The Augusta Rose Society will celebrate its golden anniversary Saturday with a show of grand proportions.
The society, which started in 1960, hosts an annual rose show for amateur growers. Many of the categories for this year's show will touch on the theme of "Golden Celebration."
"Anybody who wants to bring a rose or roses from their garden is invited to enter them in our show," said Paul Blankenship, one of the program's co-chairpersons. "We would like for them to know the name of their rose, but if they don't, that'll be OK."
There are two categories: horticulture and design. In the horticulture section, 42 classes are available for entries. There are 18 classes for the design section of the show.
"In the design section, they're all about our celebration," said Blankenship, adding that the design category will feature three judges and the horticulture section will feature four teams of two judges each.
The number of entrants into the annual rose show has declined through the years, said Blankenship. He has been a member of the Augusta Rose Society for almost 40 years and has an estimated 500 rose bushes at his North Augusta home.
"The number of people who enter roses has decreased recently," he said. "We have about 30 people who enter more roses rather than 50 people who enter fewer roses."
For the past three years, the Augusta Rose Society's annual show has been held in conjunction with a wine tasting. This year's program takes place alongside a wine tasting from approximately 50 distributors, along with cheese and other samples from area chefs.
The CoCo Wine Festival has been tailored after such events in Atlanta and Hilton Head Island, S.C., and Blankenship calls the rose show and wine tasting a mutually beneficial event.
"It's a great event that allows folks to taste some exquisite wine and view beautiful roses," he said.
The rose show and wine tasting will be from 1-4 p.m. Saturday at Savannah Rapids Pavilion. The rose show is free, but there will be a charge for the wine tasting. For information about the event, visit the Augusta Rose Society Web site at www.theaugustarosesociety.org, or call Blankenship at (803) 279-5502.
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