The 29th Forsythia Festival will celebrate the bright yellow flower and local entertainers and artisans Saturday and Sunday in downtown Forsyth.
"It's a great family-oriented event and a great way to experience a small town," said Lindsey Childs, events manager with the Forsyth-Monroe County Chamber of Commerce. "The uniqueness and charm of Forsyth is clear and apparent in the festival."
Childs said more than 20,000 people are expected to attend. She said many come for the arts and crafts vendors, which are carefully vetted.
"Our arts and crafts vendors -- that's why people come," Childs said. "We have exclusivity for our vendors so if one person makes something, we don't have someone else who makes the identical thing."
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All of the festival's 100 vendors must offer handmade and original items.
Jewelry, caricatures, pottery, and abstract art are all very popular, Childs said. Bracewell Swing Factory will display some of its outdoor furniture and custom children's playsets, and visitors should be on the lookout for flying sugar bombs near the Sugar Rush Marshmallow Guns station.
Childs recommends that visitors plan ahead when shopping.
"If they're smart, they'll go ahead and shop for birthdays and Christmas, everything they'll need," Childs said.
But don't shop until you drop. Save some energy for events like the cornhole toss and the Superhero Stroller Race, an event in which teams of two channel their favorite superhero to race other teams in any four-wheel, non-motorized vehicle.
"It's hilarious to watch," Childs said.
She encourages racers to get into the spirit by dressing up in superhero costumes and be creative with their chariots.
"We've had strollers. We've had people make their own rides," Childs said. "A lot of people rode in garden carts last year. My father was one of them."
Childs does add one handy tip.
"Preferably make sure that your weight limit doesn't exceed that of the stroller you will ride in," she said.
Barreling down a lane dressed as Batman isn't for everyone. Dance groups, martial arts practitioners and belly dancers will take to the community stage throughout the festival.
"The community stage is exactly that: a showcase of local community talent," Childs said.
Faith Fest returns this year Saturday evening as a faith-based singing competition.
"It's been a really popular event," Childs said. "Last year we had a band and not a signing competition, but people really wanted the singing competition, so we brought that back."
The winner is awarded a cash prize, bragging rights and a chance to perform Sunday on the community stage.
Admission to the festival is free.
"We want you to support the local artists and the local businesses that are intermingled in the festival," Childs said. "And just shop local; put the dollars back into the economy."
Childs is proud of the community's support of the event.
"We have some amazing volunteers that put so much into this festival," Childs said. "It's really the heartbeat of Forsyth."
When: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. March 12 and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. March 13
Where: Historic Square, downtown Forsyth
Information: 478-994-9239; www.forsythiafestival.com