Newbie wins flower contest at Gray’s Daylily Festival

GRAY -- A blossom that appeared in her garden Saturday morning won Gean Favors a blue ribbon for the best overall day lily in a contest sponsored by the Gray Garden Club.

“I’m so excited,” said Favors, a Gray resident who’s only been growing day lilies for about two years.

Favors said she didn’t know much about flowers until she joined the club.

The contest, called a display, was part of the Daylily Festival in Gray and was held inside a school gym near the mostly outdoor festival off Railroad Street.

“We don’t follow all the rules and regulations of a regular flower show, so it’s called a display where they can bring in the various day lilies and display them,” said Mary Musselman, who was in charge of the event for the garden club. “They’re judged, and then it’s opened to the public to come in and observe.”

Favors also won first place in the no-name category, which was for participants who don’t know the specific name of the type of day lily they’ve grown, Musselman said. The named category was for growers who entered a blossom from a registered seedling.

Jimmie Davis, of Tennille, won the blue ribbon in the named category with her entry of a “Just Fabulous” day lily.

The display also was the first flower contest she had ever entered. She’s been growing day lilies for about four years.

“I just wanted something that I knew would be easy to grow, less maintenance, and someone told me about the day lilies and I went to a seller and got started,” Davis said. “I’m hooked”

Margaret Skinner, of Gray, arrived at the festival with a large green bucket to load up and take home what she had hoped would be a large variety of day lilies.

But she was surprised to find that nearly all of the day lilies had been sold by the time she arrived at 11:30 a.m. Festival gates had opened 2 1/2 hours earlier.

Her advice: “Better get out there early.”

Nonetheless, Skinner still managed to fill up her bucket with day lilies.

While the festival is named after the flower, the venue also offered other activities. It featured crafts, clothing and jewelry booths, food vendors, live music and several activities for children.

Kathy Consentino, of Savannah, was selling her glassware at the festival.

She’s been blowing glass into figurines since 1998, and she recently started making glass mobiles about four months ago.

Carla Gibson, of Gray, was busy at her crafts booth.

Her booth featured adult and children’s clothing, aprons, baby boppies and Christmas craft items.

“We’ve been steady all day,” she said. “Its’ been a great day.”

Rebecca and Ryan Belshan, of Gray, along with their two children, visited the festival, now in its 12th year, for the first time Saturday.

The family is usually vacationing at a Florida beach when the festival is held.

Rebecca Belshan said she especially liked that the child-friendly festival was held in a pecan orchard, which offered lots of shade. And the admission price can’t beat, she said.

Admission was $1 for adults and free for children.

To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.