CHARLESTON, Mo. (KFVS) - The dogwoods and azaleas are blooming in Charleston, as city leaders bring back the annual festival highlighting their beauty.
People from out of town did a drive by this time last year, but they just didn’t have a reason to stop.
“The Azalea Festival was cancelled last year from COVID-19,” Karen Teeters, Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Director said.
This year, visitors and vendors are coming back to see the town’s natural beauty.
“People are so ready to come to Charleston to do the festival thing,” Teeters said.
Teeters said you can expect new additions to the four-day event.
“We have a car show that’s going to be on Saturday... people can just cruise in and register that day if they haven’t pre-registered it’s not a problem, so the car show is very exciting,” she said.
A historic downtown showcase is also happening Saturday.
“We’ll have a few arts vendors downtown,” she said.
Terri Wilmurth, who owns Heartland Florist and Gift Shop, said the festival boosts her business.
“I’ve had more people in eager to decorate this year, last year was kind of a lol a little bit but we made it through it and we’re back on this year,” Wilmurth said.
If you drive through town, you’ll see the residents and business owners decorating with wreaths and ribbons.
“I have people in all the time, months ahead of the festival getting ready,” she said.
With all the excitement in the air, Teeter is hopeful for a good turnout.
The festival usually brings at least 30 thousand people to Charleston.
“We don’t know what to expect this year with COVID, we don’t know whether people will be staying home because they’re still a little Leary or if everybody will decide you know what if I want to social distance, if I want to wear my mask I can,” said Teeter.
Masks are not required at the event, but Teeter said there is enough room to social distance at the outdoor event.
The festival runs Thursday, April 15 through Sunday, April 18.
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