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Monday, June 1, 2015

Coming this Weekend, Peony Festival, June 5-7, 2015

A look back at.......Peony Festival 2014

The Festival first began in 1932, the first week end of June. During World War II they were discontinued, then  after the war they were resumed.

The Wassenbergs', a notable family in the community, had a 50 acre farm that they grew iris, poppies and mostly peonies. The Beckmans' had 20 acres of peonies that they sold commercially and privately. We now have to purchase them from our local nurseries and the internet. The Vera Wassenberg and Bu Te  have Van Wert roots. People probably have them and may not know it. Peonies are scattered over the city. I would love to be able to get starts of each of these. Every home in Van Wert needs at least one peony on their property, being we are "The Peony Capitol Of The World".

The Men's Garden Club have established a display garden of peonies in Smiley Park next to the Children's Garden. They are all labeled as to each variety. This is a good way to see what you might like for your own garden. I have  about 20 different ones in my gardens. I can always find room for one more.

Peony Committee

There is a Festival Committee that brings this altogether the first weekend in June. Many of our peonies are through their bloom by then, but this year there was a nice representation of them at the Jubilee Flower Show. The flower show was held at the new Wassenberg Art Center. The Wassenbergs' would be so proud that this is still on going.

Artistic Design Judge and Horticulture Judges

Best of Show

"Pink Pots"

Queen Jubilee XXXIX and Court
In the early spring, young women from the area are interviewed, and then compete in talent, evening gown, and questions and answer. Queen Jubilee XXXIX was chosen. Scholarships are given to the top three finalist. They are required to make appearances at certain functions. The day of the parade they have a luncheon at The Willow Bend Country Club and make appearances at many other special events held around the area. It is much like the Miss America Pageant, on a smaller scale, At 5 o'clock is the big parade. They get to ride the beautiful Queens float.

Queen's Float

On Friday evening the public was entertained with a free concert in the lovely Fountain Park. This year it was Papa Doo Run Run. Good lively music. There was a huge crowd. One of the largest.

Papa Doo Run Run

Vendors are set up in the park selling their arts and crafts. "ArtRageous" is now combined with the Festival. Good quality merchandise.


There are a lot of food venders. It is a time to load up on junk food. Great sausage sandwiches, barbeque, brauts, cotton candy, and of course icy slush.

Junk Food

On the grounds I ran into my co-blogger and Park Director, Sue. This is an extremely busy time for her. I am amazed how she seems to manage it all, and brings it all together.

Park Director Sue

The weather was picture perfect.. It was well attended.  Thanks to all of you that made this another well planned event. Now next year begins. Back to the drawing board.

It was A great festival.