Celebrate the change of seasons—And the flowers—In a new way
By Stephanie Georgopulos
Cherry blossom festivals have been an American staple since the early 20th Century, when the Japanese began sending gifts of trees to Washington, D.C., to commemorate their budding friendship with the United States. But if you're looking for a new way to ring in spring, hightail it to one of these non-cherry blossom festivals in your Chevrolet Malibu, a stylish nosegay of a car that stands out and turns heads in any crowd.
Biltmore Festival of Flowers
Asheville, North Carolina
Now through May 31
The Biltmore estate, built by George Washington Vanderbilt in the late 1800s, is the largest privately owned house in the U.S. Its Festival of Flowers is one of many events that open up the property to the public. If you're a flower lover, you don’t want to miss this year’s opportunity. For the first time ever, guests will be able to view the exotic orchids in the Winter Garden, which was previously off limits to visitors.
Orangeburg Festival of Roses
Orangeburg, South Carolina
This southern fete celebrates the blooming of South Carolina's roses with pageants, golf tournaments and airplane rides. Sound like fun yet? For a truly unique experience, sign up for the Blackwater River Race, a canoe and kayak competition that takes place on the Edisto, the longest blackwater river in the world.
Magnolia Blossom Festival
The Magnolia Blossom Festival's regular events can’t get any better; sidewalk art shows, treasure hunts, big bass fishing contests, steak cook-offs and antique car shows are all annual highlights. To supplement this already plush lineup, the festival announced a new contest for 2013 called "Steak Your Claim," which asks competitors to hold onto a grill for as long as possible for the chance to win a $5,000 custom grill from East Texas Smoker Company. In addition, a Beatles cover band will be the headlining entertainment, with country act Dixie Tradition playing at the festival’s opening night.
Blossom Music Festival
Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
June through Labor Day Weekend
The Cleveland Orchestra Blossom Music Festival plans to give new meaning to "rite of spring" by partnering with Chicago’s Joffrey Ballet for a production of the Stravinsky ballet by the same name. Also on the schedule is a "Pixar in Concert" night, where families can enjoy live performances accompanied by scenes from Pixar favorites like Toy Story and Finding Nemo.
The trademarks mentioned in this story are held by their respective owners.
Stephanie Georgopulos is an editor at Thought Catalog. Her work has been featured on McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, The Awl, Gizmodo, The Next Web, Refinery 29 and elsewhere. Email her at Stephanie@thoughtcatalog.com or follow her on Twitter @omgstephlol.