The sweet smell of roses coupled with the tastes of fine wines will offer area residents a unique sensory experience Saturday at the Savannah Rapids Pavilion.
The 46th Annual Augusta Rose Show will be held in conjunction with the third annual CSRA Wine Festival from 1-4 p.m. in the pavilion's ballroom area.
"We have never done a partnership like this, so we are very excited about combining with the Wine Festival," said Paul Blankenship, show chairman from the Augusta Rose Society. "We think it is completely unique and perfect."
The rose show will incorporate many classes on such topics as old garden roses, shrubs, climbers and miniatures, said Blankenship, adding that the flowers will be displayed in a variety of ways. A novice class will be offered for those new to the process.
The rose show is free, both to view and to enter a flower in the exhibit. The vase, water and entry tag will be supplied, Blankenship said.
The best roses in each category will receive ribbons for first, second and third place, and an honorable mention. Six judges from the American Rose Society will award the top winners in each category and name the best in show.
"If you want to enter a rose, all you have to do is literally walk in the front door," he said.
Entries in the horticulture division will be accepted between 6 and 9:30 a.m. Saturday. Once the judges have finished viewing the flowers, the show will open to the public at 1 p.m.
Pre-registration is required for the show's design division by today due to limited space. To enter, call (803) 215-6602.
The show is one of the largest in the Southeast, Blankenship said, but the number of blooms varies with weather.
He said he expects anywhere between 400 to 1,000 blooms at the show.
"It's a really stunning thing to walk into the show floor and see all those roses," he said. "It's a spectacular sight and smells pretty good, too."
In addition, the CSRA Wine Festival will incorporate numerous activities into the event.
At least 200 wines will be available for sampling at the Pavilion.
"Because we've changed the time of year that it's scheduled, we are already getting additional suppliers who are wishing to participate," said Pat Goodwin, the event's coordinator.
Jane Garvey, a food and wine connoisseur from Atlanta, will conduct a seminar about wine on a first-come, first-served basis, Goodwin said.
"This is not an alcohol party," she said. "It's an educational event, and it is a way to meet people in the community. It just allows people to talk about other things than politics and how bad the economy is."
Guests must be 21 years old to attend the wine portion of event.
The event will include music from the jazz band After the Storm and feature food from French Market West, Rhinehart's Catering, Fatz Cafe and La Maison. Earth Fare will set up a cheese and bread display.
Tickets cost $35 at the door, $30 in advance and $15 for designated drivers.
Tickets can be purchased at the Ninth Street Wine Shop in Augusta, The Vineyard Wine Market in Evans, Toast Wine and Beverage in Martinez, Wine World in North Augusta or by visiting www.localwineevents.com.
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