Mayor declares June 8-9 Annabelle Days in Anna
Members of the Anna-Jo Garden Club Annabelle Festival committee and the Union County Chamber of Commerce recently met with Anna Mayor Steve Hartline, who signed a proclamation designating June 8-9 as Annabelle Days in the Union County community.
Those on hand for the signing included Mayor Hartline; Tom Sadowski and Shari Sadowski, co-chairs of the festival; Bonni Littleton, representing the Union County Chamber of Commerce and a member of the festival committee.
Other members of the Annabelle Festival Committee who could not be present for the signing included co-chair Debby McKibben, Linda Karraker and Kathy Bryan of Kiki’s Coffeehouse in Anna.
The 2018 Annabelle Festival is planned Friday and Saturday, June 8-9, in Anna.
In 2012, the Anna-Jo Garden Club set up the first Annabelle Festival.
The club wanted a way to help bring the local community together and spread the word about the Annabelle hydrangea plant.
In the past few years, the club’s members have begun propagating Annabelles from their own gardens. The Anna-Jo Garden Club plans to sell the hydrangeas on Saturday only during the festival.
The festival is scheduled during the second weekend in June.
Similar to 2017, this year’s celebration will be held on both Friday and Saturday in downtown Anna. The festival offers activities for the entire family.
Friday, Saturday Events
On Friday, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., there will be children’s activities in the parking lot at the First Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Anna, including face painting, balloon art and more.
Friday also is scheduled to feature music by Beak & Company in front of Kiki’s Coffeehouse along South Main Street in downtown Anna, a classic car show on Davie Street.
The Anna Arts Center plans to host a bicentennial flower show and a bicentennial art exhibit. Vendors will be set up on Morgan and Washington streets.
On Saturday from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m., the festival will feature children’s activities in the Presbyterian Church parking lot, music by Al and Jeannie Brown in front of Kiki’s, the classic car show on Davie Street, the bicentennial flower show and art exhibit at the Anna Arts Center and vendors.
Also on Saturday, guests and presentations are planned at the Anna Moose Lodge parking lot in downtown Anna.
Smokey Bear will be there at 9 a.m.
At 9:45 a.m., Tom Sadowski will demonstrate how to construct a raised flower/vegetable bed which will be sold to the highest bidder.
Pete Housman will give a flower arranging demonstration at 10:30 a.m.
A magic show with Chris Egelston is planned at 11:15 a.m.
Bev from Free Again plans to present a birds of prey program at 12:15 p.m.
In case of rain, activities will be moved to the Anna Art Center on Friday night and to the Main Street Center in Anna on Saturday.
The Annabelle hydrangea has deep roots in Anna. Harriet Kirkpatrick of the famous Anna Pottery family is credited with the discovery of the Annabelle hydrangea.
It is said in 1910, she and her sister Amy were horseback riding in some woods in Anna when they came upon the hydrangea.
Some 50 years after the discovery, Bon Hartline of Anna, best known for his work with hybrid holly shrubs and trees, became interested in the hydrangea.
He invited Dr. J.C. McDaniel, his former University of Illinois professor, to study the plant.
In 1960, McDaniel classified and registered the plant under the scientific name Hydrangea arborescence.
It is generally believed that the common name “Annabelle” was chosen to commemorate the two “belles” from Anna who discovered the plant 100 years ago.