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Posted: 05/14/14

Romeo to celebrate
spring with Flower Day

Observer Staff Writer

      Flowers, farming and even some foam will be the focus of a new festival in downtown Romeo.
       The Greater Romeo-Washington Chamber of Commerce and the Romeo Downtown Development Authority (DDA) and have announced The First Annual Romeo Flower Day and Sidewalk Sales, set for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on May 17.
       Kelley Stephens, chamber executive director, said the village often held an event alongside the Relay for Life event that takes place at Barnabo Field. With no more Victorian Festival, the opportunity for a new event presented itself.
       "We hope to bring traffic to downtown and to Main Street for the vendors," she said.
       Stephens said concerns have been raised regarding the date of the event since it is a day before the Eastern Market Flower Day in Detroit. She said the Romeo event allows people to shop closer to home.
       "Not everybody goes down to Detroit," she said. "We give the folks that don't make that trip the opportunity to shop local."
       Around four flower vendors have signed up to set up shop in the parking lot near Uptown Buscemi's from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., such as United Landscape and Goike's Gardens.
       Joining them will be vendors along Main Street, who will hold indoor and outdoor sales from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. similar to past Sidewalk Sales held in Romeo.
       The festival also marks the opening of the Romeo Farmers Market, which will be held every Saturday from May 17 to Oct. 25 in the Village Park. Lauren Russell, coordinator for the farmers market, said she expects around 20 local vendors for the opening day.
       "All of us working together is going to create a great event," she said of the various groups planning Flower Day. "We have a lot to offer."
       The vendors will vary from oils to organic eggs and other organic products. Russell said since all the vendors are local, customers will know their money is going back into the community.
       "I think it's not only what you find there, but who meet," she said. "People will learn a lot from the vendors that are there."
       Those seeking plants and tips on how to grow them can head to the Bruce Township Park from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. for a free perennial exchange. Landscape Direct will be on hand to answer questions and provide raffle opportunities.
       Grace Venet, Parks and Recreation special events coordinator, said the exchange provides a venue for exchanging tips as well as taking home new plants to try out.
       "You can bring in some of your favorite plants or those you don't have use for," she said. "It's a very casual atmosphere."
       Those exchanging plants are asked to bring their perennials in containers and label them if possible.
       Venet, who also serves as Starkweather Society board secretary, said the Starkweather Arts Center is also offering face painting and children's art in its carriage house from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
       Festival-goers can relax after a day of flowers and sales with food and drinks at the art center's Spring Moon Beer Tasting from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
       For $20, attendees can enjoy food from Thee Office Pub and Cookery, alternative-country band The Hackwells and four beer tastings among the beers selected by Romeo's Party Store. Proceeds from the beer tasting will benefit the art center.
       "We hope it will be a beautiful evening and that people can come out and try some interesting new beers," said Venet.
       In addition to the groups mentioned above, the event is held in partnership with the Romeo Merchants, Restaurants and Professionals Association.
       For more information, call the chamber at (586) 752-4436 or the DDA at (586) 752-1170.

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Retrieved 8/4/2015 at 1:52:45 PM.
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