has to offer in regard to fire safety.
“Families are sure to have so much fun with all the stuff we have planned,” said Jerry Anderson, president of the Semmes Chamber of Commerce.
The festival is expecting a total of 54 vendors and booths that include arts and crafts, metal art, wooden bird houses and much more.
Delicious food vendors such as Mama’s, Dick Russell’s, Smith’s Catering, Copeland’s ice cream, Hickory Pitt Too and other well-known restaurants from the Mobile area will take part in the festival.
In between quick meals, festivalgoers can catch a dance show featuring acts from Azalea City Harmony, Melinda Lee, Brandy Brown Studio, Rhythm Dance, Elite Paton, MGM Choir, MGM Band and MGM Rock and Jazz bands on the MGM dance stage.
The Semmes Chamber of Commerce will also be presenting the 2016 Azalea Festival Beauty Pageant Friday, March 11, at 7 p.m. at the MGM Arts Theater at 4275 Snow Road in Semmes. Contestants ranging in age from 3 to 18 will be competing for Toddler Miss, Tiny Miss, Little Miss, Jr. Miss, Teen Miss and Miss titles.
The Semmes Azalea Festival will also have a beautifully arranged display highlighting the area’s azaleas and their history.
MGM Football Booster Club and Horticulture Club will be sponsoring a huge plant sale featuring azaleas and many other types of plants.
Parking will be free to the public; $5 VIP parking will be available as well to help accommodate the crowded parking.
“We hope that this year’s festival is bigger. It seems to continue growing each year and that means more community involvement, and that’s what we want — this city should hold on to and cherish our traditions,” Hale said.
For more information on the Semmes Azalea Festival, or for volunteer information, please visit www.semmeschamber.org or call 251-660-4808.
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