Diane Roberson and Diane Pisani usually spend their lunch hour walking around downtown Macon to get their exercise.
On Tuesday, they decided to stop and smell the roses. And carnations. And several other plants and flowers on display as part of the second annual Old City Flower Festival.
The two friends said they enjoyed last years festival at St. Joseph Catholic Church, so they were eager to see what was offered at this years event, which runs through Friday at Christ Episcopal Church, 582 Walnut St.
Its almost like Macons Tournament of Roses, Roberson said. You see what people can do with flowers and reflect upon Gods beauty in the world.
The event was created last year to allow Macons oldest churches to come together to celebrate the worldwide Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Each church put together flower arrangements for the event.
This year, the event is being held at Christ Episcopal Church, the citys first congregation, which was established in 1825. Its sanctuary was built in 1834.
Were all about historic places, Pisani said. The arrangements are just beautiful, awe-inspiring.
Ginny Rozier, co-chairwoman of the event, said there are 15 displays this year, up from 13 last year. Organizers are expecting more than 900 people to visit the church during the weeklong event that began last Friday.
Each church met earlier to decide what they wanted to do, she said. The only thing we require is for (the flowers and plants) to be natural. Its amazing to see how they all blend, with no instructions from us.
Jane Brook, who also attended last years event, said her favorite display is one from St. Peter Claver Catholic Church, which includes a broad range of flowers and plants, and also has a working fountain.
Ive found (the event) to be absolutely beautiful and uplifting for this time of year, when most of us can use something beautiful, she said. I wanted to come again and be inspired again.
Rozier said last years event had out-of-state visitors, and shes hopeful the flower festival can be an annual event that draws people to Macon.
It wont be the Cherry Blossom Festival, but its something thats certainly appropriate to Macon, she said.
To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.