More visitors are expected for this year's fifth annual Sunflower Festival at Holt Farm in Rutledge, Ga.
"We're anticipating a large crowd. People have called from everywhere," event coordinator Rena Holt said.
The large crowd for the festival, which will take place from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, is expected because of publicity in Southern Living magazine, officials say.
Because of the heightened interest, organizers decided the festival should run for two days instead of one, as has been the case.
Parking will cost $5 and will be sponsored by the Madison/Morgan County Rotary Club.
One of the festival's most well-known activities is picking sunflowers in the 12- to 14-acre field for a price of $7, with proceeds benefiting charities such as Habitat for Humanity and Project Linus.
There will be much more to see and do at the farm. Seventy-five vendors are expected to be there, in addition to music and live entertainment, pony rides, a petting zoo, a large plant sale and a market featuring products from Morgan County and other places in Georgia.
An "Americana-type parade" will be featured at 10 a.m. Saturday. Holt warned visitors to come early Saturday because traffic is expected to be heavy.
One of the greatest features of the festival is the setting itself, which Holt describes as a "true rural vista."
Deemed "absolutely the most beautiful festival setting ever" by the Ronay Guide in 2005, Holt Farm also includes a "rustic, old, 1900s farmhouse," a heritage garden and a vegetable-type garden with a fence hand-built by Holt's son.
"It's still breathtaking," Holt said.
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