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Festival on the Green kicks off this Friday

Some call them the Rites of Spring.

And this week, Farragut is a fully-fledged participant in celebrating the seasonal ritual.

Springtime has come to Farragut in a big way. For any who still doubt it, the town’s Dogwood Arts Festival trail, emblazoned on every side with spring blossoms, offers living proof of the community’s


To further celebrate the season, Farragut hosts its fourth annual “Festival on the Green” next weekend — Friday through Sunday, April 28-30 – as a fitting finale to the month-long, countywide Dogwood Arts Festival. Events take place at Village Green shopping center in the 11500 block of Kingston Pike.

Marianne Morse, coordinator for the Festival on the Green, predicted that this year’s lineup of fun, food, entertainment, bicycling, crafts and art will be the biggest yet.

Meanwhile, the meandering Farragut Dogwood Trail remains open between the Fox Den subdivision’s entrance, north off the 12000 block of Kingston Pike, and west of North Campbell Station Road. (For best tour results, start the trail at Fox Den, cross Smith Road, and follow the well-marked signs. Several residential gardens also are open at hours indicated by signs.)

Star of the month-long celebration, through Sunday, April 30, is Cornus florida, the showy dogwood tree with all its species’ winsome blossoms of purest white and pastel hues. Trail followers should watch closely for occasional pink dogwoods, grown wild in unusually acidic soils. Nurserymen used the wild trees to graft pink branches on the roots of white dogwoods, thus creating the eye-catching pink dogwood blossoms.

Dogwood Arts Festival planners last year planted about 250 dogwood trees along the Farragut leg of the trail, and those trees are blooming for the first time his month.

Farragut’s dogwood trail is among 70 miles of similar trails that will send appreciative motorists winding slowly through various Knox County neighborhoods through April 30.

Festival organizers have plainly marked the route with pink guide arrows painted on each street.

Motorists entering the trail from Kingston Pike’s 12000 block work their way east through Fox Den and Oakmont Circle, east across Smith Road to Clover Fork, Briar Creek, Monticello, Old Tavern Circle, and Williamsburg Road. The route, after passing along Bellefield, Heritage, George-town, and Nassau, follows Russfield Drive to emerge from the residential area with a right turn into North Campbell Station Road. The route takes about 30 minutes to cruise,

or longer if one stops for


Farragut also is gearing up to host many West Knox County guests at its fourth annual Farragut Festival on the Green weekend, from Friday, April 28, to Sunday, April 30. Festival on the Green, sponsored by the town of Farragut, WFIV 105.3, and Royal Prestige cookware, will open from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday, April 28-29, and then will continue from noon to 7 p.m., Sunday, April 30.

The family-oriented festival, sponsored by WFIV 105.3, offers many ways of enjoying Farragut springtime, including family walks, running and bicycle tours through the town’s parks and along its greenways.

WFIV 105.3 will sponsor free concerts on a stage near Stein Mart and will offer children’s activities such as magicians, face painting booths, inflatable booths, a climbing wall, roving entertainers and other fun. A small fee is charged for some attractions.

A Farragut West Knox Chamber of Commerce networking will occur near Fresh Market from 5 to 7 p.m., Friday, April 28.

The Tennessee Artists Association will display and sell artisans’ work under canvas. Several specialty crafters will show their works that include handmade jewelry, birdhouses, swings, and other handicrafts.

A Classic Car Show will be held from noon to 7 p.m., Saturday, April 29.

Dog Days Canine Play School will sponsor free dog photographs and will offer dog baths, for a small fee, from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, April 29-30.

The University of Tennessee Arboretum will sponsor children’s activities, including face painting and demonstrations of successful seed-planting methods. Friends of the Arboretum will also sell dogwood and magnolia trees.

West Bicycles and Fares Schlank are coordinating Festival biking events.

The Festival on the Green entertainment schedule looks like this:

Friday — 5:30 to 7 p.m., David Landeo.

Saturday — 1 p.m., Vinyl Season; 2:15 p.m., West Side Daredevils; 3:30 p.m., Thoroughfare; 4:45 p.m., Spanky Dog; 6 p.m., Vertigo.

Sunday — 1 p.m., Mitch Rutman Group; 2:15 p.m., Bethany Sayers; 3:30 p.m., Terri Winkle; 5 p.m., Webb Wilder.

Rounding out Farragut’s three-day celebration will be numerous food vendors who will offer visitors a diverse menu of taste-tantalizing treats.

Other West Knox Festival events include the free Franklin Square Garden Day, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, April 22, at 9700 Kingston Pike. All manner of flowering plants, houseplants, herbs and shrubs will be sold, along with garden crafts. Proceeds benefit the Knox County Council of Garden Clubs.

Not to be overlooked along the dogwood trail are other species including the redbud or Judas tree, a native flowering tree whose rosy purple blossoms are shaped like miniature sweet peas. Festival planners recommend those touring also watch for this foliage:

Crabapples of deep rosy, red; Weeping cherry and Japanese cherry trees; pawlonia trees with their lavender blossoms resembling giant lilacs; azaleas and other shrubs such as kolquitzia, duetzia, lilacs, pearl bush, mock orange, spireas, viburnums and lantana; garden flowers including phlox, tulips, evergreen candytuft, narcissus, primrose, pansies, early rose, wisteria and iris which is Tennessee’s state flower.

Don’t overlook the “volunteers” or wildflowers’ display, either. Along the way, you may see wild blue phlox, wild geranium, violets, may apples, bluets, wild mustard and wild poppies, also known as buttercups.


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