Who would have thought that three avid gardeners would start one of the most successful festivals in Nelson?
But that’s exactly what happened when Glyn Violini, Lorelie Roll and businesswoman Catherine Cardinal set their plants out on a few tables on Hall St. in 2002 and invited other growers to join in. This colorful and lively market draws hundreds of gardeners, from all walks of life, for a five hour garden shopping spree, rain or shine.
The 14th annual Nelson Garden Festival is set to run on Saturday, May 9 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the 200 block of Baker St. The West Kootenay EcoSociety will be running the 2015 Gardenfest again this year, and markets director Jesse R. Woodward is excited to take on the challenge for the second year in a row.
“Last year’s Gardenfest was such a wonderful event with amazing weather and huge crowds,” Woodward said. “I feel that this market perfectly fits into all of the other market organization that I already do and adds another wonderful element of community engagement to the EcoSociety’s roster.”
Woodward is in his fourth year managing the West Kootenay EcoSociety’s Cottonwood Community Market, Nelson Downtown Local Market, and the Friday-night Market Fest events.
More than 50 vendors and community groups will be on hand with perennials, annuals, vegetable starts, trees, furniture, flowers — just about everything a gardener needs to get started or add to an already great endeavor. Even the chicken manure is coming. If you like to garden, this market should not be missed.
“We always hold it on Mother’s Day weekend so you can get something for Mom’s garden as well as your own,” says Violini, who is still involved in organization of the Nelson Garden Festival. Violini says she is impressed, but not surprised, that the festival has become so successful. “We knew from the response at the very first festival. This is a community that wants to support local agriculture and local growers. Gardeners know that locally adapted seeds and plants will be healthier and more vigorous.”
Returning for their fourth year, the boisterous and lively belly-dancing group Shimmy Mob will perform at 11 a.m. and noon in front of the Kootenay Co-op. They are raising awareness and funds for women’s and children’s shelters. There will also be the Wild Sunday’s blue grass band playing from 1 to 2 p.m.
The streets will be closed on the 200 block of Baker and Kootenay streets, in front of the Bank of Montreal, from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m. Late-night Nelsonites are reminded to move their parked cars from the festival blocks on Kootenay and Baker Friday night to avoid problems in set up on Saturday. Parking for the festival is available at the city parkade next to the Hume Hotel.
For more information contact West Kootenay EcoSociety at 250-354-1909 or firstname.lastname@example.org