Forsyth soon will take on a yellow hue as residents and businesses alike prepare for the annual Forsythia Festival, scheduled this year for March 8-9.
The Hello Yellow kickoff event is scheduled for Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Dairy Queen parking lot, 200 N. Lee St.
Volunteers will be handing out festival buttons, an artist is scheduled to paint forsythia blooms on cars, and T-shirts and lapel pins will be for sale, said Darlene McLendon, president of the Forsyth-Monroe County Chamber of Commerce.
Several businesses are offering discounts to people wearing the $5 lapel pins. The deals range from a free beverage with a purchase to discounts on an official Forsythia cocktail at El Tejado Mexican Restaurant on Cabiness Road.
In the weeks leading up to the festival, a prize patrol will be making surprise visits around town, awarding prize packages to people spotted wearing Hello Yellow festival buttons.
Forsythia wreaths and swags also will be available for sale Saturday.
McLendon said last years festival was one of the largest in the history of the event, drawing an estimated 22,000 people.
It was so packed that at times the streets barely had walking room, she said. It was really a great turnout.
This years festival will begin with a 5K Fun Run at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center.
An arts and crafts show will take over much of the city square with up to 160 booths.
McLendon said the shows kids corner has grown in recent years, and this year it will feature new, giant slides and giant hamster balls that allow children to crawl inside and spin in a pool of water.
Applications still are being accepted for musicians, dancers and other entertainers who want to perform for the festival crowd.
The deadline is Feb. 21.
Applications and a full list of festival events are available at www.forsythiafestival.com.
To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.