Weather forecasters are often criticized when they predict sun but it rains, but for Vinton’s annual Dogwood Festival held on April 29, the forecasts of rain and clouds were proved wrong when sun and blue skies brought a glorious spring Saturday for the event.
Begun in 1956, the popular event is one of the oldest festivals in Southwest Virginia and the oldest in the Blue Ridge region. As in years past, the festival featured vendor craft spots, food vendors, spots for businesses, and spaces for nonprofits such as local churches, Christian schools, the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) who gave out free small flags, etc. Some of the congregations represented included Mineral Springs Baptist, Vinton Baptist, and Valley Word Church. In the afternoon, the parade went through town and on Washington Avenue to the delight of crowds seated and standing along the route.
Hannah Overstreet, who grew up in Vinton but now lives in Bedford County, was among the merrymakers and had this to say. “We’re here just to see what the festival has to offer with the vendors and everything like that and just kind of spend some time together as a family.” Telling more about her huge dog that attracted lots of attention, Overstreet added, “Oden is an English Mastiff and he’s 262 pounds.”
In a culture where fads come and go and businesses open and close, the Vinton Dogwood Festival clearly has staying power and the enthusiastic support of Vinton and the surrounding communities.
You can learn more about the Vinton Dogwood Festival and its history here.