You could debate whether the Missouri bootheel is part of the South, but there’s no dispute that each spring, Charleston, located near the top of the bootheel where the Mississippi and Ohio rivers meet, embodies a distinctly Southern charm, appearance, and hospitality during the annual Dogwood-Azalea Festival.
In its 45th year, the festival will be held April 18-21, 2013, in Charleston. While magnificent dogwoods and azaleas in bloom are the stars of the festival, there’s a whole constellation of activities to enjoy.
Visitors may wish to start with the six-mile Dogwood-Azalea Trail, marked by the pink center lines down the city streets. The trail travels through Charleston past beautiful Victorian homes surrounded by lovely gardens. You can tour the tree-lined streets in a horse-drawn carriage on Saturday.
Enjoy the rides and games at the carnival. There will be arts and crafts, food booths, and live entertainment at the Dr. E. Charles Rowling Park. Other highlights include a parade, an art show, home and church tours, a fish fry, a motorcycle show, a dog show, an old-fashioned ice cream social, pig races, a plant sale, an antique tractor show, candlelight tour, a Texas Rangers living-history encampment, a quilt show, and piano concerts.
Charleston is located on Interstate 57, about two and-a-half hours south of St. Louis.
For more information, call 573-683-6509 or visit CharlestonMo.org.
Written by Karen Teeters, executive director, Charleston Chamber of Commerce.