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Blanco debuts Texas Marigold Festival

A marigold field at Arnosky Farms in Blanco. The farm is a partner for the Texas Marigold Festival, which is Oct. 23-30 in Blanco. Courtesy photo

The inaugural Texas Marigold Festival is Oct. 23-30 in Blanco. The weeklong event highlights the beauty of the marigold, which grows plentifully in the Texas Hill Country, and the cultural significance the flower holds in both Latin and Southeast Asian cultures.

“When people come into town, there will be marigolds everywhere,” said Libby Aly, executive director of the Blanco Chamber of Commerce.

The idea for the festival came from a collaboration between the chamber and the folks at Arnosky Farms, Aly said. Located at 13977 FM 2325 in Blanco, the farm grows a variety of flowers, including marigolds, which commonly bloom in the early fall months.

Starting at 2 p.m. Oct. 23-24, creation stations will be set up around town for participants to make marigold flower crowns, paper lanterns, and maracas. To participate, $5 wristbands must be purchased at a booth outside of the Old Blanco County Courthouse, 300 Main St. Saturday participants will also get a chance to enter the March to Majesty parade.

Marigolds often decorate ofrendas, or offering altars, for Dia de los Muertos, a Mexican holiday celebrated on Nov. 1. The orange, yellow, and red flowers are believed to help guide the spirits of loved ones to their altar, which honors their life in the living world.

Marigolds are similarly used as offerings in Southeast Asian rituals, ceremonies, and celebrations.

To honor their traditional significance, Disney’s “Coco” will be shown at Bindseil Park, 200 Pecan St. Movie attendance is by donation, and viewers are encouraged to bring their own picnics or purchase evening snacks from local vendors.

Throughout the week, marigold-themed workshops will be hosted at a variety of Blanco businesses. Information on each individual workshop is available on the Texas Marigold Festival website.

A Marigold Market featuring local vendors begins the next weekend. Shop handmade arts, crafts, and jewelry from noon to 6 p.m. Oct. 29 and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 30 on the courthouse lawn. A live musical performance by El Combo Escuro, a cumbia-centered group, begins at 8 p.m. Oct. 29 in Bindseil Park.

The Marigold Dance caps off the festival at 8 p.m. Oct. 30 at Twin Sisters Dance Hall, 6720 U.S. 281 South in Blanco. The dance features live music by Grammy Award-winning group Brave Combo. Tickets are available at the door for $20 for ages 13 and older and $5 for ages 12 and younger.

Aly said the chamber and local businesses hope to make the festival an annual event.

Visit the Texas Marigold Festival Facebook page or website for more information.

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